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Written by Sattler College

So you signed up for your standardized testing and didn’t do as well as you hoped. Maybe it’s been a few years since high school, and your technical skills are foggy. Or maybe your education was substandard in some areas and left gaps in place of algebraic equations. Or maybe you choke up over testing, even when you know the concepts.

What should you do if your SAT or ACT scores are lower than you’d like?

1. Be aware of the admissions process. Sattler admissions officers make it their policy to consider only the highest scores submitted. If you do poorly in the reading section of your first test and bomb the math section of the retake, submit both tests, and the admissions team will disregard the lowest scores. Most college admissions teams have a similar policy.

2. Test as early as possible and as often as needed. Schedule your standardized test for October or November in order to have plenty of time to retest if you score lower than you’d like. Retake the test as many times as needed to get a score you’re happy with.

3. Concentrate on your areas of weakness. The test results will show you where your skills are weakest. Focus your restudy efforts in those areas.

4. Utilize study helps and practice tests. The internet offers a wealth of study help and practice tests. Check out these resources for ACT and SAT practice.

5. Apply anyway. Don’t let a low score discourage you from applying. Sattler, as well as many other colleges, takes a holistic view of the admissions process and considers more than test scores in acceptance decisions. If you’ve done your best and still bomb the test, showcase your strengths and skills in the remainder of your college application. With dedication and enthusiasm, you still have a good chance of being accepted.

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