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What does SAT Superscoring mean and how often can I take the SAT Exam?

Updated on 16 September 2022
SAT (Scholastic Assessment Tes
17 min read 37 views
Updated on 16 September 2022

The most common question high school students ask about the SAT is, "How often should I take the SAT?" Most people don't know how many times they will need to take the test to meet their score or what the college will think if they take it too many times.

Given the importance of SAT scores in college admissions, students want to make sure they do their best to pass the SAT. So, in this article, I will discuss some of the factors that affect how often you should take the SAT. I will also identify the minimum and maximum number that most students should attempt. 

Does it matter in college how often you sit?


One thing you may have heard is that colleges look to applicants who have taken the SAT more than once. It is true that, in the past, some admissions officers have taken the fact that an applicant has taken the SAT multiple times to indicate something negative about the applicant.


For example, some admissions officers feel that an applicant who takes the SAT more than three or four times may be neglecting other factors, such as extracurricular activities, or not planning properly. Of course, there is nothing necessarily wrong with taking the SAT more than four times. On the one hand, there is a risk that the truth of the student will be perceived in a negative way. However, things have changed a lot and the number of times you take the SAT has become almost a problem. Part of the reason is something called Score Selection. Let's see why Score Selection makes such a big difference.


The reason scores mean it doesn't matter how many times you take the SAT 


In the past, the college, who administered the SAT, sent all of the applicant's SAT scores to the college. However, college colleges now offer score options, allowing you to send colleges only the SAT scores you want to send.


So if for example you took the SAT six times, you can only send the two highest scores to the college. In this case, your score report will look like you've taken the SAT twice.


Now, it is true that not all colleges allow the use of Score Selection. Some still want to see all of your SAT scores. 

However, the vast majority of colleges allow the use of Score Options. In fact, the percentage of colleges that allow the Choice Score has increased over the past few years. So it's likely that every school you apply to offers a choice of scores. Meanwhile, some colleges ask for all of your scores using software that only provides the best SAT section scores for admission. Others don't request SAT score reports until after you've been accepted, using score reports only to prove that your own scores are accurate.

The upside of all of this is that, thanks to Score Selection and the new policy, you probably won't have to worry about how often you take the SAT. Of course, you should check the schools you are considering applying to. However, in most cases they will have one of the policies described above.


Another college admissions policy that affects how often you take the SAT is gross grading. So let's talk about that too. 

What is superscore?


One of the main reasons admissions officers consider SAT scores is to determine if you are ready to manage a class at their school. Meanwhile, they know that SAT test takers don't always get their best reading, writing and math scores on the same day. So, to get an accurate description of the skills of the candidates and make things easier, many schools do what is called superscoring. Superscoring uses the applicant's highest SAT score in writing and the highest SAT math score as the candidate's SAT score.


Why Superscoring means you have to take the SAT more than once. 


Most schools are top notch these days. This means that unless you get a high score on the SAT the first time you take it, you will have to take the SAT more than once. After all, it's worth your while to have multiple opportunities to do your best on the SAT because high-scoring schools will only consider your highest section scores. Also, most high-scoring schools don't care how many times you've taken the SAT. As we mentioned earlier, many use software that only provides the best SAT section scores for admission. So, in most cases, dance is another reason why the number of times you take the SAT is not necessary for college.



Because of the high scores, for most people it makes sense to take the SAT more than once.

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