Archive for the ‘Test Prep Resources’ Category

Your Senior Year: Do I Need to Retake the SAT or ACT?

Chances are, you took the ACT or SAT at the end of last year and are relieved to be done with it. But don’t put down that No. 2 pencil just yet!

standardized testMost of us won’t magically get perfect scores on the third (or fourth, or fifth) try. But people who test again generally do a little better the second time around. ACT data shows almost 60 percent of students improved their score after retaking it, and more than 55 percent of students who took the SAT as juniors improved their scores by signing up again later.

So, should you retake the test? Here’s what you should think about:

Are You A Nervous Tester?
Test nerves strike everyone at some point. If those butterflies in your stomach got the best of you the first time around, try taking the test again. You have experience now, meaning you may be more comfortable and at ease than you were last year.

Did Life Throw You A Curveball?
Were you sick on test day? Had a family member passed away the day before? Did you get into a fight with your BFF that morning? Unfortunately, it’s all too common to have something distracting pop up just as test day arrives. These things make it hard to focus and can hurt your score.

Work your memory to see if anything kept you from testing well that day. Did a jittery tummy keep you from eating breakfast, but you were starving during the test? Maybe you had trouble with comprehension because you were too nervous to sleep the night before. Try testing again – just make sure you don’t get into the same situation next time!

Did You Study? No, Really.
Do you feel like the only one who didn’t do any ACT or SAT prep? Feeling ready can do wonders for your score. Sign up for another test and make sure you get a practice book or review any concepts you struggled with last time. Remember, cramming doesn’t work, so start studying early on. Our top study tips can help!

Do You Want Merit Scholarships?
Higher scores = more scholarship opportunities. Need money for school? Study hard and retake the test.

What Score Do You Need?
What’s your dream school? Compare your test score to their average incoming freshman’s result (you can use our college acceptance calculator to do that!). If these numbers don’t match up, it’s time to sign up for a retake. And just in case you don’t push that score as high as you’d like it, add a few more schools to your list. You can always reach for your favorite colleges, but it doesn’t hurt to have a few safeties in mind, too.

Good luck!

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Want to Boost Your SAT or ACT Score?

Summer is in full swing. What does that mean, besides spending lots of time in the sun? It means it’s time to sign up for ACT or SAT retakes.

Maybe you got a great score the first time around. Maybe you could have done a little better. Or maybe you completely bombed it. No matter how you think you did, it’s worth taking the test one more time.

Why?
standardized test

It’s simple. Data from both SAT and ACT show more than half of students who take the tests a second time earn higher scores.

Even if you got a great result the first time around, it doesn’t hurt to see if you can boost it a little higher. The better your score, the greater your chances of getting into your reach schools. Schools that seemed unattainable may no longer be such a stretch if you can really improve your scores.

More importantly, higher scores could mean more scholarships. Taking the test one more time is an easy way to earn more financial aid.

Start prepping today with our list of study tips. And don’t forget to tell any friends who weren’t too happy with their first scores either!

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Should I Retake the SAT or ACT?

sat retakeHave you received your ACT or SAT score recently? If so, you’re probably wondering whether or not to retake it, even if you did well the first time around.

The truth is, there’s no magic number of times someone should take the test. But keep in mind that people who test again generally do a little better the second time around. ACT data shows almost 60 percent of students improved their score after retaking it, and more than 55 percent of students who took the SAT as juniors improved their scores by signing up again senior year.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you’re debating whether or not to retake the SAT or ACT

Do You Suffer From Testing Anxiety?
Plenty of students struggle with nervousness when test day rolls around. If you think nerves got the better of you the first time, it may be worth taking the test once again. Because you’ll have taken it once before already, you may feel more comfortable and at ease the second time. This is especially true if you’re testing in the same room – the familiarity of the situation will help ease your anxiety.

Did Any Inconvenient Circumstances Disrupt Your First Test?
Life has a way of throwing difficult situations at you during the most inconvenient times. Unfortunately, it’s all too common to have something distracting pop up just as testing day arrives. Sickness. A death in the family. A serious fight with your best friend. These things can completely distract you from the task at hand and make it impossible to do your best.

Think back to test day to see if any other situations prevented you from performing as well as you could have. Maybe you felt sick and couldn’t eat breakfast in the morning, then were famished by the time you opened the test. Perhaps you couldn’t sleep because you were anxious and struggled to comprehend the questions because you were too tired. Things happen. If you think these circumstances impacted your score, it’s worth testing again – just make sure you don’t get yourself into the same situation twice.

Did You Feel Unprepared?
Test prep makes a huge difference in performance for many people. If you didn’t get a practice book or review major concepts thoroughly before test day, chances are you may have felt unprepared for some sections. Sign up for another testing date and make a plan to review any concepts you’re unfamiliar with or find particularly challenging. Get started early to make sure you have time to get help if there’s anything you’re really struggling to grasp.

Are You Looking for Scholarships?
The higher your score, the better your chances of getting some free money for college. If you know you’ll need scholarships and know you could have done better, you may want to retest and try to boost your results.

What Scores Do Your Dream Schools Require?
It’s simple: If your scores aren’t on par with what a school requires, your chances of getting in could be a lot lower. Compare your results to the college’s expectations – if they don’t match up and you’re set on this school, you may need to retest. And even if you don’t have a specific school in mind, remember that a higher score opens up more schools and more opportunities once you start sending out applications.

While your test scores are only one part of your application, you do want to do as well as possible on your ACT or SAT. Check out some of our top study tips to make sure you’re well prepared before you retest.

image credit: pbs.org

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