Sending test scores to individual campuses:

  • SAT

  • ACT

  • SAT Subject Tests


Although college applications ask students to self-report test scores, students TYPICALLY must have official test scores sent to all colleges they are applying to by making a request through a student’s online account for the testing agency - UNLESS one of these two cases applies:

  1. A student is applying under a "test optional" or "test free" plan, because he/she believes his/her application would be stronger without test scores (because scores are weaker than the middle 50% range for admitted students at that campus).

  2. A campus allows students to self-report scores on the application and only requires official scores once a commitment is made to that campus. Campuses are increasingly going this route to help families save money. Check with each campus being applied to to learn if this is allowed.

guidelines and money-saving tips:


1.  ***Step one is to understand each college's policy with regards to which test scores students are required to send and which are considered for admission purposes.***  For example, some colleges require that students send all official test scores from all tests taken by the student.  Some colleges will note that they will consider the best scores over one sitting while others will consider the best section scores over all test sittings.   

  • UCs will utilize the highest SAT scores over one sitting or highest ACT composite score. We recommend you send all scores from both the SAT and ACT tests and allow UC admission readers to make determinations. Don't stress over this; UC truly will use only your highest scores.

  • CSUs will utilize the highest Reading and Math section scores over all testing dates. We recommend you send all scores from both SAT and ACT tests and allow CSU to make determinations.

  • All other colleges and universities have varying policies that students will need to research. Information on these policies can be found on each college or university's admission webpage.


2.  Deadlines:  When do test scores need to be received by the colleges?  Typically, official score reports should be received by campuses by each university's application deadline for the application plan being applied under.  For example, if a student is applying under a "regular decision" plan, then the score report should arrive at the admission office by that appropriate deadline.  Same goes for admission plans of Early Action, Early Decision, and all other plan options.  However, there are exceptions such as:

  • The UC system: test scores must arrive at a UC campus by the end of December at the latest

  • The CSU system - most CSU campuses require test scores to be in their admission offices by the end of December although a few CSU campuses want test scores in their offices by the end of November: San Diego State and San Jose State.


3.  Understand that this is not an instant transfer process like sending a text message.  Give yourself about a two week lead time; colleges and universities download these test scores at intervals determined by each campus -  some once a week, some twice a month, etc.  


4.  Should I pay extra to "rush" my scores?  We do not recommend wasting your money on expediting or rushing scores as colleges consistently tell us this by no means allows scores to arrive any faster.  Because colleges and universities download this information into their systems at regular intervals they each determine, these are not going to arrive in admission offices any faster for those campuses downloading scores electronically.  Paying extra for rushing test scores does not change when scores are downloaded by individual college campuses.  When in doubt, phone admissions at each campus to ask if sending scores "rush" will help or be a waste of money.


5.  When sending SAT and/or SAT Subject Test scores, understand:

  • What constitutes a "score report" for SAT? Sending an SAT score report from the student's latest test sitting will include scores for previously taken SAT Reasoning Tests and/or SAT Subject Tests - the last 6 tests for each type.

  • You have until 9 days after a test date to send four free score reports, included with your test registration fee.

  • TO UCs: Sending a score report to one UC will allow access for all UCs to that SAT score report.

  • TO CSUs:

    • Sending a score report to the option "3594 - CSU Mentor - Long Beach" will allow all CSU campuses access to that SAT score report. Note that this code includes the city of Long Beach, as this is where the CSU's Office of the Chancellor is located.

    • New for 2017: scores sent to one CSU campus will be shared with all campuses the applicant applied to.

  • SAT Score Choice should not be used with CSUs or UCs. It's more appropriate to possibily use SAT Score Choice when applying to highly selective universities. Be sure to check and understand each college or university's policy as some will require students to send scores for all admission tests taken.


6.  When sending ACT scores, understand:

  • What constitutes a "score report" for ACT? ACT maintains a separate record for each test date and does not combine scores from different test dates in reports, so be sure to designate which test date scores you are requesting to be sent.

  • TO UCs: Sending a score report to one UC will allow access for all UCs to that score report.

  • TO CSUs: New for 2017: scores sent to one CSU campus will be shared with all campuses the applicant applied to.


7.  If you are an athlete actively seeking a position within NCAA or NAIA athletics, you will need to send your test scores to those organizations as well:

  • NCAA is code 9999

  • NAIA is code 9876