• Talal Ali Jan

How many times can you take the SAT and which scores are considered?


Is there a limit if you’re retaking the SAT to achieve your ideal score? The answer is no. You can take the SAT as many times as you wantbut this is both time consuming and expensive. You’ll have to pay for the actual exam and then any other revised editions of books that may be released during that time. There are also other academic processes that you have to go through besides SAT and they are equally important. It is essential for you to get good grades at school along with taking part in extracurricular activities as well as internships so you can’t possibly spend the entire day studying for the SAT.


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I suggest not taking the SAT more than 2-3 times. When you take the SAT way too many times, it gives the impression to universities that you’re not taking the test seriously or you can’t figure out how to raise your score. You don’t want that, so instead of feeling relaxed and thinking, “Okay well this won’t be hard, I’ll get a good score eventually”try your best and get your ideal score in the first 2 tries.


Retaking the SAT is not a sin though. You might have missed out on concepts the first time or you might have messed up on test day because you were freaking out so it’s totally okay to give a retake. But what happens to all those scores you receive?

The first thing you need to know, before you start wondering what colleges do with multiple SAT scores, is to learn if the schools you're interested in actually require you to send the results of every SAT you took. If they don't, you may want to take the SAT a few times, and then only send your best score.


For schools that allow Score Choice, if you did poorly on one test date, you don’t need to send that score to schools, and they will never see it. This means that if you take the SAT four times, you can choose to send only your best score, or your best two scores, or as many scores as you'd like. However, this does not mean you can pick out separate section scores from tests. You have to pick one entire score.


Some schools, including certain highly selective schools like Yale and Duke, require you to send all your SAT scores.  This means that you cannot use Score Choice, and you must send these schools the scores of every SAT you took, even if there was a particular test date when you didn’t score as well as you usually do. So, if you took the SAT four times, you need to send these schools your results from each of those four test dates.


You may end up sending a school more than one SAT score, either because they require it or because you earned multiple strong scores and want schools to see them.  So what do colleges do if they receive more than one SAT score from you? There are several options, and I'll explain each below.


Super scoring

If a school uses super scoring, that means they take your highest score from each SAT test section and combine those scores into a Super score. So basically if you’ve attempted 3 SAT exams then they’ll pick out your best score from each test section, add it up and come up with a SAT score. For example if you have an 800 in the Reading and Writing section on test number 1 and 800 in the Math section on test number three, your super score will be a perfect 1600. Super scoring benefits you because you get to combine your best scores from each section of the SAT even if those scores didn’t occur in the same test. However you need to remember that not every university adopts this method so make sure you know which schools go through this process. Universities like NYU, Princeton, Stanford, MIT, Boston University and Yale super score SAT.


Highest Sitting

Some schools don’t use superscoring, but instead use your highest composite SAT score from a single test date. In these cases, you cannot combine section scores from different test dates to get a higher score. For example, if you have three scores which are, say, 1450, 1520 and 1570, your best score, 1570 will be picked. Cornell, University of Pennsylvania, California and LUMS use highest sitting method.

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