Appearance is everything when it comes to college applications. Students painstakingly craft a resume to sell themselves as the perfect student candidate. Understandably, they want to avoid anything that paints them in a bad light. Some fear that if they take the SAT or ACT too many times, it will make them look like a failure in the eyes of the colleges they’re applying to. But that’s definitely not the case.
Try and Try Again
Many, many students take the ACT or SAT more than once. In fact, a majority of students who retake the test get a higher score the second time around. Colleges won’t turn up their noses if you’ve taken the exam two or three times, in fact, it shows that you’re serious about your studies, and are willing to put in the time and effort to better yourself. So regardless of your score, taking the test again shows determination.
Multiple Score Submissions & Super-Scoring
Some colleges will let you submit what test scores you prefer, others will require you to submit any results you get no matter what. If you got less than stellar scores one time, that might seem like an intimidating request, but there is a silver lining: super-scoring.
Almost all colleges will super-score your test results if you submit more than one ACT/SAT score. This means they’ll take the highest score out of both (or all three) of your test results. So if you scored higher in mathematics the first time, and higher in reading the second time, the college will take the highest math, and the highest reading regardless of when you took it. Pretty nice, huh?
Be Smart with Your Retakes
Now, keep in mind that retaking the test costs money and demands a lot of attention—so don’t retake them just to impress admissions officers. Take them with the intention of bettering your score, or reaching towards a school’s average as a goal. And remember: the ACT/SAT isn’t the only (or even most important) factor in your application! Your app essays, extracurricular activities, and GPA will also need your attention.
When is a Myth Not a Myth?
Interested in seeing how your ACT / SAT scores affect your acceptance odds? Check out College Raptor’s match tool to find out!