10 months ago
Admissions Advice

Is it better to submit both test scores if you take them both or just the score thats better?

Hello, I'm currently about to take both the ACT and the SAT but I was wondering how I should go about the application process when I get my scores back. I don't know if I should put both scores in my application when applying or just the higher of the two whenever it comes to me comparing myself to the colleges average in test scores. I don't want it to hurt my chances of getting accepted just because I might have done worse on one of them compared to the other.

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3 answers

Accepted Answer
10 months ago

You actually have 3 choices.

1.) Submit both

2.) Submit the best one

3.) Don't submit either until you get 1 or both scores up.

What is most important since you are signed up for both the SAT and ACT is that you focus on getting the best score possible on only 1 of these formats. Striving to get the highest SAT and ACT is not necessary since all colleges only need 1 test score. Otherwise, they would all say so which they do not. It is very rare that someone gets a 1550 and a 35 at the same time. Usually, one format is better for the applicant than both. Most common is a high SAT score and a slightly lower ACT equivalent or vice versa. There is no reason to submit both if 1 test puts you into a different bracket say 95% instead of 99%. If you have two equivalent percentile scores, then submit them, otherwise, it's not necessary and not helpful.

After you get your SAT and ACT scores back unless they are equivalent same % percentiles, focus on the one that you did better on. In order to have the best chances of applying to college, there are many criteria to work on besides test scores and you need to use your valuable time efficiently and equitably so that one area does not suffer from lack of attention. Remember that you need excellent grades, ECs, community service, leadership, and evidence of intellectual curiosity and high personal character, not just test scores.

Hope that helps your focus.

10 months ago


It is good that you took both the SAT and ACT.

Now, if your scores come good on both, you should go ahead and submit both of them to add on to your chances of getting admitted. It can also help you get a merit aid and show your proficiency.

However, if the score of either test is good, you should just submit that one since the one with the lower score can act as sort of a negative point in your application and can also lower your chances.


You can check out this link for different universities that require different tests. (Ignore the subject test part since they have been discontinued now.)

I hope this helps you.

All the best!

10 months ago

I would look at the average accepted SAT/ACT scores for your reach schools and see where you fall. If either or both scores are above the 50th percentile, I would submit, because that will help your application in the end.


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