Which test should I take?

Many different factors play into this decision, but we ALWAYS recommend taking an informed* diagnostic test for each before making the decision.

*informed, meaning the student had a session with one of our test prep specialists discussing the breakdown of the test and general testing strategies to apply

Do colleges prefer one test to the other?

No! At least as far as colleges in the USA are concerned, there is no difference between the tests.

What does “Test-Optional” Mean?

The list of schools that are “Test-Optional” grows steadily year-to-year. The label is somewhat deceptive in that while it is not mandatory to submit test scores to apply to these schools, the act of not submitting scores puts more weight on the other aspects of the application.

Do I have to submit all of my test scores?

The answer depends both on the test you choose and the colleges you are applying to. Here is the answer by test.

The ACT:
No. You actively decide which test dates to submit to which colleges.

The SAT:
Depends. While the College Board will submit all test dates by default, you can opt into a free program called Score Choice. Score Choice allows you to select the individual test dates that you would like to submit to colleges. The caveat here is that certain colleges do not accept Score Choice and require you to submit all scores (including many of the Ivy League schools).

What is Superscoring?

Both the SAT and ACT are comprised of multiple sections that contribute to your overall score. A Superscore involves selecting the best possible test score by combining the best individual section scores across different testing dates. While Superscoring is beneficial on both tests, it is more advantageous on the ACT, which is comprised of 4 sections (as opposed to the 2 sections on the SAT).

Not all colleges do Superscoring, and some that Superscore the SAT do not also Superscore the ACT. This information is readily available online.