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How Many Times Should You Take the SATs: An Alternative Approach

The SAT… this once humble test has risen to be the great beast to be slayed in college admissions. Yet, knowing the fear these tests strike in high schools everywhere, colleges say, “Hey, take it as many times as you want! We’ll just count the best score!”

Sounds great, right? After all, life would be just splendid if every test we went into we could take over and over… and over and over. Many admissions counselors recommend taking it two to three times, starting as early as your sophomore year so you have time to retake it.

This is a great way to maximize your score. However, I think it’s worthwhile to consider an alternate mindset: Plan to take it once, but take it early enough so that if you don’t perform well, you have time to retake it once or twice.

There are a few reasons for approaching the test in this manner. If a person goes into the test knowing that he or she will take it again, then that person does not have the same incentive to perform at their best level. For many, it’s better to go into the test fully prepared, ready to take on the test with the confidence that they will nail it the first time through.

At the start of the junior year, students get to take the PSAT. This is the chance to get to know the test, learn their strengths and weaknesses, and get a sense for what the test date will feel like. The PSAT will give a student an idea for what they need to study. It puts the student in a great position to begin a test prep course with a Top Test Prep tutor and begin studying before they take the SAT the first time.

The SAT is but one factor in the college admissions process. There are essays, the SAT II, school visits, recommendations, and interviews. If a person can perform well on the SAT the first time around then that is one less thing to worry about as senior year approaches. If a person saves the bulk of their studying and test prep for their second or third try on the test, then that person may become overwhelmed with everything else they have to worry about.

The college admissions process is an enormously stressful process for students who have spent their high school career doing their best. By going into their first date with the confidence to get their top score then and there, that is the first step in taking charge of the process and having the confidence to succeed.
This article is titled, “How Many Times Should You Take the SATs: An Alternative Approach.”  It was written by Jon B., who is a writer for Top Test Prep’s team.

For more expert admissions counseling and information on how can gain admission to the school of your dreams, contact Top Test Prep today by calling (800) 501-7737 or visiting TopTestPrep.com.

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