Should I take the SAT/ACT again?

By SAT ACT Test Prep

“Do I have to take SAT again? Hannah, a junior at East Lyme High School asked. She knew the answer to the question.  One and done is exceedingly rare, at least for Connecticut students interested in attending competitive colleges.

Extensive research shows that SAT and ACT test takers improve the second and third time they take the test.  Certainly, additional prep time, both studying and getting tutored, account for some of the rise. But the other reason is performance based.

Through my work, I have become a performance coach for all tests, not just the SAT and ACT but also for large tests in school and any test of consequence.  The one commonality across all performance: test takers do better after taking the test the first time.

I recently gave a presentation at our office in Madison and discussed the various factors that affect SAT and ACT performance: stamina, nervousness, pacing, distraction and so forth.  I can break down these factors into pin point items. But when I want to give an overall answer for why test takers do better the second time around, I simply say “the shock of the test” creates an underperformance the first time around.

If you are a parent, consider if you had to sit for the SAT or ACT tomorrow and if the scores mattered in some significant way. 4 hours of concentration while battling stress, distraction, and fatigue. It is “shocking.”  The second time around, not as much and then not much again and again.

Yes. Take the test again.