I have written about demonstrated interest in the past and how important it can be for admissions to some colleges. But the big question is how do you show demonstrated interest?
One way to show a college that you are interested in them is to send them your test scores from the ACT or SAT. Each of the tests allows student to send their test scores to four colleges for free when they sign up to take the test.
If you know some of the colleges that you have an interest in when registering for the tests, sending that college the test scores is a good way to show them that you are interested in their college. And if you do it when registering, it won’t cost you anything. Moreover, if you take the tests during junior year, as you should, then the colleges that you have an interest in will start hearing from you well before you submit any applications.
There is a possible minor downside to this approach that you should at least be aware of. When you register for the tests, and tell the testing agency where to send the scores, you don’t know what scores you will receive. What happens if you get scores that are not consistent with the typical scores of the colleges you sent the score to?
If this should happen it just means that you would need to retake the test and send the new, hopefully better, scores to the college. If you had waited to send the scores in the first place you probably wouldn’t have send the poor scores. Colleges really will look at the best scores you send so in most instances sending scores before you know the results really will not have an adverse affect on your chances of admissions.
My recommendation is to go ahead and take advantage of the option to send four free scores out to colleges when you register for the test. The benefit of demonstrated interest at most colleges will far outweigh the minor risk of sending a poor score to the college.