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SAT and ACT - How many attempts?

rs23364rs23364 Posts: 2Registered User New Member
edited April 2009 in Parents Forum
Recently, I read that beginning 2009, a student can make more than 3 attempts at SAT and the highest scores by Math/Verbal/Writing ACROSS the attempts can be selected for reporting to college applications.

Also how many attempts can one make for ACT?
Post edited by rs23364 on

Replies to: SAT and ACT - How many attempts?

  • nngmmnngmm Posts: 5,708Registered User Senior Member
    you can take ACT as many times as you are willing to pay for, and spend a Saturday taking it.

    I am pretty sure that you will not be able to pick individual section of SAT to report - it will have to be a score from one sitting.
  • NewHope33NewHope33 Posts: 6,208Registered User Senior Member
    IMHO, twice is enough ACT tries. Many students have difficulty with the Science section the first time they take the ACT, as it emphasizes interpretation rather than knowledge. As for the SAT, it may depend of how many times the student has taken the SAT before 11th grade. (Taking the SAT in 7th and 10th grade has become more common here in the northeast, making their third take the first "real" attempt.)
  • tokenadulttokenadult Posts: 17,473Super Moderator Senior Member
    Here's my FAQ on repeated test-taking. Follow the links for maximum information.

    ONE-TIME TEST-TAKING

    Colleges have given up trying to distinguish one-time test-takers from two-time or three-time or even four-time test-takers, because that wasn't useful information to the colleges. There are a number of reasons for that.

    1) The colleges have utterly no way of knowing who spends all his free time practicing taking standardized tests and who takes them "cold."

    2) The colleges are well aware that students who have actually taken the tests sometimes cancel scores, so they have little incentive to give students bonus consideration if the students submit only one test score.

    3) The colleges are aware that students who take the admission tests at middle-school age, who are numerous, do not have their earlier test scores submitted by default.

    SAT Younger than 13

    Hoagies' Gifted: Talent Search Programs

    Duke TIP - Interpreting SAT and ACT Scores for 7th Grade Students

    4) Colleges are aware that the majority of students who take the SAT at all take it more than once.

    http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/Avg_Scores_of_Repeat_Test_Takers.pdf

    5) Colleges are in the business of helping students learn, and they don't mind students taking efforts to improve their scores. They know that students prepare for tests.

    From the New York Times: "Although coaching would no doubt continue if subject tests replaced the SAT, at least students would be focused on content as much as test-taking strategies, Mr. Murray said. There would also be pressure to improve local high school curriculums so that students were prepared, he wrote.

    "These arguments make sense to Mr. Fitzsimmons [dean of admission at Harvard], who said, 'People are going to prepare anyway, so they might as well study chemistry or biology.' He added that 'the idea of putting more emphasis on the subject tests is of great interest' to his group."

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/education/19sat.html?pagewanted=print

    6) And now the College Board is back in the business of letting students choose which test scores to send into colleges,

    Score Choice - New SAT Score-Reporting Policy

    so now there is less reason than ever to suppose that colleges care how many times you take the test, because the colleges have no way to know how many times you took the test officially.

    Colleges treat applicants uniformly now by considering their highest scores, period.

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/parents-forum/349391-retake-how-many-times-take-sat-act.html#post4198038

    http://www.admissions.college.harvard.edu/utilities/electronic_resources/viewbook/Rollo0809_GuideApplying.pdf

    From the Harvard admission office: "If you submit more than one set of scores for any of the required tests, the Admissions Committee considers only your best scores—even if your strongest SAT Subject Tests or portions of the SAT Reasoning Test were taken on different dates."

    See also a Newsweek article about the renewed score choice policy adopted by College Board.

    Reactions to College Board's SAT Score Choice | Newsweek Education | Newsweek.com

    Some colleges want to see all scores a student has ever obtained, period, but as one admission officer asks, if "a student submits a single best sitting of 2320," does anyone really care "how low were her other score sets?"
  • Dad IIDad II Posts: 2,150Registered User Senior Member
    For Standard tests, IMHOP, it is not about how many times but how high is high enough. For example, there is really not reason to take the ACT again if the students gets a 35 or higher on the first time and the sub scores are relatively even.
  • susan4susan4 Posts: 267Registered User Junior Member
    tokenadult,

    Should students ask College Board to keep their scores from 7th grade in College Board file system? If they did, will their 7th grade score (say they earned scores around 2100 as 7th graders) help with their college admissions 5 years down the road?
  • nngmmnngmm Posts: 5,708Registered User Senior Member
    I doubt that any scores earned in 7th grade will have any effect on college admissions, and I can't see any reason keeping them on file. Most probably the student who scored 2100 in 7th grade will get a close-to-perfect score as a junior/senior, which is all he needs.
  • fendrockfendrock Posts: 2,860Registered User Senior Member
    FWIW, my daughter took each test only once.

    She took a mock SAT, then the PSAT. Her first SAT score was in line with how she did on the mock SAT and the PSAT. She then took the ACT, and the score was equivalent to her SAT score.

    My conclusion was that this was her "true" score and she did not retake either test.
  • tokenadulttokenadult Posts: 17,473Super Moderator Senior Member
    Should students ask College Board to keep their scores from 7th grade in College Board file system?

    It really depends on the individual situation. My story is that I had wrong advice from another parent who didn't check her facts that my son's sixth grade scores would be stored forever, although not always on his score report. I thought I could retrieve those scores at will, so I didn't worry about it. When my son was in eighth grade, he took another SAT Reasoning Test, and also took the SAT Subject Test Math Level 2. I was bothered when both of those scores disappeared from his score report, but then I STILL figured I could readily ask for them to be restored. I was more than a little annoyed to find out, when I started inquiring about this in the fall of my son's ninth grade year, that College Board customer disservice representatives said the scores were "purged"--EVEN the SAT II score--and could not be restored. I eventually reached a senior supervisor at College Board who was able to restore my son's eighth grade scores, but not his sixth grade scores. An 800 is a terrible thing to waste.

    He has to take the SAT once more, and that is slated for this school year (eleventh grade) to match up with his PSAT score, which surely qualifies for National Merit Semifinalist status next year. I tell parents who want to keep scores about the webpage,

    SAT Younger than 13

    which was specifically revised at my personal suggestion, about how to preserve Talent Search scores. That can be a good idea if the score is high. It can't hurt even if the score is average.
  • tokenadulttokenadult Posts: 17,473Super Moderator Senior Member
    Should students ask College Board to keep their scores from 7th grade in College Board file system?

    It really depends on the individual situation. My story is that I had wrong advice from another parent who didn't check her facts that my son's sixth grade scores would be stored forever, although not always on his score report. I thought I could retrieve those scores at will, so I didn't worry about it. When my son was in eighth grade, he took another SAT Reasoning Test, and also took the SAT Subject Test Math Level 2. I was bothered when both of those scores disappeared from his score report, but then I STILL figured I could readily ask for them to be restored. I was more than a little annoyed to find out, when I started inquiring about this in the fall of my son's ninth grade year, that College Board customer disservice representatives said the scores were "purged"--EVEN the SAT II score--and could not be restored. I eventually reached a senior supervisor at College Board who was able to restore my son's eighth grade scores, but not his sixth grade scores. An 800 is a terrible thing to waste.

    He has to take the SAT once more, and that is slated for this school year (eleventh grade) to match up with his PSAT score, which surely qualifies for National Merit Semifinalist status next year. I tell parents who want to keep scores about the webpage,

    SAT Younger than 13

    which was specifically revised at my personal suggestion, about how to preserve Talent Search scores. That can be a good idea if the score is high. It can't hurt even if the score is average.
  • susan4susan4 Posts: 267Registered User Junior Member
    I asked that question because I went to the link you cited. I thought scores from talent search programs would be gone in one year.
    D1 took SAT with Duke TIP at 7th grade, got 1370 (V650/M720). She had light Prep then (doing a few sample tests under time constrains). She never needed study SAT again in high school other than sitting through PSAT yearly as required by her school (IB program) and took SAT only once in high school. She is a college freshman.
    D2 just took Dec. SAT as part of Duke TIP and earned a high score (every portion above 650 and 800 for math). I should probably ask College Board to keep her score then. Thanks tokenadult for making College Board revising its policy.
  • lspf72lspf72 Posts: 2,606Registered User Senior Member
    There's been a lot written recently about the SAT going back to score choice -- where you can choose the sitting that you submit to a college, rather than have them see the complete record of all your attempts (good AND bad).
    Have also read recently that some colleges have opted out of score choice, and can require students to submit all the sittings. What I didn't realize is that they can do this for the ACT as well.
  • KelownaKelowna Posts: 2,682Registered User Senior Member
    I am glad I found this thread :)
    Thank you tokenadult for your explanation. I have been toying with an idea of preserving kid1 scores but now I really have to make up my mind since he is graduating from 8th grade next month. Kid1 took SAT in 6th, 7th and 8th grade as part of a talent search (really stupid idea of re-testing every year but that is how they make money I guess). His scores have been increasing each year. His current stands at 2170 with a 9 for essay There are no 800 there, but there is a 790. I guess it won't harm him to save this score, right?
    He is also scheduled to write SAT II Math in June - anybody knows how much time do we have after this test to request to keep his score permanent? Hoping here for a good one, obviously, so it is worth keeping ;)
  • tokenadulttokenadult Posts: 17,473Super Moderator Senior Member
    There's sure no harm in keeping a set of scores like that from middle school age.
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