High school students throughout the country (and even the world) all want to get the highest scores possible when taking the SAT as it greatly impacts college admissions and scholarship awards. Students get two separate scores on an SAT exam: Evidence-based Reading and Writing and Math. (There is also an “optional’ essay that is only required by some colleges.) The scores for each of these two areas range from 200 to 800. Students often add their scores together for a “combined” SAT score in the range of 400 to 1600 points.
Many colleges report that they “superscore” and will consider the highest Evidence-based Reading and Writing score from one SAT exam and the highest Math score from another. Problems arise when students misinterpret this policy. Students often believe that when it comes time to submit their SAT scores they can choose to send their highest section scores from different SAT dates, and that is all the testing information colleges will receive. With that premise in mind, some students will take an SAT exam and only focus on the Evidence-based Reading and Writing sections, not putting any effort into the Math sections. On a subsequent SAT exam, they flip their strategy and focus heavily on the Math sections, not worrying about their Evidence-based Reading and Writing score. Their thinking is that they will ultimately “superscore.”