SAT Score Choice and the Common Application

For high school seniors completing the Common Application, and wondering about self reporting SAT scores (pursuant to the College Board’s new Score Choice policy), here’s some helpful information for you.

Score Choice, a new feature offered by the College Board, enables students to withhold some SAT scores (by test administration date) from colleges and universities to which they are applying.  The caveat is that some colleges and universities (including some highly selective and Ivy League schools) require students to submit all SAT scores.

Students competing the Common Application (a universal admissions application form accepted by about 400 schools), and planning to take advantage of Score Choice, are asking:  Should I complete the “self-reported test” section of the Common Application, in which applicants are asked to list their standardized test scores.

As reported in the New York Times, Mr. Rob Killion, executive director of the Common Application, provided a simple answer: leave this particular section of the application blank.

In his response Mr. Killion reminded applicants that any “self-report” scores on the Common Application are considered by the colleges to be unofficial. Official scores are sent to colleges directly by the College Board.

He added that the test-score portion of the Common App exists because some schools use self-reported scores to speed up processing before official scores arrive.

Since the Common Application does not currently permit applicants to customize how scores are “self-reported” to different colleges (a full list to some and a partial list to others), it is perfectly okay to leave the section blank.

According to Mr. Killion, leaving the score reporting section of the Common Application blank will not keep applicants from being able to properly submit the application.

Relating to Score Choice, colleges and universities have their own use practices and policies.  The College Board has its official Score Choice policy, and a link to a long document detailing use practices and requirements for many colleges posted on its site.   Click here for link.

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