a year ago
Admissions Advice

How many test should I take?

I’m a sophomore and thought I’d get a head start and just take a blind SAT test with no preparation at all. I intentionally kept my focus away from it beforehand because I wanted it to be no pressure so I could just see exactly the things I needed to work on. I felt like it definitely wasn’t my best work, especially since I was so groggy, and I got a 1280 (690r 590m). It’s nowhere near where I want, and I don’t really regret it, but now I’m unsure whether or not that was harmful to my future testing. I thought it was no big deal since the colleges I am interested in don’t require you to submit all scores, but my friends said I wasted an attempt and it will look bad on transcripts if I end up having to take it a couple more times anyway. How much can an SAT score be raised with preparation in a year? Is it bad to take the test more than a few times? And if I decide to take the ACT as well, would it be bad to do the same thing, or is it important that my first one is strong?

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2 answers

Accepted Answer
a year ago

Hi @Gingerw!

First of all, you should've at least taken a practice test before going for the actual SAT. I suggest you take a practice ACT to know whether you find it easier than the SAT. After identifying what works better for you, stick to either SAT/ACT.

It's not bad to take a test more than once; many students do that hoping to improve their scores. However, you should NEVER go unprepared for an actual test. You can find practice tests online and solve them with no stakes in your admissions. Your first score doesn't necessarily have to be your strongest one, (in most cases it won't be) but that doesn't mean you should be careless about it.

How much your score can be raised is a really subjective question. No one can tell you a specific number. It all depends on your skills and dedication to improve them. There is a lot of scope for improvement in your current score. If you're giving the SAT next Spring, you'll be giving the digital SAT. Khan Academy has resources for digital SAT preparation. After opening Khan Academy SAT, select that you'll be giving the SAT outside the US; this will take you to the digital practice.

Hope this helps!

a year ago

Hey! I am also a Sophomore and I just took the PSAT. While colleges can see how frequently you take the SAT, I think they care more about the top score they see. If you choose to take it again your junior year and get a higher score, they'll probably end up looking more at that. Overall, I wouldn't stress too much about it because standardized test scores are not the end all be all when it comes to admissions. They also take into account grades, letters of recommendation, extra curricular, and location! I hope this helps!

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Duke University
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Your chancing factors
Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


Low accuracy (4 of 18 factors)

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