SAT Retake Score Improvement – What To Expect

If you didn’t do as well as you hoped on the SAT, but you are quite a bit away from your target score, you may be wondering whether or not it will be worth it to retake the test.

After all, retaking the SAT will cost you hours of your time that you’ll have to spend studying, an immense amount of effort, and $55. That’s time, energy, and money you don’t want to go to waste if you don’t have a good chance of improving your score, right?

Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about this because the majority of people who retake the SAT do better the second time around. According to research by the College Board, the organization behind the SAT, roughly 63% of students improve their score when they take the test more than once.

If you didn’t reach your goal on the test the first time around and need a higher score to get into your dream college or earn a competitive scholarship, retaking the test is worth it. You have a great chance of improving your score if you retake the test, which will open doors, unlock impressive opportunities, and increase your chances for future success.

Typical score improvement

Most people who retake the SAT do better for a few key reasons:

  • They are more familiar with the test, so they aren’t surprised by the types of questions that show up
  • They have the chance to review the questions they miss using their SAT score report
  • They know which specific topics they need to study before the next time they take the test
  • They are less nervous because they’ve already taken the test before

For these reasons,  the average student who improves their score on the SAT improves by 40 points.

Improving by 40 points is a great accomplishment, but if you need to improve by more than 40 points, that doesn’t mean you should give up on retaking the test.

With the right resources, you can see significant improvement when you retake the SAT.

Significantly improving your SAT score

It is possible to increase your SAT score beyond 40 points if you work hard and take advantage of all of your resources. To have the best chance of boosting your score, you will need:

  • A study schedule that will help you devote time to preparing for the test
  • Strategies to help you review mistakes from the test
  • Help from experienced experts

Creating a study schedule

Typically, the amount of time you spend studying will correlate to your score improvement on the SAT.

While your mileage may vary, as a rule of thumb:

  • If you want to improve your score by over 100 points, you will need to spend 40+ hours studying to retake the test.
  • If you want to improve your score by over 150 points, you will need to spend 80+ hours studying for your next test
  • If you want to improve your score by over 200 points, you will need to spend 150+ hours studying

Crafting a study schedule will help you make sure you spend enough time studying before your next SAT administration. If you need to improve your score by 200 points, for example, it would not be wise to sign up for a test administration that is only a month away.

Choose a retake date that will give you an adequate amount of time to study and keep the study time above in mind to see how many hours per week you will need to devote to preparing for the SAT to reach your target score.

Mastering review strategies

When it comes to improving your score, the time you spend studying is not going to matter if you are not studying effectively. 

Here are a few steps you should take to review for the test:

  • Understand how to read your score report. This will ensure that you know your strengths and weaknesses on the test, your percentile score, and the specific sections where you could improve
  • Understand why you missed every single question you got wrong. While it is tempting to think I just didn’t read carefully or That one is pretty self-explanatory; I don’t know why I missed it and move on, this won’t help you improve. For each question you miss on the SAT or on your practice tests, make sure you can write down a detailed explanation as to why the answer you selected was incorrect and why the correct answer is the only possible right answer.
  • Understand key tips for each section and for the test as a whole. Here are some SAT test-taking tips to help you get started.

Working with experts

Learning from experts who have experience scoring highly on the SAT can help you maximize your study efforts and earn a higher score when you take the SAT.

There are two main options for working with experts to prepare for the SAT and improve your score:

  • Private SAT tutoring
  • Taking an SAT prep course

Private SAT tutoring is an effective option for improving your SAT score because it gives students the chance to work one-on-one with someone who earned a top score on the SAT. This means they have strategies they can share to help students do better the second time around. Private tutors can go through score reports with students to help them make sense of what they got wrong on the test, and they can help address weaknesses students may have before test day.

If you want to increase your SAT score, working with a private tutor will give you an excellent chance of reaching your goal.

Taking an SAT prep course will also increase the likelihood that you will find success when you retake the SAT. Prep courses are taught by experienced instructors who can break down each section of the SAT in a way that is easier for students to understand. Students who take SAT prep courses leave with tips and tricks they can use to improve their SAT scores and the confidence they need to succeed on test day. Some SAT prep courses, like the ones offered through Prep Expert, even come with a score improvement guarantee.

What better way to do better on the SAT than to learn from people who have been in your shoes, know the ins and outs of the test, and are able to share proven SAT strategies and resources with you?

Next steps

When you create a strong study schedule, learn the best ways to review your previous test, and enlist the help of experienced SAT test-takers, improving your SAT score will be a lot easier than you might think.

See how Prep Expert can help you use private tutoring or SAT prep courses to increase your score on the SAT when you visit our website.