Taking the SATs too many times?... please r/o

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: May 2004 Archive: Taking the SATs too many times?... please r/o
By Sephoragrrl (Sephoragrrl) on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 10:49 pm: Edit

i'm a junior right now and so far i have taken it 5 times already which i have kind of regret. here are my scores:

06/03 - 610M 520V
12/03 - 650M 580V
01/04 - 650M 620V
03/04 - 610M 580V (OUCH!!)
05/04 - 690M 630V

ok.. so my question is: should i, or should i not take the SATs one more time? 6x seems a bit obsessive... but i feel that if i actually study this time i could raise my score. advice?

By Geoguy (Geoguy) on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 11:07 pm: Edit

From what I've read on these boards, you shouldn't re-take it.

By Over30 (Over30) on Friday, May 14, 2004 - 11:14 pm: Edit

Instead of taking the SAT a 6th time, you might want to take the ACT. A lot of schools will take that in place of the SAT, and some students find it much easier.

By Sephoragrrl (Sephoragrrl) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 02:40 pm: Edit


By Danoeire (Danoeire) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 03:55 pm: Edit

Wow, 5 times? That's (in my opinion) too many already! And you said "if I actually study this time," so does that mean that you didn't really study all of the other times you have taken it? Because if so, then that wasn't very smart of you. Also, from looking at your scores, I would say that you actually might be reaching your "pleateau," or where your scores will most likely level off (probably at around 700 M, 650 V). Also, 6 times look really bad on a college app., since you're really only supposed to take them 3 times.

By Skulkarni1 (Skulkarni1) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 04:11 pm: Edit

i would stop taking them. ur scores are decent at this point : 1320 is good. i don't know what ur aspirations are for college however- if this score is significicantly lower than the average SAT score of colleges in that range, i woudl reccomend taking the ACT. do not take the SAT anymore times. five times is more then what people usually do, but theres nothing u can do about that now. don't take the SAT anymore times.

By Thunder77 (Thunder77) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 04:14 pm: Edit

You've taken it too many times already

Might as well just take it one more time and make it a good one

I'm sure 5times and 6 times doesn't make much of a difference

By Sephoragrrl (Sephoragrrl) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 06:50 pm: Edit

grrr... now i feel like a dumbf--k for taking it too many times *bangs head against wall* i really did not study as much as i needed to, i only learned a couple of new vocab words and that was about it. i've already paid the registration fee for the june SAT.. so you guys really suggest me *not* to take it again?

By Sephoragrrl (Sephoragrrl) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 06:52 pm: Edit

btw i would really love to go to NYU if that gives you an idea of where i am heading (or hoping to) at. my gpa 4.00 but my extracurriculars are just okay.. so i really need a good SAT score!

*EDITED* i really prefer not to take the ACT, bc i am not familiar w/ it at all and i really don't have time to study for it because i need to start studying for my SAT II'S!

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 07:06 pm: Edit

There is no such thing as "taking it too many times" based on the sheer number of times you sit for it. There is the news: if you happen to score a 1500 or more on your sixth try, do you know what the college will note? Only the highest damn score. A low level technician will transcribe your highest scores from the ETS transcript onto your folder. All the rest is urban legend. You do not get a brownie or a lollypop for having taken the test LESS a certain number of times. There is a CONFIRMED story about agirl who took the SAT 5 times before being accepted at Harvard. Look up the posts of Amylase on this board: he took the SAT multiples times AFTER getting rejected everywhere 2 years ago. One year later, he got the scores he wanted and got accepted about everywhere, starting with Stanford.

On the other hand, you only show mild improvement and that may be a reason to try the ACT like someone suggested. I would also concentrate on the SAT2. However, there is absolutely nothing wrong to take it again, IF you feel you could increase your scoresand IF you really practice in earnest. Also, there is a VERY good chance you may hit on an identical test. If you really tried to learn from your errors, you might actually hit the jackpot. But again, do not retake it if you do not plan to invest in more practices.

By Runrickyrun123 (Runrickyrun123) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 07:20 pm: Edit

you obviouly have negative common sense, the ACT is the one test that you can afford not studying for because its score choice. Instead you chose to take the SATs 5, lol, times and didn't realize that maybe at some point studyin may help. Now you want to study for SAT IIs? Get some priorities.

By Andrew123s (Andrew123s) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 07:20 pm: Edit

Also, one thing with the ACT is that you only have to send the scores you want to colleges. Another thing with it is that many schools will accept the ACT in lieu of SATs and SAT IIs (not sure about NYU, I would check).

By Danoeire (Danoeire) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 09:28 pm: Edit

Xiggi- Do you have any kind of proof, besides a story, that would support your claim that colleges don't care how many times you take the SAT? I have been to numerous college information sessions, and every time the college representatives have said that it DOES NOT LOOK GOOD to take the SAT over 3 times. Also, this is the first time I have ever heard ANYONE say that it does not matter; out of all of the advice people have given me either on this board or elsewhere, no one has ever said that it doesn't matter. On the contrary, they have always said that over 3 times is simply a BAD IDEA. Sephoragrrl- unless you can DRASTICALLY improve your score by the next time you take the SAT, I would reccomend not taking it. However, the decision is ultimately up to you. Good luck.

By Unluckycharms (Unluckycharms) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 09:52 pm: Edit

Well, if I was reading over grade scores, and I saw a girl who took the SAT's 6 or 7 times, and saw she improved from the first to the last, then I would think she's dedicated and willing to work hard to achieve what she wants.


By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 10:42 pm: Edit


I do not spend my time spreading stories and I HAVE provided proofs in the past. However, you can find the "proofs" yourself by simply emailing the colleges that interest you directly. What does an email cost? Nothing and you get the verification directly from the schools. I have challenged people who doubt my theory to provide me the name of the adcom or the school that supposedly claimed they penalize students for multiple sittings. I offered to follow up with an email and post it right here on CC. So far ... no takers for such an easy challenge.

On the other hand, I have sent tons of emails to schools and NONE of the schools deviate from the reply that they did not only not care about how many times students take the test but ENCOURAGE it.

If this is the first time that you hear someone say that, I would suggest to start enlarging your circle of advisers. Do yourself a favor and search the CC boards: you will find a pattern. There is plenty of evidence to support what I say, including copies of emails. Then there is my typical reply to posts like yours: show me ONE, yes ONE email from an elite school that says that they frown on multiples sittings and penalize the application!

Just use common sense: if they wanted they could EASILY penalize multiples sittings by applying a diminishing scale or simply take the best scores from ONE sitting, or average the scores. Yet, what do they do? Except for a few schools, all elite schools allow the best individual scores and confirm this information IN WRITING in the application brochures.

So go ahead, try to find a single post that contains a verifiable confirmation that schools would penalize someone who tries to get the score he/she wants by taking the test multiple times. Lots of people have done what you do: report some conversations with adcoms but so far nobody has found a way to confirm what is nothing but yet another myth.

That said, I spoke about common sense. I do NOT advocate to take the test 10 or 12 times. I tell people to take the test as long as they think they can do better and reach the score they need. As an example, a 1480 on a third sitting is not as good as a 1580 a fourth sitting.

By Qwert271 (Qwert271) on Saturday, May 15, 2004 - 10:55 pm: Edit

If they see 5 SATs in the 1300 range then one in the 1500 range, how will they view your 'aptitude'? Will they think that you improved drastically over a two month period? Will they think it was a lucky day? Did you take a course? Think about the question from their point of view. Would you literally only consider the highest score or would you look at the overall picture of the applicant in terms of SATs? They say that they only look at the highest because they don't want a frenzy to ensue. Don't only go by what they say they do; this is a business too, they want the applicants to think that their system is fair. But if you saw 5 1300s and one 1500 would you consider the applicant a 1500 student? I wouldn't.

By Aim78 (Aim78) on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 12:44 am: Edit

Xiggi's got it right. If you can do better, then take it again. I don't see why colleges would frown upon taking the test 4 times. The SAT is a draining 3 hour test, and showing that you're willing to endure 12 hours of it to push yourself further is a sign of character. The only reason colleges would frown is if you take it 4 times and show little improvement, or do even worse.

By Sephoragrrl (Sephoragrrl) on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 10:21 am: Edit

xiggi, thank you so much for your reply. i think i'll really push myself on the studying this time and to take a couple practice tests to see how much i've progressed. if the progress is good enough, then i'll go ahead and take the June SAT.

as for runrickyrun... you need an attitude check. you could have stated your response in a nicer tone :)

By Athlonmj (Athlonmj) on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 10:29 am: Edit

Qwert, the question is, do colleges really see how many times you take the SAT.

Xiggi states:
"A low level technician will transcribe your highest scores from the ETS transcript onto your folder."

which implies that the AdCom will only see your highest scores?

By Qwert271 (Qwert271) on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 11:57 am: Edit

Yes, the college adcoms do see all your scores (for SAT1 at least). They themselves say they only consider the highest ones. But taking it 6 times stands out a lot.

By Athlonmj (Athlonmj) on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 12:04 pm: Edit

What proof do you have of this?

By Adidasty (Adidasty) on Sunday, May 16, 2004 - 04:46 pm: Edit

Okay you guys, I'm a sophomore and I've taken the SAT I twice. My first score was 610M 610V freshman year. On 3-27, I took it and got 690M 630V. I want to get a 1550+, what is the maximum amount of times I should take the test and is shooting for a 1550+ the next time I take it going a little too far?

By Kkay (Kkay) on Monday, May 17, 2004 - 12:30 pm: Edit

Adidasty: Hm..a 200+ increase does seem a bit daunting. It depends - how much effort did u put in ur last try? Do you think the result is what you expected? Is 1550+ a realistic goal?

I noticed you're math scored jumped while ur verbal did not increase a lot. Perhaps u can focus on ur math score.

I personally only took it once, so i can't speak for everyone. I think if I were u I wouldn't go beyond thrice, MAX 4 times.

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