The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the College Board, the administrator of the SAT, will once again allow students to decide which SAT scores to submit to colleges. This new policy will go into effect for the class of 2010. This policy previously existed under the name of score choice for SAT subject tests and was eliminated by the College Board several years ago. Currently, all SAT scores are submitted to a college when the student applies. At this time, there is no information on the College Board site confirming this report.
The ACT allows students to choose which scores to send and it is logical to assume that the College Board is changing their policy to compete with the ACT which has been gaining in popularity in the past few years.
The reality is that for most students the ability to withhold certain scores has no effect on their admissions chances. Virtually all colleges will take the students highest test score if multiple scores are submitted. Moreover, the withholding of scores may work to the disadvantage of some students since most colleges take the highest sub scores on the SAT to reach a composite score. If a student has a great math score on one test but a better critical reading on another test, most colleges will combine those sub scores to reach a higher overall score. If the student withholds one of those exams, their overall scores will be viewed by the colleges as lower.
The ability to withhold scores also arguable works to the disadvantage of less affluant students who can’t afford to take the SAT multiple times.
Bottom line? This announcement, if true, appears to be nothing more than a new marketing ploy from the College Board that adds no real benefit to the students taking the exam.