College Board’s Score Choice Sets Off Debate and Angst — Some Schools to Require All Scores

The College Board’s Score Choice, a new policy that lets students report selected SAT scores, has set off both a national debate and heightened anxiety. Until recently, students who took the SAT more than once had no choice but to submit scores from all test administration dates. Score Choice eliminates that requirement, except when the college or university opposes the policy.

The new policy, called Score Choice, permits students to choose which of their SAT and SAT Subject Test scores (based on test administration date) colleges and universities will receive. Score Choice became available starting with the March 2009 testing date.

According to the College Board, which administers the SAT, Score Choice will help to alleviate stress associated with college admissions and entrance exam preparation. The ACT has provided reporting flexibility similar to Score Choice for years.

Some colleges and universities oppose the policy. A loophole allows admissions offices to override Score Choice and request to see all scores from all testing dates. A number of schools, including Stanford, Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, USC, Georgetown and Pomona College, have already indicated that they will not honor Score Choice and will continue to require applicants to send a complete score report. Harvard, MIT and University of Chicago support Score Choice. Princeton is said to be undecided.

Some admissions officers believe that Score Choice can actually hurt students because many colleges already give students the benefit of using only composite scores based on the highest score for each individual section of the exam. Often these composite scores comes from different administration dates (e.g. best Math score achieved in March and Reading in June).

Another concern is fairness based on the position that Score Choice provides an advantage to more affluent students who can afford to pay to take college entrance exams multiple times.

Click here to link to SAT Score-Use Practices by Participating Institution (with information accurate as of publication date) from The College Board web site.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email