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How Many Times Should You Take the SAT

Oct 16, 2022

Expert Guide- How Many Times Should You Take the SAT?

There are a lot of aspects of SAT that should be understood and realized by the exam aspirant, as it will give them confidence in giving their best on the test. SAT can be a career-defining examination that paves the way for a successful path ahead. The number of attempts to take SAT has always been under debate- because: there is no attempt limit for it.

Reasons to Take the SAT More Than Once

Some students take SAT quite ambitiously and manage to crack the examination on the first attempt itself. However, the experts say that the student can take SAT at least twice to get a better score- and hence lead to the best college admission for resourceful studies. Plan to take SAT at least twice- once during the spring of the junior year and senior year’s fall season.


Interestingly, a major chunk of students gets excellent scores on the second attempt. If the student manages to score 100 above the previous score, they can be eligible for a scholarship worth $2000. Though the number of attempts might directly not impact admission to a top college, it will always be wise to keep a limit to the attempts and a specific score target. Taking too many attempts at SAT is not advisable as time is a crucial resource that can impact the student’s academic journey.

Another important reason why SAT should be taken more than once is the type of scoring used by the universities- called Superscoring. In this scoring method, the college combines the student’s highest score in Math as well as Evidence-based writing- which is an added advantage.


The students get better in scoring SAT as the number of times they attempt the exam. The confidence levels grow and leading to better chances for the student to get the highest score. Another effective strategy that the students can use is to strategically focus on a particular section for each attempt. This will also improve knowledge of individual sections leading to better admission to a top college. So the rule says, the more you aim for the perfection of SAT score through several attempts- the better the results can be.

Many colleges also offer the student to choose their scores of individual sections from multiple attempts of SAT to send an application. This aspect called Score Choice- is the main reason why students have to take SAT more than once. As there are seven test days all through the year, the student needs to plan just the time and be prepared for the exam.


While some schools ask for nothing but the option to send all scores- one can still send all the scores and manage to get admission into a top college this way as well. Yale, the University of California, Stanford, and Carnegie Mellon along with many dream colleges offer this option.

Can You Take the SAT an Unlimited Number of Times?

Yes. But it is not advisable to take the examination umpteen times because it might give a mixed impression student’s college application.


How Many SAT Tests Is Too Many?

Academic experts think that a minimum of two attempts and not more than six attempts must be taken for SAT. If more than six attempts are taken, it might send a wrong signal to the colleges that the student is not serious about SAT preparation. One good approach is to practice as many real-time SATs as possible before giving the final attempt for a useful score.

Reasons Not to Overtake the SAT

Some of the most important reasons not to overtake the SAT are:
1. Time is Your Main Resource: Overtaking SAT will mean investing a lot of time and energy in the student. This can be detrimental to the student’s career graph.
2. Setting a Realistic Limit on Attempts: Just because there is no rule for the number of attempts in the exam doesn’t mean that the student has to take as many as they can. Set a practical timeline in which you would want to attain the dream SAT score and by how many attempts it can be attained.


When Should a Student Begin SAT Preparation? 

It’s tough to say when a student should start SAT prep because it comes in many different formats. 

Beginning in ninth grade, students can concentrate on doing well in their subjects to obtain as much knowledge as possible while passively preparing for the SAT. They can get more serious about SAT practice in 10th grade by reading a variety of literary genres, using the College board’s SAT Daily Practice app, and taking the PSAT 10 during the second semester. Active prep will skyrocket in 11th grade. Most students take the PSAT in the autumn and then use the results to guide their preparation for the SAT in the spring. 


While there is no single timeframe that works best for everyone, starting SAT prep in 10th grade is a decent place to start, and students should be seriously involved in the process by 11th grade. 

Schedule Guide for SAT Study Plan and Tests:

This useful timeline gives important insight to the student on how to plan for the SAT and their exam day as well. Planning quite much in advance is important for cracking the examination and planning the college admissions later as well.


1. Star Prep Early: Starting to prepare for SAT from the summer season before junior year is a wise decision to make because it will equip the student with all the knowledge and tools to get a high score.
2. Plan the first attempt well: As the first attempt will be the most important step to take, plan it for the fall season of junior year.
3. Retake the exam in the spring: If the student is not satisfied with the first attempt’s score, retake the second attempt in the spring season.

How Many Times is Right to take SAT- A Final Call

Taking the SAT at least twice or a maximum of four times is advisable for a good score and planning the right career path. It will also give the student ample time for preparation. The student shouldn’t be afraid of taking the real test and this can be achieved only with a strong practice schedule. Plan the test dates and attempts effectively and adjust the time between studies and practice test preparation as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1.Can colleges know how often you took the SAT? 

A: Yes, colleges can see how frequently you take the test if they want to, but universities won’t look down on you if you’ve taken it two or more. What universities care about are the highest possible grades. This demonstrates that you are serious about your education and prepared to put in the time and effort required. 

Q2 What exactly is SAT Super scoring? 

A: SAT super scoring is a college board tool that allows you to choose the top marks for each test section from several sittings. 

Q3 How often can you take the SAT? 

A: You can take the Scholastic Aptitude Test many times, but we recommend that you take it at least twice: once in the spring of your junior year and once in the fall of your senior year.



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