Should I Take the ACT®/SAT® Again?

Should I Take the ACT®/SAT® Again?

Is your ACT/SAT score lower than you need it to be? If so, don’t panic. You can take either one of these tests again in order to raise your score. What’s more, most colleges and universities allow you to superscore your test results. What this means is that you are graded using the highest scores from the individual sections of each test instead of the overall composite score from either the first or second test.

Still wondering if retaking the SAT or ACT is a good idea? Maybe you are unsure that studying harder will yield better results. Or perhaps you are concerned about the cost of retaking the tests. If so, read on to learn why retaking the SAT or ACT is well worth the time, cost, and hassle.

Retaking the SAT

A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research has shown that students typically earn 90 points more on the second SAT test than they did on the first. Those who have low scores typically earn even more than 90 points. Furthermore, students who take the SAT a second time are more likely to gain admission to a four-year college, which, in turn, translates to high graduation rates.  

It is worth noting that College Board, which manages the SAT test, offers fee waivers for those who cannot afford to pay $50-$60 to retake the SAT.

Retaking the ACT

ACT notes that about 45% of students who take the ACT opt to re-test in order to improve their composite score. On average, students who take the test twice earn nearly three points more the second time around. ACT’s research shows that students who see the greatest score improvement are those who allow plenty of time between taking the first and second test. Taking the second ACT test a couple of years after taking the first one seems to be ideal as it enables test-takers to master their weak areas.

Should You Take a Different Test Instead of the Same One?

If you studied hard but scored far lower than expected, one reason could be that you’re taking the wrong test to begin with. Colleges and universities accept both the SAT and the ACT, so you could consider taking a different test to improve your score.

The SAT is ideal for students who are good at math. In fact, math makes up about 50% of the SAT score. The ACT, on the other hand, has a smaller math section and, unlike the SAT, students who take the ACT can use a calculator for the entire ACT math section. However, the ACT includes science while the SAT does not. Furthermore, ACT test-takers aren’t given as much time to answer each question.

How to Boost Your Score the Second Time Around

If you’ve decided that retaking the SAT or ACT is the right choice for you, it’s time to get to work and study. You probably already know what your weak areas are, so start with those. Take practice tests for sections you got a low score on and pay attention to your performance. Students who are taking the ACT should do practice tests using a timer. The ACT allows less time to answer each question, and one reason ACT test-takers get a low score the first time around is that they have a hard time coming up with the right answers in a short amount of time. If your math scores are poor, consider switching calculators and practice with your new calculator extensively before you take the next test. 

A number of sites offer SAT and ACT practice questions to help you improve your scores; however, UWorld’s SAT and ACT practice tests stand out from the rest for a few reasons. The tests are formatted like the actual tests to make it easy for you to switch from practice exams to the real thing. More than just a question bank, however, UWorld offers clear explanations to challenging questions and problems in order to help you master important concepts. And the practice exams and other resources are all web-based and self-paced so you can practice when you have the time, progressing as quickly or slowly as you want.

It’s not surprising that UWorld has been used by more than a million students and garnered multiple positive reviews from grateful ACT and SAT test-takers of all ages and backgrounds. Get a feel of what we have to offer by signing up for a 7-day trial by clicking on the banner below.

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