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 Calculator||ACT #1 Score||ACT #2 Score||Superscore|
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:
|University||ACT Superscore?||University||ACT Superscore?|
|Harvard University||No||Bowdoin College||Yes|
|Stanford University||No||Vanderbilt University||Yes|
|Yale University||Yes||Amherst College||Yes|
|MIT||Yes||Claremont McKenna College||Yes|
|Princeton University||No||University of Southern California||Yes|
|University of Pennsylvania||Yes||Washington University in St. Louis||Yes|
|Brown University||No||United States Military Academy||Yes|
|California Institute of Technology||Yes||University of Virginia||Yes|
|Duke University||No||Tufts University||Yes|
|Dartmouth University||No||New York University||Yes|
|Cornell University||Yes||Middlebury College||Yes|
|Pomona College||Yes||Carnegie Mellon University||No|
|University of California, Berkeley||No||University of California, Los Angeles||No|
|Columbia University||Yes||Bates College||Yes|
|Georgetown University||No||Wesleyan University||Yes|
|University of Chicago||Yes||Boston College||Yes|
|Northwestern University||Yes||Washington and Lee University||Yes|
|University of Notre Dame||Yes||United States Air Force Academy||Yes|
|Williams College||Yes||Wellesley College||No|
|University of Michigan, Ann Arbor||No||University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill||Yes|
|Rice University||Yes||Colgate University||Yes|
|Johns Hopkins University||Yes||College of William and Mary||Yes|
|Harvey Mudd College||Yes||Davidson College||Yes|
|United States Naval Academy||Yes||Haverford College||Yes|
|Swarthmore College||Yes||Barnard College||Yes|
[ 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 ]