2 years ago
Admissions Advice

To retake the SAT or not

I have taken the sat recently in my senior year..in august 28 2020,i couldn’t before due to covid lockdown in my country ..i got a 1400/1600 that was the 97th percentile this year..should i retake it or not..in December..i can score like 50 to 60 points more i think..but i have midterms coming up in november..that contribute a big deal to my main score..so i am just confused

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4 answers

Accepted Answer
2 years ago[edited]

The decision to take it or not should not be based on your 1410 but on what your college list looks like. A 1410/3.8 GPA might be a great combination at UC San Diego but not at UC Berkeley. Also, it depends on whether you are applying to colleges with the intent of getting the most financial aid or not. It might be good enough to get into Virginia Tech but not the University of Virginia.

I'm bringing these points up not just for you but all the other 9th-12th graders with similar stats.

If a college has low acceptance rates and high yields but doesn't spend much financial aid toward merit awards/scholarships, they are what some refer to in the business of higher education as "sellers". They are the clout schools that don't have to dole out much merit aid because there is pent-up demand for these schools. They get to pick and choose exactly whom they want. The majority of their aid is need-based, not merit-based. So in this group of sellers, you have all the Ivy's, Elites, and some of the best Liberal Arts Colleges. If you are a low-income, first-generation, BIPOC, applicant you are going to increase your chance of getting accepts by applying to a "seller". If you are upper-middle or rich, you are going to pay full price with no discounts.

If a college has slightly higher or much higher acceptance rates, low yields, and spends say 1/3 or 3/4s of their financial aid budget on merit aid, then they are referred to as buyers. Many of these colleges are need-aware, not need-blind so their priority in filling out their class is not to load up the bus with the most marginalized applicants. They are looking for applicants who have some means to pay but still expect a discount on the tuition. They are not looking to give 200 poor applicants a full ride but 500 people a 1/4 to a 1/2 ride. Schools that are "buyers" are Tulane, Case Wester, NorthEastern, University of Miami, Clemson, SMU, TCU, University of Pittsburgh, Syracuse, American University, George Washington University, Chapman, Occidental, and Pepperdine. If you are poor and need a full-ride, for the most part, you're out of luck unless someone singles you out and strongly advocates for you. Whether you are low-income, middle class, or upper-middle class, if you are a stand-out applicant with stats above the typical applicant, you will get some merit aid.

So your BIG NAME Top Buyers in addition to the ones mentioned are going to be:

University of Alabama

University of Oregon

Colorado School of Mines

Texas A&M

Florida Int'l University

Indiana University

University of Mississippi

Auburn University

Howard University

University of Wisconsin

Ball State

Stevens Institute of Tech.

Indiana State



Most SUNY and CUNY campuses

Trinity College

Trinity University


University of Florida

University of Arizona

Rhodes College

University of Portland


University of Delaware

Oregon State


Seton Hall

Michigan State

2 years ago[edited]

Hi there @Jhanavi,

I would measure your score against your prospective school list to see if you meet the threshold for those universities. It really depends where you're trying to get in and also on the overall strength of your application. After you've determined your school list, you can input your information into our chancing engine's fields to determine what your chances are.

If your score is lower than you'd like it to be, one option is retaking the exam. You can also compensate without retaking the SAT if the other components of your application, like GPA, extracurriculars, and essay, are strong enough.

Finally, if your score is very outside of the range you need to get in, check if your prospective school is test-optional and consider that option. Again, the rest of your application components need to be strong to compensate for the lack of test score, but it might better your chances of getting in depending on your circumstances.

Hope this helps and good luck!

2 years ago

1400 is a major score and is already sufficient for most colleges....

But this depends on which college you are trying for.

If you feel like more sat score is required for the particular college that you are gonna apply.. Go and do that test again!

2 years ago

1400 is a good score. Don't retake if your ECs and GPA is good.

What are your chances of acceptance?
Your chance of acceptance
Duke University
+ add school
Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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