Reporting Test Scores - The Ins and Outs


Students need to review their test scores to decide if an application should be submitted test-optional or with scores. Once the decision is made to submit an application with scores, don't forget the details.

  • What scores to submit? While the vast majority of schools allow students to consider the highest section scores across all tests, some schools want a different format.

  • Submit all scores - Syracuse University, University of Maryland, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University

  • Single highest test date - Auburn University, West Virginia University, Penn State


  • How to report? - Reporting scores can be even trickier

  • Self-reporting scores - Save yourself the $12 College Board per school reporting fee and you can self-report your scores in the testing section of the common application. However, make sure you "toggle off" your scores in the testing section when you submit a test-optional application. Most schools state they won't review your scores if you apply test-optional and you mistakenly self-report. We think it is best not to share the content. If you are admitted and attend a self-reported test score school, you will send one official score in the Spring to validate the content in your application

  • Submitting official scores - Schools that require official scores from the ACT or SAT want you to log into your College Board or ACT account and pay a fee to send scores. Yes, the test agencies will allow for free sends, but these freebies are before they publish the score from your test. Be sure to give yourself enough lead time to send your scores and avoid a higher fee.


  • AP Scores - With the absence of Subject Tests, AP scores that are a 4 or a 5 can help validate a student mastering a particular subject. Students should follow the same submission process as above. We recommend NOT putting scores less than 4 on your application. You can always send lower scores to the school to which you are attending to see if they will apply a 3 for college credit.

We recommend students submitting applications 2 weeks before the deadline. Lead time can avoid snafus such as missing recommendation letters or transcripts. If a student is taking a future test, after the application is sent, they can always send that information later to improve their academic profile.

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