Feels like deja vu all over again

Standardized testing, particularly the SAT and ACT, is a wonderfully forgiving thing.

Collectively, you have 13 different testing dates offered annually and in theory, you are allowed to test as often as you'd like to. Heck, most colleges even allow you to mix and match different sectional results to form your greatest mathematical total (a process called Super Scoring). That's akin to tallying your 4 highest scoring quarters in basketball and claiming the ending sum is your best game overall.

Like I said, forgiving.

It is this spirit that permeates this week especially since the December ACT scores were recently released. When the moment of truth arrives, there will always be students who feel compelled to take the test again due to need, pride or pressure.

"So what should you do if you're retaking the test?"

1. Ask yourself how you prepared for the previous attempt. If you had little to no prep whatsoever, you know what to do. If you DID prepare but still failed to reach your goals, you've got to make adjustments. Repeating a course or adding tutoring hours is quite helpful for students who are scoring no higher than 1100 on the SAT or 22 on the ACT. On the other hand, drilling practice tests is likely a better choice for those who are already in the 1400 SAT or 31 ACT ranges.

2. Focus on your current weaknesses and improve your Return On Investment. Your official SAT/ACT score report should tell you which areas you need to focus on. What's less obvious is how to leverage the test. For example, the SAT Writing & Language section is filled with "quick wins" especially when compared against the Reading section. Students who need higher verbal scores would benefit greater from prioritizing the grammar stuff over the more challenging and admittedly longer reading stuff.

3. Consider the other test. If you took the SAT and fell short, look into taking the ACT, and vice versa. Some students are naturally in tune with one test type over the other and the change of pace might be a nice reset for your mind. The ACT Science test can be a drag to those who never get the hang of it whilst the SAT No Calculator Math section can be a huge bummer for students who struggle with math naturally.

Whichever options you consider, remember that these tests can be beat with focus, hard work and the right approach. If you'd like to know how Pulido Prep can help you, please feel free to contact us.

P.S. If you're ever feeling down about the SAT or ACT, you should Google "gaokao". It's a bit of schadenfreude, but you'll still feel a little better. Promise.

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