Should I Retake the SAT?

I recently took two SAT’s in March and I’m not sure if I should take it a third time. I got a 1520 on my first one (730 V 790 M) and a 1490 on my second one (710 V 780 M) . The higher verbal score was about 20-30 points below what I was scoring on practice tests. If I were to take the SAT again, it would be the May test date. I’ve already signed up for it but I can cancel it if it’s not worth taking (I first wanted to see how I did on the March school day SAT). I’m taking the AP Lang exam this year, which has a MC section similar to the SAT reading. I want to apply to some selective schools (Tufts, NYU, Brown, Vanderbilt). Would a higher score make much of a difference?

Thanks for your advice!

I doubt that “how much” a difference a higher score makes is a question that can be answered. In general, a higher score is better than a lower score, until you at or above 1550 or so where you’re simply in the “top” scoring group. The difference between 1520 and 1550 is unlikely to be large. But every schools has a “last 10 students admitted” and “first 10 students declined”, and the differences between applicants at that level are extremely small.

It may be a question of how confident you are that you can score better, how much time you will invest to take it again, and what else you could do with that time.

Given that it’s in the very near future, that you’ve already registered and only get $10 back for canceling, and almost all schools allow score choice these days, I’d probably lean towards taking it.

Thanks for your reply. I’m not really sure how much better I’ll do if I retake it. I was thinking that studying for my Lang test would help with the SAT reading (that section was my lowest scoring section). I’m still on the fence though. With so many schools going test-optional, it seems like the SAT is not as important as it seems. I think I’ll retake it with some reading prep and see how I do.

It’s not unusual for the difference between those scores to be zero on the raw score. The SAT is scored on a curve. If you happen to take it with a bunch of other strong testers, your score will be lower. Schools know this. My son is a good example. He made a careless mistake (he know that because it was in the easiest category :rofl:) on the math section and missed a single answer. It pushed him down to 760. In the old format, getting one answer wrong on math could result in a score anywhere between 760 and 800. He just took it with a bunch of other stron math students so that mistake hurt more. On another day it would have been an 800.

For the question I got wrong for my first testing date I accidentally bubbled my answer for a percent question as a decimal instead of a percent (if the answer was 12% I bubbled in .12 instead of 12). I got lucky though because I only lost 10 points from that. :sweat_smile:

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