Why Retaking the SAT is Okay (And Encouraged!)

February 16, 2012 Category: College Tips



The idea of someone retaking the SAT tends to have a negative connotation to it. Students in general may be afraid to take this test over because they believe they’ll be perceived as being “stupid” or that retaking it too many times could negatively affect their score overall, as well as their chances of getting accepted into a good college or university. Contrary to popular belief, however, retaking the SAT is not only acceptable, it is even encouraged by academic professionals.

Most high school students have two opportunities to take the SAT tests: during their junior year and senior year. This gives students two chances to obtain the highest score possible. Students will want to take advantage of taking the SAT in their junior year so they can become familiar with the content, questions and overall experience. Once they receive their score, they can then make the decision as to whether they will keep what they’ve gotten or begin preparing to retake the test in their senior year. However, it is possible to retake the SAT multiple times. This is mainly determined by the months/dates that the tests are given each year.

SAT TestIt is important for students to know that all of the SAT scores they receive for each retake will be submitted to the colleges and universities they end up applying to. For example, if a high school student has taken the SAT five different times, five scores will be reported to the admissions office of each college or university that student has sent an application to. However, the colleges will only choose the highest score. According to academic professionals, admissions offices will be too busy with other applications to focus on why one student has taken the SAT so many times. All that matters in the end is the highest score.

Still not convinced that retaking the SAT could be a good thing? Check out the list of benefits below:

  1. You can get a better score: This is the most obvious advantage to retaking the SAT tests. A low score could mean decreasing your chances of getting into your dream college or university. But a retake could mean the opportunity to redeem yourself by obtaining a higher score.
  2. Familiarity: The more you take the SAT, the more comfortable you’ll be answering the questions because you’ll already know what to expect. Many first-time SAT test takers often receive lower scores because of things like performance anxiety and nervousness while taking the exam.
  3. Strategy: Taking the SAT the first time and getting the score afterwards allows students to see in detail which areas they did well in and which ones they could improve on. Knowing this info is ideal for retaking the SAT because it gives students an effective way to strategize their study efforts.

Students shouldn’t feel pressured to retake the SAT test if they don’t want to but for those that feel they could have done better, the opportunity is there and ripe for the taking.

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