Should I take the ACT or SAT again?

Are you unsatisfied with your last official score? Thinking about signing up for the next upcoming SAT or ACT?

Read on to find out whether you should take the test again!

  1. Determine your target score. You can calculate this by researching average score ranges for colleges you are interested in applying to. Reasonable score increase goals are usually 1-7 points for the ACT and 50-200 points for the SAT.

  2. Did you underperform on your last test? Is your official ACT score 2 or more points lower than your practice tests? Likewise for the SAT, are your official SAT scores 50 or more points lower than your official SAT practice test scores? Did you forget your calculator, come down with a cold or lose your watch? If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider re-taking the test for a fresh score.

  3. How many times have you taken the official test? If you’ve taken it once, definitely try again and make sure to put in some solid study time beforehand! If you’ve taken the official test two or more times, it may be time to take a break from testing and instead, figure out how to strategically improve your scores. Could it be due to not knowing test content fully? Timing related, i.e. not finishing all test sections in time? Do you need to take more practice tests to gain more exposure to the test? Really think about what you can do differently or even just start doing to help you raise your scores for the next date. Which leads us to the next question.…

  4. Have you prepped, and if so, how much? If your scores are fluctuating, you may need to establish a more regular study schedule and take practice tests regularly for 8-12 weeks up until your test date. If your scores have plateaued, continue to the next question.

  5. What classes have you taken in school? If your math scores are stagnant, you may need to complete IM3/PreCalc before retaking the test. If your reading and science scores are lagging, focus on building reading comprehension skills & test-taking strategies in your English, history, and science classes. How can you do this? Start reading outside of school.

  6. Are you planning to superscore?  If your schools of choice superscore, it may help to take the test a second or third time and focus on one or two sections that need the most improvement.

These are simple and easy questions to ask yourself to help you decide whether to sign up for the next official ACT or SAT test date.

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