right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We've updated the Topics page of our website to better organize and share our expert content. Read more about it here.

Should I Retake the SAT? (this would be my 4th attempt...)

B2I7N2GoB2I7N2Go 18 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
I have already taken the SAT 3 times...

1) 10th grade October(2017): 1200 w/o essay, prep, and calculator

2) June 2019: 1500 w/o Essay

3) August 2019: 1510 w/ 18 essay (1520 superscore)

My top reach schools right now are Stanford, Princeton, Northwestern, and Williams. Based on the last two scores, I would say that with a bit of practice, that I can improve by at least 10 points... is this improvement worth all the effort I would have to put in for studying? I am currently prepping for my October subject tests and would take the SAT again if I choose in November or December (if there is still time) to help with my RD profile as I am most likely applying to a higher EA school or using questbridge if I am selected as a finalist. Would colleges look down at me taking the SAT 4 times, even though there was an obvious improvement between the first and second tests?
edited September 10
15 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Should I Retake the SAT? (this would be my 4th attempt...)

  • joecollege44joecollege44 92 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    For 10 points? Don’t waste your time and energy. Your score is good. If you don’t get in, it won’t be because of your SAT.
    · Reply · Share
  • B2I7N2GoB2I7N2Go 18 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @joecollege44 how about my essay score? I may be applying to Princeton under a something like history or English, will my 18 in my essay and a 730 EBRW reflect poorly in these regards?
    · Reply · Share
  • lookingforwardlookingforward 33603 replies369 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Again, for those colleges, it's the individual scores that matter, not the total. Decide based on what "needs" to be improved. Line those ducks up with the right understanding. IOW, you may want to improve that EBRW, for a humanities major. Your decision. The bar sits around 750, but maybe you think you'll try wth a 730.

    As for the Essay, when I previously suggested getting a "clear" understanding, I do mean vetting what you can from what the colleges actually say and show.

    From their web site: "Princeton no longer requires applicants to submit the optional writing section of the SAT or ACT (the SAT Essay or ACT Writing Test)..."

    You wat to learn as much as you can, in order to make the right application that serves you best.
    · Reply · Share
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5405 replies1 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    1510 is very good, and is a huge increase from your first score.

    I think that you should consider the SAT to be something that you are finished with, and focus on other aspects related to your senior year of high school plus university applications. It is not as if you have nothing else to do.
    · Reply · Share
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 29255 replies57 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Are you applying early to any schools? Your focus now should be on the subject tests.

    If you want to give the SAT one more try, I would take it AFTER sending out all the applications and only send the new test score if it’s higher. My kids would not do this, Not sure if I would, but if this is something bothering you, I’d give it a try

    I have read blurbs written by selective college AOs that they look down upon more than 3 attempts at the Tests, but I know plenty who took two swipes at the ACT and two at the SAT, maybe 3. If this is concerning, split your school list in half and send just the 3 scores to one set of schools and 4 (if improved) to the other half.
    · Reply · Share
  • dropbox77177dropbox77177 263 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited September 10
    I personally wouldn't retake the SAT. 730 EBRW should be good enough, as the main "hook" for your application is going to be your low income status (based on your other thread).

    My only caveat is if your writing and language subscore is 38 or below. Section 2 is the easiest section in my opinion to make large gains. Anyone good at math should be able to get a perfect 40 on it, as 40-42 questions (out of 44 total) are simply rules-based exercises. Read the Erica Meltzer prep book, and do every QAS SAT writing and language section you can (you can search reddit for links to all 17 "real" SATs out there). So, if your current subscore is 38 or below and you are willing to put in the work, you should be able to pick up ~20 additional EBRW points.

    For various reasons, it is very difficult to improve the reading subscore once you are scoring in the 36+ range. At least it's very difficult to do quickly. Those last 4 to 5 questions can be very tricky. Nevertheless, there is always a random component to testing, and an additional 10 or 20 points here is possible at your current level of preparedness.

    Since you scored a 780 on math, I am sure I don't have to tell you that SAT math is very easy. You undoubtedly made a silly error or two of the type that the SAT test writers pride themselves in creating. Careful reading comprehension and answer checking strategies in the math sections could get you to an 800. Again, carefully doing QAS math sections is the answer.

    So, in sum, I would not overly concern myself with prepping for a 4th SAT attempt. However, if the above analysis is applicable and the prep ideas resonate with you, a 30-50 point improvement should be possible. 1560+ does look a little better than 1520, but again your main "hook" is going to be your low income and disadvantaged school story, and even 30-40 additional SAT points will only confer a small benefit.
    edited September 10
    · Reply · Share
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3989 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You would have to get it to 1530 to make it worth it. Another ten points gives you basically the same score. Be happy with your score and move on. If your class grades are good you should be fine.

    I am more troubled with the schools your applying to. Have many safeties since there is little chance for anyone to get into those schools especially OOS.
    · Reply · Share
  • dropbox77177dropbox77177 263 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited September 10
    OP has an excellent shot at Williams, because he has already been invited to WoW next week or the week after next. I would really look around while there, ask questions, try to picture if it would work for you. Great school, and better than the other 3 mentioned in my opinion if the goal is med school acceptance someday.
    edited September 10
    · Reply · Share
  • B2I7N2GoB2I7N2Go 18 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you guys for the advice.

    @dropbox77177 I have a perfect score on the writing language section, so I would be trying to improve the reading comprehension part this time.

    @cptofthehouse I am applying early/using Questrbridge. I am working on my SAT 2s in Math 2s and Biology on October 5th. And will retake in November if unsatisfied.

    @Knowsstuff as Dropbox77177 mentioned, I was invited to Williams WOW, so that offers me a boost to my admission to the school. Williams is one of my top choices, however, I do have 2 state flagship schools lined up, and will happily attend them(both in state schools that will offer fair FA)
    · Reply · Share
  • coolguy40coolguy40 2086 replies2 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    In my life's experience as a working professional, I've discovered that prestige is rarely as good as you think it is. And you should never accept an offer at face value either. Choosing a college...or a job is really a matter of how well it fits. Is Stanford a great fit? Maybe...but no more than any other school. Should you accept it if offered? Maybe, take your time and think about it. You're choosing them, not the other way around.
    · Reply · Share
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3990 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    FWIW, my kid's "record" when he took the tests 2.5 years ago, which probably would mirror your expected results:

    11th Grade Jan - 1500 (700RW, 800Math), 18 essay
    11th Grade June - 1520 (720RW, 800Math), 19 essay
    August - 1540 (740RW, 800Math), 22 essay

    He also took the ACT, which was 33 in June, 35 in Sept.

    He ultimately got rejected at places like Stanford, Northwestern, UCLA, and Vanderbilt. So not sure if spending all that time on the additional tests really mattered that much.
    · Reply · Share
  • Techno13Techno13 125 replies5 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I would not retake. 1510 will not adversely your admissions anywhere and will not be viewed differently from 1520-30. Focus on other things that will positively impact your app.
    · Reply · Share
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3989 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @ProfessorPlum168... Funny.. It seems everyone gets rejected from Vanderbilt around here.. Lol.. Including us.. Lol 😉
    · Reply · Share
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3990 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Knowsstuff wrote: »
    @ProfessorPlum168... Funny.. It seems everyone gets rejected from Vanderbilt around here.. Lol.. Including us.. Lol 😉

    Hehe, it was kind of a silly and sentimental reason why he applied to Vanderbilt since it’s not all that well known for CS. Back in 6th grade, he won a national chess championship in Nashville and had fond memories of visiting and eating on campus. His niece who had even better stats than him got rejected too. Oh well...
    · Reply · Share
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 3989 replies16 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Funny, we were at the same chess tournament most likely the supernationals that happen every 4 years my son was in 8th grade but was invited by the high school team to go with, which was a very cool experience for him but basically the same reason.. Haha.... Sorry he played OK but didn't win a national championship.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity