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Deciding whether to retake the SAT

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Video transcript

- Let's talk about deciding whether if you want to retake the SAT or not. If you're on the fence and you've only taken it once, it might be worth retaking, probably for two reasons. The majority of students typically tend to improve their score on the second time around. Colleges will generally look at your highest scores on the three different sections over a couple of different tests if necessary. If you're still unsure, there's a few questions to ask yourself when deciding. The first thing would be, where do you stand with the schools that you're interested in. One way of being able to do this is to look at the data the colleges will publish. Most schools will publish their SAT data in percentiles What they do is give you a range. They generally give you the 25th percentile to the 75th percentile. So what that means is 25% of their students fall below this range, who were enrolled at the school, and 25% fall above this range, who enrolled at this school. The numbers they give you are sort of the middle group of students. You can use that then to sort of benchmark where you are. If you're, let's take an example, say your critical reading score is a 500. The range at UCLA for the 25th percentile is a 560, and for the 75th percentile is a 690. So you're below that. You're in that bottom 25% of the class. My advice to you would be is to study and really try to move that score up. It would be a good idea to retake that test. If you scored a 600 on the critical reading for the SAT, then you're certainly more competitive at UCLA. You are between the 25th percentile and the 75th percentile. Again, you're more competitive, but it still may be something, a score that you may want to think about trying to push up if you haven't studied a lot, and still feel like you could do better. The SAT is more than just one section, so obviously UCLA has math scores and writing scores. The math range for SAT for UCLA is a 610 to a 740. The writing range is a 590 to a 710. Again, you can put your scores in those ranges and see how they match up. A second question you may want to ask yourself is what was your initial score. It's typically easier to bring up a very low score than to get the final few points on a higher score. A third thing to maybe think about is your results compared to your expectations. If you did a lot of studying, you took some practice exams, and you did about the same as you did on the practice test, that may be where you're going to be. If you scored a lot higher on a practice test, you may want to think about taking it again. Taking it that second time may be more comfortable, and you may be able to achieve the results you've done in practice tests. Finally, that preparation piece is important, so making sure you spend time and really understanding the test, to do the best you can do.