You prepped and studied, you took your SAT/ACT, scores are back, and… you didn’t score as well as you wanted. Getting a lower score than anticipated, and lower than you’d hoped, can be a crushing blow to any student. But it’s not the end of the world! Here are some strategies for when your SAT/ACT score isn’t what you wanted:

Don’t Despair!

Repeat after me: “My SAT score is not the end of the world. My ACT score is not the end of the world.” Even if you’re not in the SAT/ACT score range you wanted, all is not lost. The nice thing about the SAT/ACT is that you get multiple shots at it if you need them. So consider this a setback, but not an ending.

Take Some Time Off

Taking the test is stressful under any circumstances, and getting back a disappointing score can knock the wind out of your sails. While it can be tempting to beat yourself up, it’s important to give yourself time to rest. Spend a week or two doing things that relax you, and not even thinking about the test. This will help you refresh before you’re ready to tackle the situation head-on.

Form a New Plan

The most obvious thing to do after a disappointing score is to retake the test, but you shouldn’t just charge in blindly. Think of this previous test as a way of knowing where your strengths and weaknesses are, and form a plan to conquer any weak spots. Whether this means reviewing a particular section where you didn’t score as well as you wanted, or finding ways to defeat test anxiety, there are a number of steps you can put in place to ensure your second time taking the test is better than your first.

Ask for Help

You’re not alone! As you form your new plan, there’s nothing wrong with asking for help—in fact, it’s one of the smartest things you can do! This can mean forming study groups with friends to hold yourselves accountable, or getting advice from older friends and relatives who’ve already taken the test and may have some tips and tricks for you. Better yet, consider looking to the pros—our experts at A-List are experienced with test prep for all kinds of students, and can help you get ready for a successful test day even after a previous disappointment.

A lower test score is never fun, but it doesn’t need to crush you—it’s just an opportunity to prepare for another round, and a successful future test day!

Contact us for further information on how we can help you get ready for your next test day!