If you recently got your SAT scores back and are looking to send them to colleges, you may have stumbled over some vocabulary like “superscoring,” “subscores,” and “score choice.” Here is an explanation of what these words mean, as well as the ways that they could affect your college admissions process.
Subscores are your scores on each individual portion of the SAT. For example, out of 1600 points for the SAT, the highest Evidence-Based Reading and Writing subscore is 800, and the highest Math subscore is 800.
Subscores are relevant to colleges because they are a way to judge your proficiency in specific subject areas. For example, if you are applying to be an engineering major, your SAT Math subscore might face more scrutiny than your SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing subscore.
Supercoring & Score Choice
Superscores and Score Choice are relevant if you took the test more than one time. Superscoring means that colleges pick the highest section scores out of all the tests you took and combine them into one “superscore.”Say you took the SAT two times. Superscoring combines your highest Evidence-Based Reading and Writing subscore out of the two tests with your highest Math subscore out of the two tests.
Meanwhile, “designed to reduce student stress and improve the test-day experience, Score Choice is a score-reporting feature that gives students the option to choose the SAT scores by test date and SAT Subject Test scores by individual test that they send to colleges, in accordance with each institution’s stated score-use practice.” – CollegeBoard
Different colleges have different policies regarding superscoring and score choice. For a full list of Score-Use Practices by institution, reference the Official CollegeBoard “Score-Use Practices by Participating Institution” document.