SAT Suite

What's an SAT Superscore?

Has SAT® superscoring left you super-confused? Have you spent hours scouring college websites to understand whether they require SAT scores and, if so, what SAT scores they require and use and how they use them? Every college, and sometimes each college department, will have different SAT score-use policies. Let’s explore the ways colleges interpret your scores.


What’s an SAT Superscore?

Imagine you’ve taken the SAT twice, once in the spring of your junior year and again in the fall of your senior year. The second time around, you find that your Reading and Writing score has increased 80 points, but your Math score is 10 points lower. In this case, your super score would be a combination of your scores from the Math section on your first SAT and the Reading and Writing section on your second SAT.

Colleges that superscore the SAT use your best section-level scores, even if they’re from different tests. Many colleges that follow a superscore policy encourage students to submit all test scores, and some colleges require that all scores be sent. This allows them to see and consider the highest section scores consistently and fairly across all applicants.

Although some colleges superscore the SAT, it’s always a good idea to review the SAT score-use policy for each college on your list. You can usually find this policy on the admissions website in an “application requirements” section.


What’s the Difference Between Superscoring and Score Choice?

College Board provides Score Choice, which allows students to select which scores or sets of scores they want to send to a college. With Score Choice, students can control which score reports, by test date, will be sent to each college.


What Other Types of SAT Score-Use Policies Are There?

Single Highest Test Date

Some schools will take your single highest total SAT score, regardless of whether it’s your most recent. These schools may request that you send scores from all test dates, as you receive them, so they can update your records to use your highest total score.

All Scores Required for Review

This policy requires students to submit scores from every SAT test date they participated in. Don’t get stressed out if a school you’re applying to has this requirement. These schools take into consideration the highest section scores and will see any improvements you may have made between sections or the whole exam itself.


Many colleges have adopted a “test-optional” policy for admissions. Those colleges may still have different policies regarding superscoring for students that do choose to send their scores.


How Many Times Should I Take the SAT?

Whether colleges on your list superscore or not, you may want to consider taking the SAT more than once. It will give you the opportunity to demonstrate perseverance and show your growth. You also have a chance to improve your scores. Having more than one SAT score also gives you more score-sending options.

Colleges don’t look unfavorably upon retaking, so don’t worry about it hurting your admission chances. It can strengthen your application! In fact, many students raise their scores when they take the SAT a second time.