Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Some Colleges Opting Out of the SAT ‘Score Choice’ Option

I recently answered the question "should I cancel my SAT score?" with information regarding the upcoming Score Choice option on the SAT. To refresh, the SAT used to require that all scores from every test administration be sent to colleges. With Score Choice, students are permitted to send only the scores of their choosing to colleges. In other words, they may choose to send only their top combined score, and the university would never see the lower scores.

However, this idealism seems to have changed.

It has now become clear that colleges can opt out of Score Choice, and require that applicants report every SAT score. Newsweek has indicated that Stanford, Cornell, Pomona, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Southern California will demand all scores. Other schools, including Harvard and the University of Chicago, say they will honor Score Choice. Many more, such as Yale and Princeton, say they have yet to decide.


This may be disappointing news for several students who believed Score Choice to be the cure of test taking anxiety. However, remember that the playing field has not really changed. Just because certain schools are requiring all reports does not mean that having lower scores will necessarily preclude you from admission; colleges still view the entire application -- scores included -- in totality. All this means is that when you decide to take the SAT, you should be ready for it.

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