After days of studying, careful preparation, hard work on practice tests, and sitting through the exam itself, the last thing you want to hear is probably “You should take it again.” But honestly, you should consider it. Studies show that most students who retake the exam do earn a higher score, but what are the other signs that you should retake the ACT/SAT?
Your Score is Lower than Average
The national average scores for the ACT is 20.8 and for the SAT, it’s 1002. (2016 data). Average typically doesn’t impress college admissions officers, especially at more selective schools. So if your score falls around this range, it would definitely be beneficial to study up and try again. No one will fault you for giving it another shot—in fact, retaking the test is often seen as a very positive thing, since you’re pushing yourself to be better academically.
Your Score is Lower Than You’d Hoped
Many students set a score goal before they take an exam. So it’s understandably disappointing if their score falls short of that goal when they get the results back. If you’re not entirely happy with your ACT/SAT numbers, why not take it again? If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again—as the saying goes.
Your Score Lower than a College’s Average
Most schools report the ACT/SAT score averages of their incoming freshmen class, and many students use that score range to determine where to set their own goals. If you’ve got a particular school in mind, search them on College Raptor to discover their average scores on the Admissions tab—where there is even information on the subscores! While the ACT/SAT may not be the definitive or most important factor when it comes to college acceptance or rejection, aiming high will certainly help your cause.
Retake It If You’re Not Qualifying for Enough Scholarships
If you keep finding scholarships and then discovering that you don’t qualify because you’re below their ACT/SAT score requirement, retake! The higher your score, the more likelihood you can qualify for scholarships. Merit-based scholarships in particular take into account your GPA and test scores, so raising them as much as possible will benefit you greatly in the long run—more scholarships means less financial strain, after all.
Use College Raptor to discover personalized college matches, cost estimates, acceptance odds, and potential financial aid for schools around the US—for FREE!