Should I Retake the SAT?

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Should I Retake the SAT?


It’s the moment of truth: your child just received his or her SAT scores! Unfortunately, your child fell a bit short of earning the coveted perfect SAT score. Don’t worry; all isn’t lost. Whether your child scored a 1,400 or a 900, you might wonder if your child should retake the SAT in hope of scoring higher the second time around. All students face this decision at some point in the college application process.

While the occasional student may receive a perfect score on their first attempt, few take the test only once; most take it several times. So what’s stopping your child from taking the SAT three, four, or even five times? How much is too much? Several factors come into play when deciding when and how many times to retake the SAT. Consider the following to keep your child on track to college acceptance.

Retaking the SAT: Yay or Nay?

A less than stellar SAT score can hinder your student’s plans for college. Your student’s low SAT score can disqualify him or her from scholarship opportunities. Even worse, your student may receive the dreaded college rejection letter.

But did you know that many students report higher SAT scores after their second attempt? While research suggests that most students will perform better, research also shows that this improvement will become significantly higher after the second and third attempt. Why is this? There could be many reasons for this explanation – your student didn’t have the same testing jitters or perhaps your student refined his or her knowledge on the testing material. Regardless of the reason, your student can potentially score higher by retaking the SAT.

On the other hand, though, retaking the SAT is still a huge commitment. If your student wants a higher score, he or she will have to reserve ample time and energy towards preparation rather than winging it a second time. Aside from another registration fee, students have to devote another Saturday morning to take the test, manage testing anxiety, and allocate time for test prep.

Study Your Student’s SAT Score

Before your student decides to retake the SAT, sit down and evaluate the current score. Your student probably had a target score in mind; so how close did your student come to achieving this score? If you missed the mark by a few hundred points, you’ll definitely need to retake the SAT if your student wants admission into a top-tier school.

But retaking the SAT can help students identify strengths and weaknesses. More importantly, your student will have a better understanding of the SAT’s format, and types of questions. This will allow your student to study areas in need of improvement whether it’s vocabulary, grammar, math, or reading comprehension.

Finally, consider why your student underperformed. Did your student fail to prepare for the SAT, or maybe he or she didn’t understand the test’s material? In many cases, underperformance on the SAT correlates with testing anxiety, which can cripple even the most seasoned test takers. Luckily, these roadblocks can be easily addressed through an experienced tutor. By partaking in 1-on-1 tutoring sessions, your student can learn unique strategies to minimize testing anxiety and perform better come test day.

Improve SAT Scores Through Test Prep

If your student wants to retake the SAT, rest assured he or she isn’t alone. Most students who take the SAT end up taking it more than once. For extra support in helping your student achieve his or her target score, consider the benefits of an SAT test prep program.