How do your test scores stack up?

Most colleges share the average test scores of the students they admit. You can find that information on their websites or on collegeboard.com.  It’s good to know how your test scores compare to those of the students your chosen colleges admit.

Also, don’t forget that many colleges allow you to report your highest SAT Math, Critical Reading and Writing scores from different sittings (a practice called “superscoring”). So your highest test score may be better than you thought it was.

Here’s an example. Let’s say you take the SAT twice and get the following scores:

630 Math
520 Critical Reading
600 Writing
Total score: 1750

590 Math
660 Critical Reading
640 Writing
Total score: 1890

Your best SAT score from one sitting is 1890. But if the schools you’re applying to look at your highest score for each section from different sittings, your score is actually 1930 (630 Math from the first sitting, 660 Critical Reading and 640 Writing from the second sitting).

Some schools use a similar practice for ACT scores, but not nearly as many as for the SAT. Visit the admissions sections on the websites of the colleges that interest you and find out how they use the scores. Then you can make an informed decision about taking the test again.

Excerpted from If the U Fits: Expert Advice on Finding the Right College and Getting Accepted