3 months ago
Admissions Advice

Taking SAT multiple times

Does it look bad to take the SAT more than 3 times if you are super scoring. Also, when you super score, do you send all the tests or just the two you are using to combine scores. I have my 3rd sat in 2 weeks and was wondering if it would be my last chance. I got a perfect score on the math but my English score was 170 points less. That's a big gap and I am trying to narrow this greatly.

@elena3 months ago

Idk how super scoring works either lolll but congrats on perfect math!! That's so great!

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1 answer

3 months ago

Taking the SAT 3 or more times is acceptable if the admissions offices see some noticeable improvement or progression, so if you scored 1350, 1450, and 1520 with 3 SATs then undoubtedly, your upward score reflects your tenacity and hard work. But if your 3 tests look like 1400, 1390, 1370 with a super score of 1430, then they think you are just gaming the system trying to take the test as many times to prop up your numbers. A single test score of 1430 looks better than taking a 680 from 1 test and a 750 from another. And you mentioned you have an 800 M 630 R superscore. Congrats on the perfect math score BTW. But a well-balanced of 730 M and 700 R looks better to an admissions reader so just keep that in mind. And if you were applying to an elite liberal arts college, a 700 M 730 R, probably better still with higher composite test scores, applicants tend to get higher math scores and that's why SAT composite averages tend to be skewed toward higher math scores.

When you apply using the Common App or Coalition App, it will ask you upfront both how many times you took or will take the SAT or ACT prior to applying and what those dates are, and what the individual test components are. So you will answer truthfully like August 2020, November 2020, May 2021 and submit the test scores. I do not think it is possible to take the SAT/ACT 5 times and tell them you took them 2 times and only submit the 2 test components. Nor do I think it is possible to ethically contact the CollegeBoard or ACT.Org and instruct them only to submit 2 of the 5 test scores to the school. I also remember reading that some schools want and require the entire SAT series to be reported and submitted. And for sure, some elite colleges will not accept super scores or sometimes they accept an SAT superscore but not an ACT superscore (eg. Harvard).

Depending on how you do with the 3rd SAT, I would say that if the reading/writing gap is still 150+ points or greater, you probably should consider NOT reporting your SAT score because the majority of potential admits will have a more balanced test report which meets the testing threshold for those who submit test scores. This is one situation where going test-optional may benefit you if you have the English and Humanities grades and course rigor to back you up that you are an A student.

Hope that is useful and helpful in your admissions journey.


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