FAQ: How Many Times Should I Take the SAT or ACT?

May 14, 2016 

Parents and students often wonder how many times students should plan on taking the ACT or SAT. With all the preparation that is required, taking these tests is a big commitment – so it may feel overwhelming to have to go through the process multiple times. We’d like to explain to you some of the benefits of taking the ACT or SAT two or three times.Tutoring-FAQs.jpg




If At First You Don’t Succeed,Try, Try Again

As students start to prepare for the college admissions process, deciding which test (ACT or SAT) to take and when to take it is a big decision. With all of the time spent doing test prep, some students feel a lot of pressure to do well. If a student has only one shot to earn a desired score, the experience can become an extremely stressful one. By deciding early on to take the test at least twice, students will feel more at ease on test day, knowing that they will have another opportunity to take it.

“It will give that student a sense of security,” says A+ tutor Brian Gillin. A student might think, “If I have a rough day or don’t do quite as well as I had wanted to, I know that I have another chance to do it.”  

Everyone has bad days once in a while – sometimes students don’t feel well or don’t get enough sleep the night before taking a test, making it difficult to do their best. Taking the test again is a “safety net,” allowing students to relax and approach the test feeling more at ease than if it was their only shot.

Another advantage to taking the test multiple times is that, in general, students become more comfortable with the ACT or SAT the more times they see it. After receiving their initial test scores, students can evaluate where their strengths are and then focus their efforts in other areas to raise their score the next time. For example, if a student struggled with finishing the reading section in enough time on the ACT, it allows him to focus on practicing a time-management strategy prior to taking the test again.

And finally, scholarships are often available for students who earn top scores. So even if a student earned a score worthy of her dream school, she should consider taking the test again to take advantage of any possible scholarship opportunities. The extra preparation could definitely pay off in the long run.




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