SAT scores have started rolling in. Students, parents, and counselors spend so much time focusing on getting a good score that they don’t really consider what comes next. Here’s what we recommend:
Understand your score
The first step in this process is understanding your SAT score. After taking the SAT you will receive a score report. This report provides a summary of your performance on the SAT critical reading, math, and writing sections. In addition to providing your score for each section, a breakdown of the number correct, incorrect, and omitted answers for each section is also provided. This is meant to help you understand your performance on the test, and identify any opportunities to improve.
Determine whether you need to retake the SAT
Once you understand your SAT score, considering the following questions will help you determine whether you need to retake the SAT
- Compare your score to the score ranges for your chosen colleges, is your score competitive?
- Based on your own abilities, did you get the highest score possible?
- Do you have time before your college application deadlines to take the SAT again and have those scores included in your application?
- Would your score on any of the section improve if you retook the SAT?
If you answered yes to the first two questions, then you probably don’t need to retake the SAT.
If you answered no to the first two questions, and your answer to either one of the last two questions was a yes. It might make sense to look into retaking the SAT or considering the ACT.
Whatever your ultimate decision be sure to run it by your guidance counselor and another advisor you trust.
Decide who should receive your scores
There are two ways to decide on your score receivers. You can either choose your score recipients during SAT registration or after.
Every time you register for the SAT four free score reports are included. Selecting your score recipients during registration means that your scores will be submitted to colleges as soon as they are available. This might be the best option for students who are up against a tight deadline and sure of their ability to do better on their next SAT. Look into this if you are planning to retake your SAT.
To add score recipients after you have already registered for the SAT involves a fee in most cases ($11.25 per score send). The benefit of waiting is that you get to review your scores before sending scores to colleges. Through Score Choice you also decide which scores colleges see, if you have taken the SAT more than once.
Decide which SAT scores to submit
While most colleges consider only your best scores, you have some choice in which scores to submit. CollegeBoard offers students Score Choice. Score choice allows students who have taken the test multiple times to submit only the test scores from a specific test date.
Some Colleges offer students the option to Superscore the SAT. Superscoring means that colleges will only consider the highest score from each SAT section when evaluating an applicant’s test scores. To learn more about Superscoring and Score Choice click here.