The College Board administers the SAT, which is a standardized test that is broadly recognized for admissions in the United States. It is a three-hour-long multiple-choice test with two sections: Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.
The total score for the SAT is 1600. In order to ease your way into the ivy leagues, it is highly recommended to ensure that your SAT score is above 1450.
While retaking the SAT is a definite option, it doesn’t mean that you should do it. There are plenty of factors that come into play when deciding on whether you should retake the SAT or not.
When should you retake the SAT?
If you are looking to get into the extremely competitive colleges. Let’s assume you got a 1450.
Now, if you are aiming to go to an ivy league, being in the top 1 percentile (1500+) may just give you that extra push.
So if you think that it really could help your application, it would be highly recommended to retake the SAT. If you can put in enough preparation to justify the retake.
If you can take a few months to thoroughly prepare well and see a significant change in your result, then you should retake the SAT. If you haven’t reached your target score. This is the most common reason to retake the test.
If you simply desire a better score and believe that you can achieve it, retake it! For example, if you are applying to a course that requires you to have a strong skill in mathematics, you should aim to get a high score in the math section.
If you think a better score can help you get a scholarship. To reduce the financial burden on students, College Board provides a scholarship opportunity that gives each student who participates a chance to earn up to $40,000
When should you not retake the SAT?
The application process is holistic. The SAT is not the only factor that comes into play when getting admitted to a university. As long as the other components are strong and you show interest in applying to that particular university, your SAT score should not matter too much.
When it becomes too much for you to handle. With the academic pressure and extra curriculars in your life right now, adding on the SAT retake could contribute to your stress and can pull you down overall.
If you have already taken the SAT three times. An important thing to keep in mind is that students are only recommended to take the SAT up to three times. Beyond this, admission officers would think twice about your abilities. Hence, students must take up the SAT only once or twice.
The one who falls and gets up is stronger than the one who never tried. Do not fear failure but rather fear not trying. – Roy T. Bennet
Also Read: Top 10 IB Schools in Hong Kong
How should I prepare for the retake?
Find out the retake cost: As of 2021, the general SAT costs $55 for students residing in the United States.
However, this fee can vary based on whether you register by phone, make alterations to an existing registration, if you are admitted to administration through the waitlist or if you register during the late registration period.
Students taking up the SAT outside the United States must pay additional regional fees. Find out retake dates: To see on which dates you can retake the SAT, refer to this link-https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/dates-deadlines
So, if you have already taken the SAT once or twice, you might be asking yourself, what could I have done to get a better score? The best and most efficient way to increase your SAT score is by taking up practice tests.
Once you have familiarised yourself with the content in both math and English, it is time for you to take your pencil and start shading in some answers. When you do this, you start to understand the type of questions that could come your way and the way the SAT is structured.
It also allows you to identify your weaknesses so that you could focus on them more and turn them into strengths.
Furthermore, practicing the SAT allows you to become more time-efficient and tells you which areas you need to spend more time focusing on. Especially, when it comes to the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section, it can be a little difficult to finish it within the time constraint.
Hence, practicing allows you to be better, even if it is only by a minute each time you take it. Avoid making careless errors. Careless errors are by far the most frustrating thing on the planet. It would really hurt to find out that you lost a few points to reaching your desired score because of careless errors.
So, I would strongly advise you to recheck your answers, especially in the math section. Allocate the last 5 minutes to ensure that there are no sign or number changes or any other careless error that you may have possibly made.
Now, you can rest in peace (not literally). While the academic pressure can really get to you sometimes, always make sure to never cram too much too fast.
Take breaks, go for a walk, watch your favourite tv show, or anything that helps you relax. Your mental and physical health should always be a priority, no matter what. So, get 8 hours of sleep, eat well, and calm yourself, especially during test day.
Another way to make sure you don’t stress too much is to prepare well in advance so that you wouldn’t have to panic at the last minute.
Overall, retaking the SAT can be highly beneficial to some as it can boost their score, allow them to win scholarships, improve their reading, writing and quantiviate skills.
However, it may not be the right choice for the others. If you decide to retake the SAT, be confident when test day arrives.
Get a good night’s rest and come prepared on test day, knowing that you will do amazingly well. Don’t second guess yourself and just go with your gut. Good luck, you got this.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: What is a good SAT score?
A: A good SAT score is subjective and depends on the colleges and universities you are interested in. Generally, a score above 1200 is considered a good score, and a score above 1400 is considered an excellent score.
Q2: Should I retake the SAT if I didn’t do well on it?
A: If you didn’t do well on the SAT and you think you can improve your score, then you should consider retaking the test. However, keep in mind that colleges and universities typically consider the highest score you achieve, so it’s important to weigh the benefits of retaking the test against the costs of additional preparation and testing.
Q3: How long should I wait before retaking the SAT?
A: You should wait at least two months before retaking the SAT to give yourself enough time to prepare and to avoid burnout. However, you should also check with the colleges and universities you are interested in to see if they have any specific requirements or recommendations for retaking the test.
Q4: Will retaking the SAT hurt my college admissions chances?
A: Retaking the SAT will not hurt your college admissions chances, as colleges and universities typically consider the highest score you achieve. However, you should be strategic about retaking the test and focus on improving your weaknesses to achieve a higher score.
Q5: How can I prepare to retake the SAT?
A: To prepare to retake the SAT, you can review your previous test results to identify your weaknesses and focus on improving those areas. You can also work with a tutor or take a prep course to help you prepare, and take practice tests to monitor your progress. Additionally, you can develop good study habits, such as setting a study schedule, taking breaks, and getting enough rest and exercise.