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Score Choice is a program set forth by The College Board that now gives students the option to put their best foot forward when applying to colleges. But before opting in, students and parents should do their homework on the ins and outs of the policy.
How does it work?
Previously, all of a student's SAT scores were sent to the colleges to which they applied. So if a student did poorly on his or her first try, the college had access to that set of scores. With Score Choice, students now have the option of withholding a lower set of scores, eliminating some of the pressure to get a high score the first (or even second) time around.
A student who utilizes Score Choice is not limited to sending only one set of scores, however. He or she may send one or many sets of scores to particular schools. Students will be reminded to send their scores via e-mail.
What are the advantages?
Testing day can be nerve-wracking for many students. Even those who prepare with tutoring and practice tests may have trouble once they're in the room, taking the test for real. By using Score Choice, a student can take a trial run while getting the full test experience.
Score Choice also enables a student to pick and choose, in accordance with a college's score use policy, which set or sets of scores to submit to a college. Having this option gives students more control in the college application process and reduces some of the stress associated with the standardized testing process.
Should my child participate?
Score Choice is completely optional; students are still allowed to send all sets of scores to all schools. Students can select up to four colleges to send SAT scores to at the time of registration. These four score reports are included in the basic registration fee. However, if students utilize this option, they will not be able to view their scores from that test date before the score reports are sent to those four colleges. That being said, there are some advantages to utilizing the four free score reports. For one thing, they are free. If a student waits to send score reports until after viewing his or her scores, there is an additional fee ($11.25 per score report). Additionally, sending scores early can indicate interest in a college; a student may be more likely to be invited to information sessions, campus tours, and other events.
Because Score Choice enables students to choose which set or sets of SAT scores to send to colleges, StudyPoint recommends that students wait to begin the score send process until after they've seen all their SAT scores. Though it's convenient to select up to four colleges when a student registers for the SAT, students will not be able to view those scores before they are sent to colleges. If a student does not perform as desired on the test, he or she cannot prevent those scores from going to the colleges he or she selected at the time of registration. Though an additional cost is incurred if a student waits to send scores until after viewing them, the extra fees are worth it when you consider that the SAT is offered seven times per year and that students often take it more than once. Many students find that their scores improve from one test date to the next. Waiting until all test scores have been received and reviewed gives students more options when submitting scores.
To access a downloadable Score Choice presentation, which provides step-by-step instructions for utilizing Score Choice and navigating the score send process, visit The College Board.
It's optional for colleges, too.
Score Choice is also optional for colleges, and many have decided to require applicants to send all sets of scores. A college will receive only the scores a student sends, so it is important to know the policies of each college to which your child applies. To determine the score use policies for your child's prospective colleges or universities, view the College Board's comprehensive list of colleges and their score use policies at collegeboard.com.
Possible policies include:
The Bottom Line
When it comes down to it, the Score Choice option should not affect the number of times a student takes the test. Studies have shown that students who take the test twice often see moderate gains in their scores. Taking the test more than twice, however, is generally not beneficial, and it can get expensive and time-consuming. So while the pressure to get a high score the first time may not be as great, a student should not look at his or her first testing day as a throwaway.
Taking advantage of StudyPoint's one-on-one SAT tutoring is a great way to ensure your child does well on test day. Individualized attention will maximize your child's efforts and increase his or her confidence, enabling him or her to reach his or her potential without having to take the test multiple times.
Things to Remember
If you or your child have any questions about the College Board's Score Choice program, please reach out to a member of our Enrollment Team at 1-87STUDYPOINT (1-877-883-9764). We'll be happy to review your child's testing plan and prospective schools to help determine if the Score Choice option best suits your child's needs.
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