Retake 1530?

breakdown → 750 rw, 780 m
i took it just twice. my first was 750 rw, 680 m lol
(i got a 750 on the psat math the month right after & got a 730 on an sat practice test several months before so the drop was perplexing…)
but regardless i went up that hundred points by studying and stuff. i havent studied for like a single second for reading/writing, though, beyond doing maybe like <10 passages on khan academy and then 2 more when i took two full-length practice tests before my test. but i didnt do any real intensive studying or practice.
if i retake it, it would definitely be in august, and my aim at that point would be drive up my english score (i believe most or all of my colleges superscore.) the thing is, though, is it worth it? my summer plans are a 15hr/wk internship, a saturday job (nothing srs lol, but im guessing like eight hours per week obviously), and my parents r forcing me to attend something that takes up like 20 hours of my week in the month of july (it’s not academically OR socially constructive LOL).
im also hoping to finish my common app essay and at least start with the standard supplements (“why school?” essays and so on). and i obviously want to hang out with my friends and go out and stuff!!! it’s summer break. so should i really add sat studying on top of that? i know a 1550 is “ideal” or whatever, and i also know im not pushing myself beyond my capabilities like if i were to reach for that score; i definitely could get that score. i could even get higher than that! like im capable of it. but i would have to incorporate practice into my schedule, and i just want to know, honestly, is that the best thing to be committing time to in an already busy summer? like, i dont think the sat is The most important thing in the world, but, to be fair, i am quite a lackluster applicant in other areas (for the reach schools that im aiming for, obviously! im proud of what ive accomplished in high school :)).
thank u !!!

I think this score is good. A 20 point difference isn’t going to make or break your application, a 1500+ score is really good. If your summer is busy, personally I don’t think you need to retake it. The difference between 1530 and 1550 is like 2-3 questions. For reference, I got a 1550 (790M & 760 R), lost 10 points because of 1 math question.

The only way I see retaking it as useful is for the presidential scholars program. That just takes the SAT score when you are a senior(I’m assuming you’re a junior right now), and if it is one of the highest SAT scores in your state, you get chooses and I think there’s some good prize money. Even then, retake it later in the year when you are officially a senior.

More info: U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

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i’ve never heard of the presidential scholars program!!! that is extremely helpful. thank you so much for informing me about it :)!!

As with any scholarship, make sure you meet the eligibility. This is an invitational-only, so you don’t need to apply anywhere. Just make sure you do good on your senior year SAT. Good Luck!

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@lightbulbz Presidential Scholars get a paid trip to Washington DC. I don’t believe there is any prize money associated with it. It’s also extremely competitive, in most states there are two scholars named, in high population states like California there are a few more. Nominees are announced in February or March and it requires many essays to move forward at a time when you are probably going to be sick of writing essays.

You’ve taken the test twice and had a meaningful increase between the two sittings, congrats! However, any increase from 1530 is going to be much tougher. You could stay the same or even go down. I don’t think that acceptances are going to hinge on 1530 vs. 1550+


Thanks for clarifying. It seems really prestigious, the maximum amount of award recipients is 161. You also are awarded the Presidential Medallion in a ceremony sponsored by the White House.

I agree with mamaedefamilia. Test scores are increasingly less important. Take it again if you like, but understand that your score can go down too. At this level, one or two points makes a big difference.

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Your score is a good one. Give yourself a break from testing and have a good summer. You deserve it! You all have had a challenging year, take time to do some things you really enjoy. If you have any time/desire to do the college stuff the time spent thinking about your essays won’t be wasted. My daughter started all of hers in September and it was pretty challenging to get them all done.

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If you are aiming for the most selective schools it is probably worth a retake. With test-optional, a 1530 is now probably around or even below the median at those schools.

That said, if retaking will take away time from improving your transcript or distinguishing your application in other ways, you should probably skip it. The transcript is more important than ever, and even a 1600 isn’t going to cover for weaknesses there (unless perhaps you are significantly hooked).

Good luck.


thank you!! :slight_smile:

yup, i kind of got that impression from my senior friends!! i also enjoy writing anyway, so that’s a plus. thank you :smiley:

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It is prestigious. However, it also has no bearing on college admissions because the nomination and application process only begins after your college applications are submitted. It is still worth a try. I know a number of students who were nominated and I even know one who got it. But I wouldn’t try to up my SAT score for the minute chance of getting this award. Especially if you are from a state where the national merit qualifying score is high, like CA or TX, you might need near perfect scores (1580+) to get a nomination.

Fwiw, the US Presidential Scholars program doesn’t require a Senior year SAT. In fact, only two test dates Senior year qualify. Tests can go back to 9th grade.

score exceptionally well on either the SAT of the College Board or the ACT of the American College Testing Program, based on tests taken during the year window that begins in September, 2017 and runs through October, 2020, (for the recognition cycle concluding in June, 2021)

Unless you’re in one of the 10 or so smaller states, 1570/1580 is probably the cutoff. 1590 for a few largest states, by my estimates.


It’s important to note that this is “for students who submitted scores”. 1530 is unlikely to be below median of actual scores at more than maybe 2-4 schools, based on 2021 CDS data.

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