How Many Times Can You Take The SAT?

How Many Times Can You Take The SAT?

Written by Chris Hernandez

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This article covers how many times students can take the SAT and the reasons for retaking the test. Plus, advice for retaking the test and the reasons you may...

Students can take the SAT as many times as they choose, though most take it twice. In this article, we'll discuss how many times students can take the SAT and the reasons for retaking the test.

The SAT is still the most popular college entrance examination in the United States. Students put in great effort to get ready for it and typically begin studying between 1 and 6 months in advance, devoting 10 to 20 hours each week to preparation leading up to taking the test.

Related article: How to Study for the SAT in 1 Month.

Retaking the SAT is a Personal Choice

The SAT can be taken multiple times to reach your desired score; however, it is important to research the SAT score requirements of the colleges you’re applying to, so you can set realistic goals.

The College Board recommends that high school juniors take the SAT for the first time in the spring and then retest in the fall of their senior year.

If you don’t reach your target score by then, you can take the SAT a third time. This way you will have up to three scores to compare and submit when applying in the winter of senior year.

Reasons to Retake the SAT

Sitting for the SATs more than once can be beneficial for some, but it is optional. The following are valid reasons for taking the SAT more than once.

Improve Score

Taking the SAT more than once can increase your score – research shows that two out of three students saw an improvement in their score when they took the test a second time. This can be a great way to get a better score if your initial attempt didn't go as well as you had hoped.

  • Admittance to a Chosen School: To gain admittance to the most prestigious schools such as Princeton, Harvard, and Yale, an SAT score of between 1450 and 1580 is recommended. However, an average SAT score of 1200 is still considered good and will help you gain admittance to many other good colleges. Having a higher score can also improve your chances of receiving scholarships.
  • Financial Aid: Retaking the SAT can give students the chance to earn more financial aid. Different loans, grants, and tuition-reduction programs may require a certain SAT score to be eligible. Therefore, it is important for students to look into financial aid opportunities before taking the exam to set a goal score. The higher the SAT score, the more scholarship money will be available.
  • Score Choice: Score Choice is a feature that allows students to choose which test scores they want to submit to the school they are applying to. However, this does not give them the option to pick individual section scores from multiple tests. The student must decide to send the complete results of one test or the other. Some schools require all SAT scores to be sent, so it is important to research the requirements of the target school before submitting test scores.
  • SuperScore: SuperScoring is a feature offered by some schools that allows students to combine the highest scores across different test sittings. For example, if a student takes the exam multiple times, they can choose the highest score from each section and submit those scores rather than submitting the scores from just one sitting.

Other Benefits of Retaking the SAT

Many students learn a lot from their first sitting to take the test, and then use that experience to be better prepared for taking the test for a second or third time.

Identify and Address Problem Areas

After taking the SAT, students can identify which sections were more difficult and focus their studying on those areas to improve their scores. By strategically studying the challenging material, students can increase their scores. For example, if a student scored low in mathematics, they can focus their studying on the math principles of the exam to boost their scores.

Manage Test Anxiety

Experiencing some level of anxiety before a test is normal. However, students whose anxiety is severe and interfering with their ability to perform well, taking the SAT a second time, when they are more prepared and know what to expect, might help them achieve higher scores.

Improved Knowledge

Students often take the SAT for the first time at the end of their junior year, but taking it again gives them the chance to learn new things in class that could help them increase their scores. This could include math and English concepts that are taught in their senior year.

How to Avoid the Negatives

You typically hear about how high school is the greatest time of your life, and while that may be true, it is also the time to prepare for the rest of your life.

It is essential for students to be ready for the college application process before it comes time to actually apply. This journey begins as soon as they enter high school, not just when they enter their junior or senior year. Doing so will help ensure that they don't have too much to do all at once when application season arrives.

Fortunately, Amikka Learning can assist with the study planning for SAT tests and provide the necessary guidance and support throughout. Here you can get an idea of how they can help: The 4-Year Plan to Get Into the College of Your Dreams.

Preparing to Retake the SAT

If you decide to take the SAT again, it's important to think about how you performed on your last one and how much time you have until the next test date

As a senior, you should also take into account the timeline of college applications and scholarships. Most schools have deadlines for general applications in the spring, and many offer priority scholarships for those who apply early in the fall. This requires a plan for retaking the SAT ahead of time.

The test is held in March, May, June, August, October, November, and December yearly, and you need to register without a late fee about a month prior. Your results will be available around two weeks after a Saturday SAT.

Tips for Retaking the SAT

The sooner you get back into test prep for retaking the SATs, the better.

Identify weak areas: After taking the exam, you'll get your results that show your scores in each section, such as Reading, Writing and Language, Math, and the optional Essay. Ask yourself which one you did the worst in to determine which one you should focus on to improve.

Practice: In addition to honing what you learn, you should also focus on how you learn. Review your course material, but don't forget to take practice tests, which are an invaluable aid when it comes to getting ready to retake an exam.

Have a Plan: Create a plan for studying that outlines how you will use your time between now and the date of the exam. This will give you structure and help you to resist procrastination so that you don't end up cramming at the last minute. Developing your test-taking skills through steady preparation over time is often more beneficial to improving your SAT scores than trying to cram the night before.

Amikka Learning has a strategy for those who are overwhelmed because they have weeks and not months to prepare.

How Many Retakes are Too Many?

It is difficult to give a specific number of attempts as everyone’s situation is different. However, it is generally accepted that it is best to stay within a limit of 4 attempts. Going beyond this could have negative implications for applying to colleges. In the following section, we will discuss what these consequences may be and why.

The Cost

It may be advantageous to retake the test multiple times, but it is important to bear in mind the potential financial and temporal costs associated with it. In addition to the cost of the exam itself, there might be phone registration fees, late registration fees, rescheduling fees and other expenses to consider.

Your Scores Can Only Improve to a Point

The SAT is a tool used to gauge a student's reading, writing, and math abilities, as well as their capacity for critical thinking, analyzing, and problem-solving. It is a way for colleges to assess applicants' academic ability in a uniform manner, and is taken into account alongside other elements such as transcripts, essays, and extracurriculars when making admissions decisions.

They don’t test how many things you know, and retaking the test multiple times will ultimately show improvement in your test taking abilities rather than displaying more knowledge.

Final Thoughts

Overall, retaking the SAT offers students the chance to improve their scores and increase their chances of getting into the college of their dreams. However, it is important to remember that the SAT is intended to measure your ability to apply knowledge, not the amount of knowledge you possess.

Therefore, retaking the SAT more than four times may not necessarily increase your score due to the test's focus on problem-solving skills. Ultimately, the decision to retake the SAT should be based on the individual student's needs and circumstances.

If you want the highest chance at a high score, contact Amikka Learning. Amikka has online course content that will help you prep for the SAT, and it also offers one-on-one tutoring with former students who have achieved high scores on the test. Get started for free!

Written by Founder
Chris Hernandez

Christopher Hernandez, the founder of Amikka Learning, couldn’t afford expensive SAT tutoring so he spent hundreds of hours studying on his own.

After improving over 400 points and attending an Ivy League school he realized how unfair the playing field was with tutoring: no matter how smart you were, if you couldn’t afford tutoring you were stuck.
His dream was to change this.

He began tutoring for the SAT and quickly realized that he was a gifted tutor. His students were loving his program and improving very fast.

Fast forward 8 years, Amikka is a leader in the education industry and has helped thousands of students get into their dream schools.

If you’d like a free consultation for 1-on-1 tutoring schedule a call with our team here.

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