SAT or Scholastic Aptitude Test is a standardized examination well suited for the students who plan to take up undergraduate academic courses in foreign countries such as Canada and US. The exam basically tests the candidate on his basic written, verbal and mathematical skills. For the candidates seeking admission in a particular subject or course, he/she can also take up the SAT subject test to show his competency in that particular subject or arena.
The SAT exam consists of three sections- Math, Reading and Writing. An optional section of Essay Writing is also present in the exam wherein a candidate is allotted 50 minutes to pen down his argument against the topic given. However, candidates are not judged on this section. The total duration of exam is 30 minutes with additional 50 minutes for the essay writing.
Anyone who prepares for the SAT exam has one definite question in his/her mind- ‘How many times can one attempt this exam?’ The answer to this question is pretty simple- as many times as you want! The College Board places on restrictions on the number of attempts that a candidate takes in order to get into the stream and college of his choice. It doesn’t matter if you take 2 attempts or 20, the College Board is always happy to let you do so.
While there isn’t any upper limit to the number of times one can attempt this exam, the ideal frequency is 4. There are many reasons for the same some of which are enlisted below:
- Wastage of time, effort and money
A single application for SAT costs a candidate $52.5 (approx) and an additional $42 as non US regional fee. If you plan to take up a subject exam, you are required to pay $26 additional each time you attempt the exam. If you are not well prepared and haven’t strategically studied for the exam, multiple retakes will never improve your score. To avoid all this, it is imperative to study properly and you never know you might get a stellar score in the first attempt itself!
- You might have to share your poor scores
While it’s true that you can attempt the paper any number of times and colleges allow the students to choose the dates that they want to share with the authorities, some colleges ask for the dates and scores of all the attempts that the candidate has taken so far. It might also mean that you would have to share your poor scores too, if you have any! Therefore it is very important for you to know about the policies of admission through SAT in the college of your choice even before you sit for the examination.
- The negative signal
While taking the exam is permissible according to the College Board, it sends out a negative signal that you are probably not taking the test seriously enough or you have a trouble while improving your scores. No college would want to take in a candidate who doesn’t improve on the same thing even when done repeatedly.
Keeping the above mentioned factors in mind, it is very important to be calculative about the number of times you sit for the exam and make the best out of every attempt. All it takes is putting in the right amount of effort and honing your approach of handling the questions!