Can You Retake the SAT? Full Process Explained

can you retake the sat

How many times can i take the SAT? Can you retake the SAT the same year? How many times can you take the SAT in a year? These are just some of the questions we get from students on almost a daily basis, especially when the SATs are getting close. We know, the SAT is a very important test and you want to get the highest score. This is why we will do our best to explain everything about this test in this blog.

Is a 1530 SAT score any good? What about a 1500 SAT score? We will tell you more about SAT scores and percentiles, as well as show you what your options are if you don’t get the score you want from the first try. In addition, we will talk about what you can expect from your next try and what colleges think about you retaking the tests. Let’s start with a bit of information about the SAT.

Detailed Information About the SAT

The SAT is, as you probably know, a standardized test administered by the Educational Testing Service on behalf of the College Board. It is mostly used for college admissions in the United States, so its main objective is to test a students’ readiness for college. The test is divided into four mandatory sections and one optional section:

  1. Reading
  2. Writing and Language
  3. 2 Math sections, one with a calculator and one without a calculator
  4. An optional essay

In total, there are 154 multiple-choice questions and the essay – that is 100% optional. The SAT time limit is 180 minutes if you choose not to write the essay and 230 minutes if you choose to write the essay.

  • Now, let’s take a look at the SAT scoring breakdown and the method used to calculate your final score:
  • The maximum score is 1600 points.
  • The reading and writing sections are a total of 800 points, while the math sections are another 800 points.
  • The essay is not taken into consideration. Its score is displayed on a separate rubric on your SAT report.

For example, you get a score of 630 on your Review Math (No calculator) and Review Math (Calculator OK). Then you get a score of 720 on your Review Reading and Review Writing and Language sections. In total, you have a SAT score of 1350. It’s that simple.

Finally, the report also lists your SAT percentiles, which makes it easier to decide whether to retake SAT or not. This ranking ranges from 1 to 99 and indicates how your score compares to everyone else who took the test. For example, a composite percentile of 68 means you’ve done better than 68 percent of the other students.

If you want to know more about the PSAT (short for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test), you should know that it’s a standardized test for 11th graders that is used to identify National Merit Scholars. However, the PSAT is a great way to practice for the SAT because many of the questions are similar. However, we will discuss the PSAT in a different article.

Don’t Underestimate Its Importance!

A word of caution: don’t underestimate the importance of the SAT score on your graduation and college acceptance. The scoring is important because of two things:

  1. While it is impossible to fail the SAT, you should be aware that it will become almost impossible to get into a good college with a SAT score of less than 900. This is around the bottom 25% and is considered a low score.
  2. Getting a top score of over 1200 points (or top 25%) is considered a very good result, so you can probably get admitted to the university of your dreams.

So, should i retake the SAT? It’s entirely up to you. Our advice would be to retake the SAT if you get less than 1050 points (which was the average test score in 2023). Of course, you can retake the test if you know you can do a lot better.

Is 1530 a Good SAT Score?

A score above 1050 is considered good, so a score of almost 1600 is near perfect.

We would recommend you to keep this score and not attempt to retake the SATs. Why would you?

You need to keep in mind that you can do worse on a retry. And because the last score is the one that matters, you may make things worse for yourself. Again, we recommend students with scores of at least 1500 to avoid retaking the SAT. You can already get into any college you want, so why would you want to retake the tests?

Should I Take the SAT Again?

Now comes the tricky question: should i take the SAT again? Generally, students with scores below 1000 should retake the SAT. However, you are free to do so even if your score is near 1400-1500. There is nothing wrong with trying to get a better score. Just be aware that you can choose a very good college if your score is already high.

But how many times can you take the SAT for free? The fee to take the SAT is $55 per try, so you can’t take the test for free unless you can prove a low income. In this case, you get a fee waiver for the $55. According to the College Board, “SAT fee waivers are available to low-income 11th- and 12th-grade students in the U.S. or U.S. territories.” You can ask your teacher for more information about this or contact the College Board directly.

However, you should keep in mind that you can get a maximum of 2 fee waivers, so you are allowed to take the SAT twice. Starting with the 3rd attempt, you will pay the normal fee for each test.

How Many Times Can You Retake the SAT?

This is another question we receive from students on almost a daily basis around the SATs.

The good news is that you can retake the SATs as many times as you want. You can take the test 40 times, if you so desire. However, you will have to pay the $55 registration fee every time. Only the last 6 attempts will appear on your SAT history.

So, how many times should i take the SAT? This is not a question we can answer for you. Truth be told, you should take the SAT as many times you want, until you are 100% satisfied with the total score. Some students choose to take it just one more time, other try several times until they get to a score of 1500+.

If You Take the SAT Twice Which Score Counts?

Can you retake the SAT in college? We’ve established that you can (you can take it as many times as you like). But, if you take the SAT twice which score counts? What if i do worse on my second SAT? This is a very good question. We know, you are worried that you may get a lower score on your second try. Things tend to get a bit complicated if this happens.

In our experience, colleges review SAT scores differently when considering their applicants. In many cases, the school will take into consideration the highest score from your SAT history. Some schools, however, will take into consideration the last score. There are 3 possible scenarios here:

  1. You take a 900 on the first try and a 1300 on the second. If the school takes into consideration the highest score, you will get admitted with a 1300 score. If the school takes into consideration the last score, you will get admitted with a 1300 score.
  2. You take a 1300 on the first try and a 900 on the second. If the school takes into consideration the highest score, you will get admitted with a 1300 score. If the school takes into consideration the last score, you may not get admitted with a 900 score.

As you can see, retaking the SAT when you already have a high score can be risky. But ultimately, it’s up to the school to decide which applicants they accept. Remember, there are no failed SATs, so you can theoretically get admitted to a college even if you get 400 points (although this is unlikely to happen).

Can Colleges See How Many Times You Take the SAT?

But can colleges see how many times you take the SAT? Is it bad to take the SAT 4 times? Normally, colleges don’t have access to the entire history of your tests. In other words, you don’t have to worry about it. However, there are some colleges that ask you to submit the history (don’t try to lie!).

The better question is: do colleges care how many times you take the SAT? Well, they shouldn’t. Of course, we’re not talking about you taking the test 10 times just to get a 1000 score. We’re talking about taking it 2 to 4 times to go from 1200 to over 1500. College admission boards will see you as a perseverant student who is willing to work hard to get a top grade. There is nothing wrong with that.

An In-depth Look at the Optional Essay

OK, now that we’ve answered the “can you take the SAT multiple times” question, it’s time to talk about the optional essay. What role does it play in the whole process? Here is all the information you need to know about the essay:

  • You get a passage of around 700 words and you have 50 minutes to read it and respond to it.
  • The main goal is to see whether students are able to analyze the arguments and various literary devices to persuade the audience.
  • You will have to write an essay that discusses the ways the author of the passage persuades the audience. Also, you have to discuss one or more features that the author uses for persuasive purposes.
  • You are not required to agree or disagree with the author’s arguments. Your main purpose is to discuss the passage.

Be careful; you are not required to discuss the content of the passage, just the way the author makes and supports his or her arguments. In other words, you don’t need any prior knowledge of the subject to write the essay. All you need to know is how persuasive writing works.

Why is the essay important? Well, it’s not! Some colleges used to recommend it be taken and only a small number required it. And the good news is that as of 2023, the College Board will not offer the SAT essay any longer, unless your school specifically opts to offer it during SAT School Day Testing. In other words, starting with 2023 no college should require you to take the SAT essay.

What If You Need Some Help?

So, you want to retake SATs. There’s no shame in that! However, you need to be prepared to retake the SAT and get a score above 1500. You need all the study help you can get and you need somebody to help you with hundreds of trial exam questions. The good news is that our experts are here to not only answer questions, but also help you study more effectively.

Rely on our test takers and their extensive experience and get high scores on your next try. We have been helping senior and junior high school and college students with their school projects and exams for more than 10 years. We can get the average student a 1500+ score on their SAT pretty fast!

Of course, we are unable to offer our services for free. After all, our PhD-holding experts need to make a living. However, we are the best place to get top quality SAT help for a correct price. Our secure online payment methods make it easy for you to get not only help with your SAT prep, but also get help with assignment projects of any kind. Get in touch with our trustworthy team and let’s get you that 1530 score on your next SAT try!

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