common applicationThe following are a few most commonly asked by students when completing the Common App relative to the standardized exams:

  1. When asked for SAT and ACT test scores, do I self-report and which scores should I use?

Only one test – ACT or SAT – is required as schools have no test preference. If your teen has taken both, report the higher score. (Here’s a correlation table to help you asecertain which score is better. If the scores are the same, submitting both is just fine.

The Common App and the SAT. The Common App asks the applicant if they wish to self-report scores in the Testing Section of the application. It gives applicants the option to submit their ‘Highest Individual’ Evidenced based Reading and Math scores. This is certainly worth doing to show the highest scores.

The Common App and the ACT.  The Common App asks for the applicant’s       composite score as well as the ‘Highest Individual’ English, Math, Reading and Science   scores. Again, don’t hesitate to showcase the highest scores in each.

  1. Do I also need to have an official test score report sent by the College Board or ACT?

Absolutely! An official score report sent to the schools your teen is applying to is     mandatory.

Here is the link to the College Board

The following is the link to ACT

  1. How do I get my Subject Test scores fowarded to colleges?

Good news for students – fewer schools are requiring and Subject Tests. (Click here to check out a previous newsletter to get the details.) Be aware that though a school may not require them, certain majors or programs at that university may, so check with the admissions office. (More common with engineering and science programs.)

If your teen’s school choices do require the Subject Tests, 2 usually means 3! Submit them all.

To find out which Subject Tests to forward to colleges, go to that university’s website to see what the average test scores were for the previous year’s incoming    freshmen.

  1. What is Score Choice and Superscoing?

ACT has been offerring Score Choice for some time; however, SAT just began offering this option in 2009. Score choice gives students the option to select any single test score from a particular test date to appear on their score report; lower scores are withheld from that report. ACT Score Choice may be available at schools that don’t offer SAT Score Choice.

For a student to use SAT Score Choice, you select the test date where your scores       were the highest. You cannot select a separate Evidence Based Reading and Math     score. (See Superscoring.)

Superscoring is an option in which students select the best individual scores form each SAT and ACT section regardless of the test date. Most colleges do Super Score.

Here are College Board and ACT links to find out about colleges’ score policies:


Info regarding AP tests:

In the Education section of the Common App, list all AP courses. Self report the AP test scores you scores 3+ on. For the more competitive schools, only report scores of 4 or 5.

The majority of colleges do not want to see AP test reports during the regular application phase. Colleges will ask for AP transcripts only if students want to receive college credit. In other words, have an AP score report sent to a college AFTER you are accepted and have received the final AP grades. (Check the college website to double-check the policy.)

Here’s the link to get your teen’s AP transcript:

I hope that gives you a bit of of of clarity on some of the sometimes confusing questions particularly involving test scores.

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