So, you got your test results back and you’re not happy with the score. Take a deep breath, there’s no need to panic! College hopefuls can retake the SAT and ACT until they reach their ideal score. Depending on the requirements for your target colleges and your position in high school, retaking these standardized tests may be the right decision. Although it is possible to retake the ACT up to 12 times and the SAT as many times as you want, it is recommended to keep retakes to under 3 times for the sake of how it looks on your applications.
Besides the test fee, there isn’t any penalty to take the test again. It is common for students to take the SAT or ACT for the first time their junior year of high school and again during their senior year. Colleges will look at the best scores from each section of the tests when considering your application, and seeing an improvement after re-takes can be an indicator of your work ethic.
According to the College Board, 55 percent of high school juniors who retook the test as seniors saw an improvement in their scores, while 35 percent had score drops and 10 percent had no change. The lower a student’s initial score, the more likely the score will improve. Juniors who retook the test as seniors saw an average of a 40-point improvement in combined writing, reading, and math scores.
The ACT administration reports that 57 percent of students increased their composite score when retaking the test. It is common for students to take the ACT twice, generally once as a junior and again as a senior.
Another factor to consider are SAT subject tests. These hour-long exams focus on specific areas of study so that you can showcase your strengths and interests to colleges. Many colleges recommend or require subject tests for admission and course placement, or you may choose to take one to showcase a specific area of knowledge. These are the only national admissions tests where you can choose a subject that best fits your achievements. Click here to register for an SAT subject test.
Click here to register for the next ACT on September 13th.
Click here to register for the next SAT on October 11th.