More colleges and universities today superscore the ACT test than before; let’s look at those schools and what this means for the average high school student.
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Schools That ACT Superscore
*The following schools have been independently verified by Prep Expert that they either superscore or use the highest composite scores for the ACT.
What Is Superscoring & How Does It Affect The ACT?
Superscoring is a grading method which takes all your highest test section scores and averages them together to create the highest possible composite score.
When we think of standardized testing, the common perception is to try and ace every section and come out with an overall perfect score if possible. This idea places tremendous pressure upon kids to try and master every section at once when some students will naturally be stronger at certain subjects than others.
Imagine then taking the ACT your first time out and doing amazing on the Math and Reading sections, but having substantially weaker scores everywhere else. This is a very common occurrence.
Naturally, you may want to take it again to try and improve. The second time around you see great improvement in your Science and English scores, but Math and Reading aren’t as high as the last test date.
What if you could take the high scores across those various subsections and combine them together into one overall composite score? That essentially is superscoring.
For students who are worried about getting perfect scores across every section in one shot, superscoring provides a means to create one great composite score, while giving yourself the time to dig in and master each section as much as possible.
How To Approach The ACT Superscore Strategy
If you’re looking to try and superscore your way to a perfect ACT score, then you need to follow a number of steps to get the ball rolling.
First, you need to plan on taking the ACT a lot. - Key to the entire superscoring strategy is giving yourself enough time to ace certain sections as much as possible each time out. Let’s say that Math and Reading have proven to be your strongest subjects so far when doing some initial prep.
In that case, you could focus your first test effort and try to ace those sections as much as possible and get those scores on record. Don’t misunderstand and think that this is permission to ignore everything else, it’s certainly not.
But, go in knowing that you are 110% ready for your strongest sections while still putting in a solid effort on the others to build on. Follow this train of logic, map out the various available test dates and start planning well in advance which ones to attend.
The sooner you can do this the better off you will be. That’s a big key here - take full advantage of time while you still have plenty of it.
Second, while mapping out future test dates, make a list of schools you’re actively interested in and research their admissions policies. - The ACT superscore list above will certainly come in handy at this point.
However, if a school you’re looking at is not on the current list, then go to their website or call their admissions department. Simply ask whether they superscore the ACT or not. Many prominent colleges will at this point, however that is not a guarantee.
Taking the hour or two to call up your top five dream schools will be worth it. Furthermore, the admissions department should be able to provide score levels they look for when assessing your results.
Third, start mapping out your test preparation strategy. - This is the point where a service like Prep Expert comes in. We understand the pressures involved in trying to get the highest possible scores because our own instructors have faced and overcome them too.
Our courses are designed to systematically prepare you for these tests and provide constant feedback, in the form of consistent practice tests, to gauge where you’re at and help further strengthen your test-taking skills.
Points To Remember
Here are a few lasting thoughts to keep in mind, before you consider pursuing an ACT superscore strategy.
First, try your best in every section, even those you know you haven’t mastered yet. - Even though superscoring colleges are looking for the strongest scores per section, they still see every test result you submit.
That means even your weakest sections will be on display, whether they consider them or not. Seeing huge fluctuations from test to test may not provide a positive overall impression on them. It’s advised to always try your best every time out, even if you feel you’re better prepared for some sections more than others.
Second, create your game plan and give yourself enough time to implement it. - Figure out what schools you want to apply to when moving into your junior year, figure out whether they allow superscoring or not.
If they don’t, then at least you know early enough to try and master every ACT section as thoroughly as possible beforehand. Take advantage of a service like Prep Expert which can help you sharpen the mindset and test-taking strategies you’ll need to succeed.
Third, on test days, relax and put your best foot forward. - It’s really easy to get overwhelmed with this advice and become caught up in planning, scheduling various test dates, getting in enough preparation, etc. The best thing to do is approach it calmly and with focus.
If you can develop that mindset during this phase, then when you show up on test days to build your ACT superscore, it will become second nature. First things first though, use the list above to help figure out whether your dream school will superscore the ACT.
For more information and tips, go to Prep Expert.
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