How many times should I take the SAT?

There is no limit to the number of times that a high school student can take the SAT. While it will be different for everyone, most people will want to take the SAT two or three times during junior and senior year of high school. Your highest SAT score will be the one that colleges use, regardless of whether it is the first or the third time that you took the test.

Spring of junior year is a good time to take the SAT for the first time. This will allow you to have plenty of time to study both before and after this test. Having a first set of SAT scores will help you to focus in on problem areas and also set up a senior year plan to get the best SAT scores possible.

Your SAT scores will show you exactly how well you perform on the math, reading, and writing portions of the test. Many students are surprised when they receive their first scores and find that they performed significantly better or worse on certain parts of the test than they expected. When you plan ahead and take the SAT for the first time junior year, you have plenty of time to improve your scores.

The summer before senior year of high school is a great time to focus on SAT test prep. Once you have your first set of scores, you have a guide to what you will need to focus on during your next round of prep. Taking an SAT prep course, meeting with a tutor, and taking online practice exams can all be part of a comprehensive plan to raise your scores when you take the SAT for a second time.

Focus on trouble areas during this round of studying. Think back to any questions that took you a long time to solve, or areas of the SAT where you could not answer a lot of questions. This is your chance to go into your next SAT prepared to handle these areas. Having taken the SAT once also allows many students to relax about the test-taking experience.

Plan to take the SAT again at the earliest test day in the fall of senior year. Many students will be happy with this score, while some will still have time to take the test again later in the fall. Check with your top colleges to find out when they will need your scores. Most will have a deadline in December or January.

Having a plan to take the SAT multiple times is a great way to get the best score possible. Spacing out your tests between junior and senior year will allow you plenty of SAT prep time to study and improve on your earlier scores.

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