Colleges that Superscore ACT Secretly Considering Bad ACT Scores?

I am applying to Virginia Tech, and they that says that they superscore your ACT. Do they still get to see all my ACT scores? And if so do they secretly consider bad ACT scores? And if so does that mean I should try not to take ACT score excessively?

Many colleges say that they superscore the ACT. I would recommend 90% taking them at face value, and 10% being a little cautious.

This is because as stated on the ACT website, the ACT NEVER precalculates the superscored ACT for a college. This means that the college does indeed see the ACT raw scores before they superscore the ACT. In fact the school you are applying for, Virginia Tech, explicitly asks you to send all ACT scores. To answer your first question, yes, they can in theory see the raw scores, even the bad scores that wouldn't be superscored.

Now the tougher question -- do they secretly consider bad ACT scores? Colleges with an official policy of superscoring are probably pretty good at sticking to the policy for the most part. If they use a computer to do cutoffs on the superscore, then a superscore of 30 is the same no matter how you got there. However, it's easy for a human admissions officer to glance at a bad score, and for this to influence them. Many psychological studies show that subtle things that people are even't supposed to consider are in fact considered subconsciously.

This means that, all else being equal, it's slightly better to get a 35 once, than to get a 31 and then a 35, even for an ACT superscoring institution. Of course, this effect is even more pronounced in schools that don't say they superscore.

To answer your final question, this does mean you shouldn't take the ACT excessively even for ACT superscore schools.

For example, if you think you usually get a 30, and then get a 27 your first time, definitely re-take it, especially for a superscoring ACT school.

However, suppose you're at the level of a 30, and have taken it before and got a 27, 30, 32 (this translates to a 32 superscore). In that case, if you think your skill is a 30, but you want to see if you can get lucky with a 33 to improve your superscore, I wouldn't risk it.