Retake a 1540???

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: June 2004 Archive: Retake a 1540???
By Crazykidd (Crazykidd) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 01:22 am: Edit

Should I, some input please CCers...800 Math, 740 verbal...verbal is kinda low should i retake especially since im relying on academics since my EC's arent that great??? for ivy's and other top schools....thanx for your help!!!

By Nealious (Nealious) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 01:23 am: Edit

you're lame

By Feuler (Feuler) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 01:34 am: Edit

Instead of taking the test again, you could just spend that Saturday morning volunteering, and put that on your app instead.

I wouldn't retake. Even if you got a 1600, I don't think it would give you much of an edge, because above 1500 the distinctions get pretty blurry. Besides, your score could always go down. All it takes is one dumb mistake to lose that 800 math.

And, pertaining to tact, this is not the kind of question to ask on a board where 90% of people will be insulted by your saying a 740 Verbal is low. Whether you want to retake is up to you, but it is probably best to make that decision by yourself.

I personally am not offended, but I guarantee you at least four people will post something less than savory in this thread.

By Nealious (Nealious) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 01:47 am: Edit

i was just kidding buddy, except not...:)

i got a 1520 last year and never even considered retaking at all, because I didn't know I would do so good, especially breaking 700 on verbal(i didnt use any practice tests to gauge my score beforehand). When i stumbled across this board containing 95% overachievers it almost made me want to retake my test to try and get a 1600 to brag, but then i realized it wasn't worth the time, money, and sacrifice of something else i could be doing like talking online. If you are relying on your academics isntead of your EC's, work on your EC's. 1540 is darn good anywhere when supplemented by other areas.

By Chrisk (Chrisk) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 11:53 am: Edit

A few months ago I went on a big college tour around the country (to all the "big" ivies and other "top" schools), and something interesting struck me. Pretty much all of the admission officers said that an SAT is not worth retaking unless you know your score will increase 150-200 points. A lot of these schools really do look at your testing patterns, and the admissions officer at one of these schools said that he'd much rather see someone who does something interesting with his saturdays, and took the SAT once, than someone who has overprepared just to artificially inflate his SAT score. Although the most recent scores are given the most weight, they do consider your scores in totality, and the way you take your tests says something about you. A student looks desperate and anal when he takes the SAT just to raise a score in the 1500s. It looks like he has nothing better going for him, as if he has no life and nothing better to do than study for the SAT on the weekends.

By Bfjava (Bfjava) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 01:07 pm: Edit

eh, studying for the SAT doesn't mean the person has no life. There are only a few SAT test dates per year, so there are plenty of other weekends to have fun. Besides, no one does anything but sleep or perhaps volunteer on a Saturday morning. Being inactive on a Saturday morning is techinically worse than being active taking a standardized test. ;)

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 02:02 pm: Edit


And you bought that gospel?

This the way they look at your patterns:

Work study assistant gets a big pile of SAT transcripts and enters the data in folders, making sure to list the scores and mark the best INDIVIDUAL scores.

The evidence is overwhelming that elite schools DO encourage multiples sittings. It would be easy for them to implement measures to discourage retaking the SAT. They could average tests scores, insist on best scores from one sitting, weigh down subsequent scores, etc.

While it is common sense that one should not take the test 6-7 times without risking to look obsessive, it is absolutely normal and recommended to plan multiple sittings.

No matter how you slice it, a 1500 earned in 3 sittings is much better than a 1400 earned after one trial.

PS Preparing for the test is not artifical.

By Speeddemon608 (Speeddemon608) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 03:44 pm: Edit

first time i took the SAT 1510
second time(june just now) i got a 1560

if it makes me look obsessed and anal, well maybe it's because i am and i don't care

its the last chance for a 1600/1600 SAT and im trying to be one of the last ones to get a perfect score, i know i dont need it, but is their a problem with challenging myself?

oh and yeah a 740 verbal is anything but low, i dont think any colleges will reject you because of your SAT score, if you want a higher score though, id say it wont hurt as long as you get a higher score

By Isabella (Isabella) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 03:47 pm: Edit

I have heard the same things Chrisk mentions and think Xiggi's a bit extreme. You got a VERY competitive score and a higher one won't really make a difference in your app. Since your SAT score is strong and your ECs are weak, it's no contest: work on your ECs. Make yourself a well-rounded candidate, not an SAT freak. It will pay off not just for your apps, but for your personal development as well.

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 04:01 pm: Edit


I was not addressing the OP's question and advocating to retake a 1540. That is a personal choice for the OP to make. I would not retake it!

In case of doubt, the best way is to communicate directly via email with your traget schools and ask about their policies on multiple sittings. They wil be glad to eliminate excessive worries.

By Smartaleck123 (Smartaleck123) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 04:26 pm: Edit


How many colleges will still take your best composite score, after taking the SAT four times? I have heard that after 3 tries, most colleges will AVERAGE your scores... for which colleges does this actually apply to? thank you

By Isabella (Isabella) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 04:39 pm: Edit

Thanks for clearing that up, Xiggi - I thought you were indeed suggesting he retake! :-)

By Kenenisa (Kenenisa) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 05:48 pm: Edit

Smartaleck, I'm pretty sure no colleges average your score if you take it more than 4 times.

By Kenenisa (Kenenisa) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 05:49 pm: Edit

Smartaleck, I'm pretty sure no colleges average your score if you take it more than 3

By Justice (Justice) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 05:58 pm: Edit

Heh there are some weird local colleges around where I live that do actually average the scores.

If you decide to retake, do it because you are so sure that you can do much much better without prep. If you still need to spend hours on word lists and analogy strategy, use it somewhere else. At that score, the chances of bad luck lowering your score are very high, and even if it doesn't look that bad to go down a bit, it sure makes a kid feel like a moron.

By Marymary (Marymary) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 06:24 pm: Edit

What do you guys think about getting a score in the 1500's, taking it again and getting a lower score? how bad does that look? first time i took the SAT's (in march) i got a 1530, but I had to sign up for the May ones before I even knew that score (so i could take II's in june) or I probably wouldn't have retaken. SO I took them in May and got a 1500. Oh well, i guess it raised my composite score because i did slightly better on math the second time.

By Wackicracka (Wackicracka) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 06:25 pm: Edit

You need help! LOL No seriously though, that's a really good score. Unless you want to do another one for kicks, and not the seriousness of it.

By Neom3x11 (Neom3x11) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 06:47 pm: Edit

I don't think you have to retake it again. I got a 1560 and after going on this board, I wanted to retake it to get a higher score. However, I realized, just as others have, that the time and money is better spent elsewhere. Retaking a test may be more "active" than sitting around doing nothing, but volunteering is even more beneficial and fun (sometimes)!

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 07:54 pm: Edit

Smartaleck, I'm pretty sure no colleges average your score if you take it more than 3

This has been discussed on CC ad nauseam and, after a couple of years, we have YET to see a SINGLE verifiable report of a school averaging scores. It seems to be an urban legend that just won;t die.

Some schools only accept the best scores of one sitting but the overwhelming majority of school will accept the best individual scores, regardless of the number of sittings. To please purists, I ought to add the words "within reason" at the end of the previous sentence. :)

By Sandwraith (Sandwraith) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 11:41 pm: Edit

boy flame posts are great, huh? half the people here realize that you're a complete lamer if you obsess over something so trivial as a small score change on the SAT, while the other half are trying to defend the fact that they have wasted months studying for something so trivial as a small score change on the SAT. man... now all i need is popcorn! :D

By Nealious (Nealious) on Wednesday, June 23, 2004 - 11:47 pm: Edit

i was the original person to make fun of him

By Chicago (Chicago) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 07:50 pm: Edit

With regards to the comment that college admissions reps think retaking the SAT I is bad, I would have to disagree.

Let's remember there is a difference between what college admission reps SAY and what they ACTUALLY THINK.

They are going to "say" the politically correct thing, which in our day an age is "oh the SAT is not that important." Right, dream on.

The difference between a 1540 and a 1600 is not huge, but it's still substantial. Taking the SAT I again. Trust me. Kids from my school with virtually the exact same stats and ECs got accepted to certain schools because that extra .1 GPA or that extra 60 points on the SAT I says something.

Most people say "well when you've got 3000 applicants with great SATs and great grades, how are you going to differentiate between them? With essays and recs?" Well yes, that's true. But turn that on it's head:

"well when you've got 3000 applicants with great recs and essays, how are you going to differentiate between them?" Grades and SAT scores of course!

Let's be honest, at the end of the day, essays and recs are just as, if not more, superficial than grades and SAT scores. When 1000 applicants claim to be leading a life of poverty dedicated to saving starving children on their essays, the admissions office has to say "enough of this b.s." at some point.

Good luck with your SATs and college apps.

By Eecs (Eecs) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 08:00 pm: Edit

"well when you've got 3000 applicants with great recs and essays"

wow i've never thought about it that way before... interesting

By Chicago (Chicago) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 08:12 pm: Edit

Thanks. I never thought of it that way until I helped other kids with college apps once I was already in college. When you help a lot of people you realize that everyone can get great recs, and if people can't write good essays, they get someone who can to help them.

By Chidimma (Chidimma) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 09:50 pm: Edit

you can take it again if you want. I would too, just to try to go higher. but no more than 3 times, please :)

By Skapoor1 (Skapoor1) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 01:36 am: Edit

I would suggest retaking it, especially if you are applying to schools like MIT and Princeton. Both have acknowledged that they use an objective, numbers based system with test scores, so every point would help. And while a 1540 is pretty good, if you read over the summer (something you should be doing anyway) and take about 10 hours to do actual SAT prep, there is no reason it shouldn't become 770-800. Besides, you're probably awake about 112 hours a week, you're not going to miss 13 of them too much.

By Crazykidd (Crazykidd) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 08:58 pm: Edit

thank you non-obnoxious, realistic CCers (cough cough NOT nealious)

By Julians (Julians) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 12:13 pm: Edit

I retook a 1540 and got a 1600. I had the opposite of you, though (800 verbal.) I would say only retake if you are very confident you will go up. I didn't study before the 1540, and in between the 1540 and my next test date I took 4 tests from the 10 Real SATs book, scoring 1600, 1590, 1600, 1600. So I was pretty sure I could do better than 1540, and therefore re-took. I would advise you to do the same thing, and only retake if you are sure (based on your practice tests) that you will go up significantly (40-60 points.) It is unrealistic to expect that you will just "go up." Take practices to be sure.

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