Plight of the test taker


Reilly Olson, Op/Ed Editor

As the wave of stress washes over this year’s juniors regarding the start of SAT/ACT testing season, many are considering the possibility of taking the test multiple times. Does this statistically hold an advantage for those wishing to do so?

Results are mixed. According to College Board, the official site of the SAT, 55% of students that retake the test improve their scores. While impressive, this also means that the remaining 45% saw no change, or even a decrease of the previous score.

Considering the odds are about 50/50, and the tests themselves are far from cheap, Monte Vista students are faced with the prospect of making the choice: to retake or not to retake?

Many juniors have already taken one or both tests once, and are looking for guidance as to whether or not a retake might benefit them.

Junior Max Yuan took the SAT for the first time in January and was dissatisfied with his score.

“I need to take it again because the first time I took it, I did not do as well as I expected,” Yuan said. “I plan to take it until I can achieve the score I desire.”

As of now, there is no limit to the amount of times a student is allowed to take either test. The average tends to hover around 2 to 3, but at some point, students generally come to the conclusion that they have done as well as they can.

The price and time commitment involved are also factors to consider.

Other juniors aren’t as caught up in the trend.

“I want to take the tests as few times as possible because I don’t want to have to go through the stress of studying,” junior Aaron Peng said. “I feel like the SAT is overhyped as far as difficulty goes.”

Other reasons for retaking might involve being able to feel more comfortable with the time limits and structure of the tests.

I myself have taken the SAT once and plan to retake for a combination of all these reasons. It’s important to get a handle on the structure of the different sections, particularly for the incoming juniors with the planned changes to the current SAT.

    It’s important to remember that whether you decide taking either test multiple times is a good path for you or not, neither of these standardized tests single-handedly determine your getting into college, so relax, get a good night’s sleep and try your best not to stress.