ACT Superscore: How To, Schools & Calculator

An ACT Superscore is the compilation of a student’s best section scores over multiple ACT administrations. ACT has determined that the method of superscoring a student’s ACT scores is a better indicator of college academic success than other scoring methods (such as taking a student’s best individual ACT score or most recent individual ACT score).

What is an ACT Superscore?

Students who take the ACT more than once have the option to report an ACT Superscore to their colleges (depending on the colleges’ superscore policies) instead of choosing one individual ACT composite score. The ACT Writing Test is not included in the Superscore. 

You can take the ACT up to 12 times, though most people only take it 2-3 times. No matter how many times you take it, your Superscore will be calculated by taking the highest score from each section and compiling them into one highest overall score. ACT also plans to allow specific section retesting in the future, meaning that you could retake only the sections you want to improve and count them towards your Superscore. 

Your Superscore will be available, along with your individual ACT exam scores, in your ACT account. You can request to have Superscores sent to your colleges, just as you can request to have individual test scores sent. According to ACT, if you choose to send your Superscore to colleges, “ACT will supply them at least one full composite score with each superscore, plus all the scores from the test events that are part of the superscore composite.”

Why to Superscore your ACT

The ACT Superscore gives you an opportunity to share your very best testing performances with colleges. If a college to which you’re applying accepts ACT Superscores, you’ll be a more competitive applicant by sharing your Superscore than if you choose a different, individual ACT score to submit. 

Additionally, as mentioned above, ACT has determined the Superscore method of ACT scoring is the best indicator of college academic success. This is true regardless of socioeconomic status, race/ethnicity, and gender.

Calculator: How to Superscore ACT

The ACT Superscore is calculated by comparing the English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science section results from multiple ACT composite scores and taking the highest scores available from each section to make up one high score. 

When calculating your own ACT Superscore, select your highest score from each section across all ACTs you’ve taken. Then, add the scores together and divide by four (the number of sections). If the resulting number is a decimal, round up to the nearest whole number. This number is your ACT Superscore. 

Here’s an example of ACT Superscoring: 

Sample ACT Score CalculatorACT #1 ScoreACT #2 ScoreSuperscore
Composite Score242526

Some universities prefer to calculate your Superscore for you; they’ll request that you send in your entire ACT testing history, and they’ll do the calculations themselves.

[ READ MORE: What’s a good ACT score? ]

Does your target school Superscore ACT?

Although not all schools accept ACT Superscores, many do. Do your research ahead of time so you know what to submit with your applications. Here’s a list of the top 50 universities, according to Forbes, and whether or not they accept ACT Superscores as of 2021:

UniversityACT Superscore?UniversityACT Superscore?
Harvard UniversityNoBowdoin CollegeYes
Stanford UniversityNoVanderbilt UniversityYes
Yale UniversityYesAmherst CollegeYes
MITYesClaremont McKenna CollegeYes
Princeton UniversityNoUniversity of Southern CaliforniaYes
University of PennsylvaniaYesWashington University in St. LouisYes
Brown UniversityNoUnited States Military Academy Yes
California Institute of TechnologyYesUniversity of VirginiaYes
Duke UniversityNoTufts UniversityYes
Dartmouth UniversityNoNew York UniversityYes
Cornell UniversityYesMiddlebury CollegeYes
Pomona CollegeYesCarnegie Mellon UniversityNo
University of California, BerkeleyNoUniversity of California, Los AngelesNo
Columbia UniversityYesBates CollegeYes
Georgetown UniversityNoWesleyan UniversityYes
University of ChicagoYesBoston CollegeYes
Northwestern UniversityYesWashington and Lee UniversityYes
University of Notre DameYesUnited States Air Force AcademyYes
Williams CollegeYesWellesley CollegeNo
University of Michigan, Ann ArborNoUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel HillYes
Rice UniversityYesColgate UniversityYes
Johns Hopkins UniversityYesCollege of William and MaryYes
Harvey Mudd CollegeYesDavidson CollegeYes
United States Naval AcademyYesHaverford CollegeYes
Swarthmore CollegeYesBarnard CollegeYes

[ WHAT’S YOUR ACT SCORE? Try our quick, 4-question ACT Pop Quiz to see where you stand ]

ACT Score Choice

Some universities allow you to submit only your ACT scores from certain testing administrations with your application, rather than your entire ACT testing history. This is called “score choice,” and it means that you can select your best composite ACT taken on a single date and submit it, without worrying about universities seeing any of your less impressive scores. This means that it’s advantageous for you to take the ACT more than once, just as it is when Superscoring your ACT, since you can pick and choose what scores universities see.

[ KEEP READING: Picking the right college for you ]