After months of studying for the SAT or ACT, carefully piecing together a strong college application, and crafting your college list, it’s important to ensure that your dream schools get a complete picture of who you are as an applicant. Your test scores are, of course, an important piece of the puzzle. But, did you know that not all schools require official score reports? In fact, there is a growing trend of schools allowing applicants to self-report their scores, only requiring an official score report if they choose to enroll. Let’s break down why self-reporting is an attractive option for many applicants and exactly how it works.
Why the trend towards self-reporting scores?
Between application fees, test registration fees, and official score report fees, the college application process is expensive and inaccessible to many. For students who take the SAT and/or ACT and apply to a dozen or more colleges, sending official score reports alone can cost hundreds of dollars. Self-reporting test scores, on the other hand, drastically reduces the cost associated with the application process.
Self-reporting scores also eliminates any lag time between submitting your application and schools receiving your test scores. This means you can rest assured that schools will have access to your scores as soon as they receive your application. This is a plus for admissions officers as well because they can find all of your information — personal info, test scores, essays, etc. — in one convenient place.
Though some may be skeptical of self-reporting, there’s no way to inflate your test scores because if you are accepted and decide to enroll in a school, you will have to send an official score report to verify your scores prior to enrollment. If there’s a discrepancy between your self-reported scores and your official scores, your application will most likely be disqualified.
How can I self-report my scores?
It’s easy! In the Common Application, many schools have a question under the “Testing” tab asking if you’d like to self-report your scores. If so, you can manually type in your scores. Other colleges might ask you to self-report through their application system or by taking a screenshot of your online score report and sending that image in with your application. Whatever the protocol may be, these unofficial scores will be used for admissions purposes only. Upon acceptance and enrollment, you will be prompted to send in an official score report.
As self-reporting has become more popular over the past few years, so have test optional policies — especially in response to limited testing opportunities amidst the pandemic. Check out our past blog post for more information on the growing number of colleges with test optional policies.
Regardless of how they get reported, solid test scores are an important part of an impressive college application. No matter what phase of test prep you’re in, we are always happy to help. As always, at Sentia we don’t just tutor, we’ll be with you every step of the way™!