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β€’ 12/29/2020 at 03:40PM[edited]

Should I take the SAT again?

I took the SAT several months ago and surprised both myself and my parents by scoring 1500. I have been homeschooled my whole life and am finally in my senior year of high school. However, since I started my education at a young age, I am only 16 years old. We had previously planned to finish high school and take a gap year, possibly doing some more AP or dual-credit courses or getting a part-time job. After the SAT results, though, we decided to go ahead and apply for college, since I would have much higher chances if I applied right away. π˜›π˜©π˜’π˜΅ was quite a challenge: I am the oldest child, and so my parents and I had to work through everything without the help of a school counselor. I chose to apply to three schools: Houston Baptist University, University of Houston, and Rice (I live just outside of Houston, and plan to commute so I can stay close to home).

I know you're probably not interested in my life story, but I needed to tell the background to fully explain my question. My parents cannot afford to pay for my college, so I am very dependent on merit scholarships based on my SAT and GPA (4.0) to be able to attend. What I'm not sure about is: should I take the SAT again?

The main reason I've considered it is because of superscoring. When studying, I did better on the EBRW section of the test and not so hot on the math. This was true for my PSAT (EBRW 730, Math 600) and all my practice tests (A LOT). Strangely enough, my official SAT scores were: EBRW 720, Math 780. I think that if I took it a second time, I might be able to improve my reading score, thus adding a potential 30-50 points to my superscored number.

Another thing to note is that U of H and HBU do not accept superscores. Only Rice accepts them, but it is the most prestigious school on my list. I have already been accepted to HBU, but I do not know how much scholarship they have offered yet and they are my third choice of the three.

Will colleges like Rice improve the amount of scholarship offered if you improve your SAT score? Is it really worth it for me to go through the hassle of registering, finding a facility that is available due to COVID, and sitting through a several hour test?

I apologize for writing an essay on myself :), but let me know what you would do in my shoes.

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5 answers

β€’ 12/30/2020 at 03:44PM

Congrats on your great score! I just wanted to add some nuance here - if taking the SAT again will detract from your extracurriculars or schoolwork, then it's not worth it. You already have a strong score, and keep in mind that many merit scholarships are also based on your academic AND extracurricular profile, especially at a selective school like Rice.

Also, I just want to keep it real and make sure you understand that it's VERY difficult to get merit scholarships at a top school like Rice. Luckily, Rice meets 100% demonstrated need, so even without merit scholarships, you will hopefully be covered under need-based financial aid. Please run your family's info through their net price calculator to see if it would be affordable with aid.

Hope this helps, and best of luck!

Accepted Answer
β€’ 12/29/2020 at 09:48PM

I do think you should retake it, especially for this year if everything allowed. Unfortunately, I registered for SAT from March till the end of this year, but my tests got canceled EVERY SINGLE TIME!!! Even though schools say something like, "don't worry about not submitting your SAT score, we will not take that into consideration." But still, you can see from the statistics how colleges accepted a huge amount of applicants who submitted those SAT scores in the EA/ED round. In fact, you should be thankful if you get the chance to take it, cause I never have to chance to do so as a 2021er because I live in California, Santa Clara Country...Also, for the safety stuff, just make sure to be cautious, wear a mask, stay away from crowds, and you will be fine. By the way, don't forget to practice SAT wearing a mask, so that you can be more accustomed when you go to the actual testing center.

β€’ 12/29/2020 at 04:09PM

I would say that you should retake, if that's possible. I mean you have time, right?

Stats have shown that retaking SAT tends to increase the score by 40 (on average) and I'm sure that your score can increase too. You have nothing to lose by taking sat another time.

Also, I want to suggest that you try apply to universities that offer a meet-full-need aid. It might be another alternative for you. I don't really know your conditions, so this is the only thing I can say. With your score, you could potentially got accepted to all your mentioned choice. (What's the matter is the merit-based scholarship, which I don't know much about)

@Tana12/29/2020 at 04:24PM

@nomoredefer is right about applying to full-need meeting schools.

β€’ 12/29/2020 at 03:58PM

If you can take the SAT before the application deadline it certainly couldn't hurt. 1500 is a very good score though, so don't be worried if you can not take it. Also, if your parents can't afford to pay for school then you probably will qualify for at least some need-based aid.

β€’ 12/29/2020 at 04:10PM

Taking another SAT for a better score never hurts. Only if you took it 3 times or more, it would start hurting. A 1500 is a good score already.