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Kristin Fracchia

ACT Superscore

What is an ACT Superscore?

ACT superscores are when your ACT score report gets bitten by a radioactive spider and give your numbers a superhuman boost. Kidding. Obviously. Although that would be pretty cool, ACT superscoring refers to the process of taking your highest individual section scores across test dates and averaging them together for a new SUPER composite score.
 

ACT Superscoring Example

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you took the ACT three times with the following results:

February: English: 31; Math: 28; Reading: 34; Science: 24; Composite: 29

April: English: 32; Math: 29; Reading: 32; Science: 28; Composite: 30

September: English: 34; Math: 27; Reading: 35; Science: 27; Composite: 31

In order to figure out your ACT superscore, you take the highest individual section score and put them all together for a new composite. So here are the highest hypothetical ACT scores in our example:

February: English: 31; Math: 28; Reading: 34; Science: 24; Composite: 29

April: English: 32; Math: 29; Reading: 32; Science: 28; Composite: 30

September: English: 34; Math: 27; Reading: 35; Science: 27; Composite: 31

And our new superscore would be:

Superscore: English: 34; Math: 29; Reading: 35; Science: 28; Composite: 32

 

Ta-da!
 

How can an ACT Superscore help me?

Well, for one, it can give you a little confidence boost. You have the ability to get the ACT composite score that your superscore reveals; you just haven’t been able to pull it off on one single test administration yet.

But, more importantly, it can help you in college admissions when you apply to schools that use superscores or that will consider your individual ACT section scores.

And even if you are targeting colleges that don’t superscore the ACT, you will likely be using collective applications such as the Common Application or Universal Application (applications that allow students to apply to over 500 schools) to apply to many of these schools. These applications allow you to input your highest individual section scores on the ACT, regardless of the date you achieved them. So even if these highest individual scores aren’t officially considered, at least you can put them in front of the eyes of admissions officers for a bonus.
 

Which colleges superscore the ACT?

There are around 100 or so colleges and universities that superscore the ACT or that will consider individual section scores on the ACT. Some prominent ones include Cal Tech, Boston College, Colorado College, Duke, Georgia Tech, John Hopkins, Miami, MIT, UC-Boulder, Maryland, Denver, Georgia, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Vermont, Vassar, and Wash U.

Admissions offices change their policies on test scores all the time, and this has become even more of a trend as of late as more schools develop test flexible and test optional policies, so always be sure to check the admissions websites of the schools you are applying to, and when in doubt, call the admissions office to ask about their current policies. This way you can make smart decisions about which ACT score reports you want to send to which school.
 

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About Kristin Fracchia

Kristin makes sure Magoosh's sites are full of awesome, free resources that can be found by students prepping for standardized tests. With a PhD from UC Irvine and degrees in Education and English, she’s been working in education since 2004 and has helped students prepare for standardized tests, as well as college and graduate school admissions, since 2007. She enjoys the agony and bliss of train running, backpacking, hot yoga, and esoteric knowledge.


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