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.

For tips to succeed on the SAT, make sure you check out my SAT tips section.

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I just want to comment on your SAT tips section and how thankful I am for this information. I am sure that many have, and will, benefit from reading these tips.

- Rachiel Grant, 12/17/08 at 11:29 pm

That seems kind of unfair. It puts a lot more stress on the test taker and a single bad day could decide whether you get into your choice school or not. I personally preformed MUCH better the second time I took the test so I guess I'm pretty fortunate that I did not have to send in my first score.

- A.C., 02/11/09 at 8:16 pm

Eversince the College Board has approved of the Score Choice policy, there has been mixed reactions from students. Some good, some bad. I just hope they did this for the betterment of the system.

- lorraine anderson, 02/22/09 at 6:55 am

I agree. SATs are important in getting kids to enter in a good University. Whether there are opt out for SATs or not, everyone should take it with preparedness. It is basically an evaluation on how much you've learned from your highschool and elementary years.

The best way to take the exam is not to think of whether you'd make it to your school of choice or not. Focus on what is now. Take the exam as if your taking an ordinary test at school. If you pass, then making it to Harvard or UCLA should be a great incentive for you.

- Francesca, 02/22/09 at 8:54 pm

totally agree with francesca, kids focus so much on getting sat score that they forget what are taking the test for. and then they score very poorly in interviews etc

- jasmor@ Myrtle Beach Real Estate, 04/21/09 at 12:38 pm

The combined score rule was my saving grace in getting into college! What about the kids who take it their sophomore year just to see how they'll do on a test run? That's what I did to get the experience of the test.

- Myrtle Beach Bumm, 05/06/09 at 9:11 am

This option will best serve those who got high scores and then alienate the rest. It also adds pressure to the students taking the test. We must be reminded that the SAT's just a part of a bigger picture.

- Mia, 07/14/09 at 12:37 am

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