Inside tips and advice from AcceptU's team of former admissions officers


Should I retake the SAT?

May 29, 2012, Posted In Standardized Testing

Thousands of high school juniors have recently taken the SAT, ACT and SAT Subject Tests and should have their scores. But now what?

Are you done? Or do you need to retake the tests to get higher scores?

First, you should note that hundreds of colleges no longer place an emphasis on standardized tests; check out the list. Some colleges require no testing, while others might ask for you to send in your choice of exams, like AP or IB scores, for example. It’s a good idea to study for and take tests so that you remain eligible to apply to colleges this fall.

Second, consider your options and strategize.

Have you begun to make a college list, and is that list reasonable based on your GPA and test scores? If your scores place you among the top 25% of current students at the schools on your list, and your GPA is solid, then there’s a good chance that school is a match (or even possibly a safety) for you. If your scores fall in the bottom 25%, however, then chances are the school is a reach for you.

You’ll want to find a mix of schools with averages that fall below, at, and above your own SAT and ACT scores so that you apply to a balanced list.

If your sights are set on colleges with SAT and ACT averages above your scores, you will need to re-evaluate your list. Or, you might want to try and raise your scores – study this summer! The ACT will be offered again in September, October and December; and the SAT (and SAT Subject Tests) will be offered in October, November and December. You’ll still have enough time to apply to colleges by the January 1 deadline. (If you’re considering applying to a school through an early action or decision program, though, your testing needs to be completed by November.)

Make sure you have your first round of testing completed by June, if possible – that will give you realistic guidance on which colleges you should visit this summer. And, good luck with the SAT and ACT in June!