Welcome back to school! The summer of 2021 has flown right by, hasn’t it?
The transition from summer vacation to the early days of a new school year isn’t always a smooth one; it’s difficult keeping up with all the new responsibilities and obligations that your child has suddenly been thrown back into. Among the most important of these responsibilities is their SAT/ACT prep — especially rising seniors who have only taken the test once!
If your student has questions about the SAT or the ACT, you just might have twice as many — and why shouldn’t you? It isn’t always easy keeping up with these exams, particularly in the middle of a global pandemic when colleges and standardized testing organizations have to regularly shift course and adjust their procedures accordingly.
Is your child thinking of taking the SAT/ACT again? Or maybe you’re simply trying to persuade your child of the importance of another round of testing. Either way, let’s take a look at some of the more common FAQs that parents have had regarding these game-changing tests.
1. Can colleges see how many times my student has taken the SAT/ACT?
Short answer: Nope!
Slightly longer answer: The importance of the SAT/ACT is directly related to college admissions, as these exams remain the most vital component of the average college application, alongside a student’s average GPA. So it’s understandable to be especially concerned about each attempt at taking these tests.
The good news is that colleges will only see the scores that your student sends out in their application. College admissions officers have thousands (literally, thousands) of applications to sift through. Simply put, they don’t have time to look up the SAT/ACT scores of each applicant.
While this news should take some of the pressure off, it also means that no student should rest on their laurels when it comes to SAT/ACT prep. In particular, SAT takers should make it a point to take the test at least two to three times due to the college admissions practice of superscoring.
Speaking of which...
2. How does superscoring work?
Out of all the reasons to take the SAT multiple times, superscoring is by far the biggest.
Most colleges and universities have now adopted superscoring policies in their admissions, which is the consideration of only a student’s highest scaled scores across the SAT sections. Thus, even just taking the SAT twice will work toward your student’s advantage, because admissions officers will only look at their top Math and Evidence-Based Reading & Writing scores. On the other hand, if your child only takes the SAT once, colleges will have no choice but to consider only this set of scores.
Realistically, you may find that your child is only willing or even capable of taking the SAT up to two or three times. Having said that, studies have shown that students do indeed improve their SAT scores with each new attempt at the exam. Therefore, if you want to maximize your child’s chances of acceptance into a competitive college, SAT superscoring is a critical admissions strategy.
3. How many times is too many times to take the SAT/ACT? How much prep is too much prep?
Short answer: Depends on the student!
Slightly longer answer: A common myth in test prep is that admissions officers look down on students who take the ACT or the SAT too many times. This is false. As we covered in the previous question, your student can technically take both the SAT and the ACT as many times as they want. Since most colleges and universities only look at one set of scores, there is certainly no harm in taking these tests as much as possible.
At the same time, it’s never a good idea to overload your student. Nowadays, it’s more important than ever to consider the mental health of our young people, so it must always be appreciated that teenagers are human and can only handle so much. While it’s hugely important to regularly attend an SAT/ACT class and participate in all the practice tests, there’s no need to make a student take an entire prep class all over again for each test.
Striking an effective work/life balance when it comes to SAT/ACT prep is a delicate matter. Click here to find out how we can help.
4. How much does it cost to prep for and take the SAT/ACT?
This is another question with an answer that varies on a case-by-case basis. Every student is different, and not every approach to test prep is going to work in every situation.
This is why it’s important to turn to a test prep expert in matters like this. A seasoned test prep veteran can walk you through the ins and outs of various SAT/ACT programs, helping you decide which option is best for your child. Would they thrive in a classroom environment, or would they respond better to one-on-one tutoring? Do they need an entire test prep foundation, or do they simply need to work out a few kinks in their test prep approach? The answers to these questions will help us determine how much prep your child needs, which will in turn determine the cost.
For more information on how much test prep typically costs and how much prep your student needs, click here now for a free consultation.