Which Colleges Superscore the ACT?
One of the most confusing steps in applying to college can be simply figuring out each college’s exam policy. Some only want your highest score from a single sitting. Others want all of your scores. Then, there’s this thing called superscoring.
What is a Superscore?
So, what is an ACT superscore, anyway? An important value in college admissions, superscores refer to the average of your highest individual section scores on different testing dates. For the ACT, this means colleges will take the highest scores from each of the four categories (English, Math, Science, and Reading) and average them together to get a new composite. Generally, a student’s superscore is higher than the composite score they earned on any one ACT exam.
Schools that currently superscore the ACT
While not all colleges practice this, the good news is that many do. Below, we’ve assembled a list of the schools that currently superscore the ACT. This list is constantly changing, so be sure to double-check the policies of the schools on your list.
Baldwin Wallace University
Case Western Reserve University
Christopher Newport University
Claremont McKenna College
College of Charleston
College of St. Benedict
College of William & Mary
College of Wooster
Colorado State University
Concordia College (Minnesota)
East Georgia State College
Florida State University
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Georgia Institute of Technology
Illinois State University
Indiana University Bloomington
John Carroll University
Johns Hopkins University
Lebanon Valley College
Lewis & Clark College
Loyola University Chicago
Mansfield University of Pennsylvania
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
North Carolina State University
Northwest Missouri State University
Ohio Wesleyan University
Point Loma Nazarene University
Roger Williams University
Savannah State University
Seattle Pacific University
Seton Hall University
Sewanee: The University of the South
Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Southeast Missouri State University
St. Anselm College
St. Bonaventure University
St. Mary’s University, Texas
St. Olaf College
State University of New York at Oswego
SUNY – College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University–Commerce
Texas Christian University
Texas Wesleyan University
The Ohio State University
The State University of New York at Binghamton
The State University of New York at Buffalo
The State University of New York at Geneseo
United States Merchant Marine Academy
United States Military Academy
United States Naval Academy | Navy
University of California, Berkeley
University of Central Arkansas
University of Chicago
University of Colorado Boulder
University of Connecticut
University of Dayton
University of Maryland, College Park
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
University of North Carolina at Wilmington
University of Northern Colorado
University of Notre Dame
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Portland
University of Redlands
University of Rochester
University of Saint Joseph
University of San Francisco
University of South Florida
University of Tampa
University of Tennessee
University of the Pacific
University of the Sciences
University of Tulsa
University of Vermont
University of Virginia
University of Washington
Virginia Military Institute
Virginia State University
Washington and Lee University
Washington State University
Washington University in St. Louis
Webber International University
Should you submit all of your scores?
If you’re applying to one of the schools on this list, you may be wondering which of your test scores to actually send. Should you submit all of them? Let’s take a look.
Pro: Submitting all scores can only benefit your application. Only the highest composite will be considered, so it cannot reduce your chance of acceptance.
Con: ACT score reports are $13 apiece and this price covers the cost of sending just one test to one school. Sending multiple scores to even one college can quickly become quite expensive. Unfortunately, at this time the ACT does not offer a specific fee waiver on score reports. However, if you received a registration fee waiver to sit for a previous exam, you may be eligible to send up to 20 additional score reports for free.
What’s the bottom line? It depends. To help you decide whether to submit all of your scores, try calculating your own “superscore” ahead of time, using the chart below as an example.
Calculating Your Superscore
Because so many colleges participate in superscoring, you may want to calculate your own superscore before sending out your applications. You can find your ACT superscore by averaging your four best subject scores together. Note that these scores can come from any of your ACT test attempts.
When calculating your superscore, take the highest score from each section and sum these, then divide the total by 4. We’ve filled in an example of what this might look like.
|Science Reasoning Score
|Composite Score (Add the section scores and divide by 4; Round up for decimals .5 and higher)
|Highest Subsection Scores
As you can see in the example above, superscoring adds a whole point to this student’s highest individual exam score. Therefore, it would benefit this student to send all three scores.
Go ahead and calculate your superscore, adding or subtracting rows if necessary to reflect the number of times you’ve taken the ACT. Add up your highest section scores and divide by 4, then round up or down to the nearest integer. This is your superscore.
If your highest composite comes from one sitting, then send only that exam. If your highest composite is a combination of scores from two different testing dates, send both. If you have, say, a third score that will not increase your composite even with superscoring, there is no need to send it unless the school requires you to do so. You can find a list of all the schools which require you to submit all of your scores here.
How Does the ACT’s New Policy Affect Superscoring?
As of September 2020, the ACT will be changing its policy to allow students to retake single sections of the exam. In the past, test-takers who were dissatisfied with their scores on individual section had to sit for the entire three-hour exam again. Not only does this change save students time, but it also prevents them from earning lower scores on other sections of the test. As a bonus, students will no longer have to send in multiple test results. The ACT will provide a new superscore combining the student’s highest marks in the subsections from each test-taking session.
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