It’s not a simple matter of placing them in the mail in a self-stamped envelope. To send your SAT or ACT scores requires some research of the colleges you plan to apply to. There are a few factors you should know before pressing the send button.

Where to Send SAT Scores

If you know you did well on the SAT and feel pretty confident, you can send SAT scores to the college of your choice before you see your results.

You may send up to four free tests to scholarship programs and colleges for nine days after you take the test. These free SAT score reports are sent with your permission before you have actually seen your score.

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SAT Rush Score

An SAT rush score will get your scores to you within 48 hours of your test being scored. However, for the College Board to send scores does come with an extra fee.

This doesn’t mean that your test is scored any earlier. It does mean that schools will receive your score before those test takers who did not pay the extra fee to have the SAT score rushed. The fee is about $30 for the SAT.

A good time to rush your SAT score is when the college alerts students that they will take the last scores in December, and you know that’s when you’ll be taking your test. However, many colleges admit that they take scores up to six weeks late.

SAT Score Choice

If you have taken the SAT more than once, the Score Choice is a great way to funnel your best score to the places that it matters most. This free program by the College Board allows you to submit your best test score to the colleges of your choice.

After signing up for your online SAT account you will choose colleges to be listed on the Score Recipient List. Under the heading Scores to Send there are two buttons next to each of the schools you have chosen to be on this list. If you select the All Scores button, all of your scores will be sent to that school. The Choose Scores button will send only the scores you want that college to see.

If you decide not to make a choice or forget, all of your scores will automatically be sent to the admissions office of that college. Some colleges require all of your test scores, so it may not be up to you.

Superscore for SAT

There are many reasons you may flub a test the first time out, and colleges are understanding of this.

Some colleges depend on superscoring to have a better understanding of what a particular student brings to the table. This term means the college only takes the best test score from SAT from the best section score. It gives the applicant a higher score if they performed well on all of the test sections.

For instance, if you received a 620 on the SAT math and 700 on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing portion the first time you took the test, but you had a higher score on the math and a lower one on the EBRW the second time you sit for the SAT, the college will use the higher score from math and the EBRW.

Tips for Sending Scores

Make sure that the college or universities you hope to attend actually require SAT scores.

Find out what the average SAT score is of the college’s applicants. If your score sits firmly in that range, it’s a good idea to send the scores along. If you are in the top 25 percent of the school’s SAT average, then your chances of gaining entry are rather good.

About the Author

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.