Q. What's the deal with Score Choice and Superscoring?
A. Thank heavens for reliable sources.* I can never remember the answer to this question.
Here's hoping it sticks this time.....
1) Score Choice:
This means that *you* can pick which scores to send. Most schools will let you do this, but a handful (GW, Georgetown, Stanford, and Yale come to mind offhand) will not.
Say you take the SAT three times. Score choice means that you can choose to send one, two, or three of those scores. Say you blew the first test completely, did best on Math on test #2, and did best on CR and W on test #3. You would ignore #1 and send two and three because of......
This is what *colleges* do to position themselves best in the rankings. So if you submit scores from tests #2 and #3, they'll take the highest M, CR, and W from those two tests and look only at those. They'll see the other scores you got on those tests, but they won't count them. And yes, they really do ignore the other scores, unless there's clearly something very weird going on. It's majorly in their interest to do so.
*Thank you Erica!
Super Scoring is the practice of claiming credit for a combined score that is based on components scores taken on different days. You can do it on the part of your application where YOU enter your scores, and colleges will confirm your claim by looking at your official score reports, seeing all of them but looking at your best numbers. Still, a real clunker can't be a good thing. So you wouldn't go in and intentionally let one area bomb, counting on Superscoring to bail you out.
And notice that it's hard to make use of score choice AND super scoring unless you happen to have all your best scores clustered in one or two sittings.
Illustrations by Jennifer Orkin Lewis