Many high school students take a standardized test (like the SAT or ACT) during the college admissions process every year. If you happen to be one of them, you will inevitably have the same question: When is the right time to send my test scores? In this article, we’ll discuss what you need to know about submitting your test scores to colleges the right way.
Should you submit your scores right after taking the exam? Should you wait? Do you even have to submit them at all? These questions depend on a few key things.
First, it is important that your scores are official reports from the testing company when you submit your application. Like your high school transcript, it has to be a third party sending the scores so your college can verify the credibility. So no matter when you send them, you’ll need to coordinate with the original organization.
Keep in mind that many colleges are currently test-optional, meaning that you don’t have to submit your scores if you so choose. In fact, you don’t even have to take them. Check websites for the most updated information on whether or not the exemption applies to you.
It’s helpful to know the difference between test-optional and test-blind. “Test-optional” means you can submit them if you choose. “Test-blind” means the college won’t consider your score, even if you submit it.
How Universities Evaluate Scores
Not all college admissions offices evaluate your scores in the same way. For instance, some colleges will allow you to only submit your best results. Others look at all your results, but only evaluate you based on the best ones. You can look into your school’s policies about super score vs. score choice to be sure.
When to send?
During your testing session, you usually have the option to fill in a few school codes if you want to have your scores delivered immediately after grading. Don’t panic; this is only one opportunity to send the scores out properly and there will be other chances. In fact, we’d recommend waiting until you have a finalized college list before sending your scores.
Why? So you know for sure where you want to send them in the first place! This also allows you to create a strategy with what to send where. Just don’t wait too long and risk forgetting to do it. Once you finalize your college list is a good time to send scores. Sending earlier rather than later can help you avoid mishaps.
When the time comes, you can return to the website with your log-in information to revisit your scores and where you want to send them. You can do this!
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