how many times should I take tha SATs?
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The Collegeboard who makes the SAT recommends that students take the SAT "at least" twice. That means 2 or more times.
I have my own personal reasons for agreeing with that.
1.) You might get a curved test that day that doesn't work in your favor. See the SAT does curve its tests and sometimes the math is really hard or easy and sometimes the English sections are really hard or easy. They don't tell you what SAT you are going to get in advance but within 15 minutes of taking the test, the Reddit posts are all telling you what it was because some kids will complain about how hard the math was or how easy the English section was And then that is confirmed when they get the scores back in 15 days again on Reddit when someone will post "I only missed I question on the math and got a 770' and someone else will chime in that "I only missed 2 and got a 750 but last time I missed 4 and got a 760....boo hoo poor me... I have to take it again." So on that day, the Math was curved easy so lots of people on average did well but if you weren't nearly perfect you weren't going to get the best math score.
2. You might be having a bad day for whatever reason. You might feel anxious, ill, be actually sick, or just not feeling well to perform your best. With COVID-19 protocols, you might not be used to wearing a mask for 4 straight hours, you might be upset that other people at the test center are coughing and not wearing a mask. You might have not gotten a good night's sleep.
3. Since so much of how well you do on the SAT has to do with whether or not you have mastered SAT test-taking versus mastering the content or material covered in the test, you just might too overconfident that you know what you are doing. You've taken 3-5 practice tests and each time you've gotten better scores and now you last got a 1500 so you feel you are ready. So you take the test and voila you leave the test center feeling you nailed it. Then 15 days later you get your score back and it's 1390. You didn't nail it. The Collegeboard nailed you because you didn't master taking 2 or 3 sections of the test. Therefore, it makes sense to take like 10 practice tests and learn as many test-taking tips as possible.
4. Let's face the facts. Standardized tests are useful but they are a double-edged sword for everyone. a.) Collegeboard is providing colleges a service but they are in it to make as much money as possible. The less straight forward they can make the test so they can make more money selling books and additional tests and premium services the better. The more money they can make by selling your data the better. The more money they can collect through their test prep partners like Kaplan, Princeton, etc the better. It's a standardized testing Kabal and you have to play the game. Also, let's face the facts about the inequity of the SAT. Rich people can game it better than poor people purely on economics. Sure there is Khan academy but that's not a perfect level playing field, that just makes the jagged mountain of inequity look like some rolling hills. Rich people can spend hundreds of dollars on test prep books. They can afford $$$$ thousands on SAT test prep and sometimes even spend upwards of $50,000 to hire a top private college advisor for their kid who creates a master plan for them starting in 8th grade until 12th grade. Financial resources or lack thereof creates an SAT testing gap of up to 250 points. Are all Asians kids genetically more brilliant than African American kids? No. But when you look at SAT stats, they score 250 points higher than AA kids year over year.
5. Lastly, you want to benefit from the superscore option. So if you get a 690 E, 760 M on test one for a 1450 and a 750 E, and 700 M for 1450 on test 2 you get a superscore of 1510. What? 60 points higher even though you got the same score? Yep.
Copied from the Collegeboard website.
How many times can a student take the SAT, and when should they take it?
Students can take the SAT as many times as they want. We recommend that they take it at least twice—in the spring of their junior year and the fall of their senior year.
Most students get a higher score the second time, and most colleges consider a student's highest SAT score when making admission decisions. And if they get a total SAT score by at least 100 points higher than their previous SAT score, they could be eligible to earn an Improve Your Score scholarship worth $2,000.
Another reason to take the SAT a second time is that many schools use a process called "superscoring." Superscoring is when a college combines a student's highest Math section score with their highest Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section score, even if those scores are from different test dates, to come up with the student's total SAT score.
Colleges that superscore the SAT -
Colleges that do not superscore the SAT -
There is no maximum number of times you can take the SAT. With that being said, most advising centers including Prepscholar and Collegevine recommend that you take the SAT a maximum of four times. After four attempts with no meaningful score gain, college admissions officers may think you have nothing better to do than take tests. You should take your SAT as many times as needed to get the maximum possible score. For me, that was 2 attempts to get me to a 1520. For others, it may take one attempt, and for some other students, it could take four attempts. It really depends on how much prep it takes to get you the score you need for the colleges you are applying to.
While admissions offices do sometimes ask for all test scores, they only take the highest score you have. In fact, some colleges, like the University of Southern California do something called superscoring, where they take the highest score from each section across multiple test dates. For example, if you get a 750 math, 650 english on one test, and a 700 math 700 english on a second test, the college will take your highest math and highest english and superscore to 1450 total. However, only some colleges do this, so it is best to check a school's policy.