Can College Students Retake The SAT?

Let’s explore whether college students can retake the SAT, and factors that should be consider when deciding whether or not to do so.

What Is The SAT?

The SAT is a standardized test that many colleges and universities in the United States require students to take as part of their admissions process. 

While high school students typically take the SAT during their junior or senior year, college students may find themselves wanting or needing to retake the test. 

Can College Students Retake The SAT?

This could be because they want to improve their scores to increase their chances of getting accepted into a particular school or program or because they are applying for scholarships or other opportunities that require a specific SAT score. 

Retaking The SAT After High School

Yes, college students can retake the SAT even if they have already taken it in high school. In fact, many students choose to retake the SAT to improve their scores and increase their chances of getting into the college or university of their choice.

There is no limit to the number of times a student can take the SAT, and colleges typically only consider the student’s highest score when making admissions decisions. 

However, it’s essential to remember that taking the SAT multiple times can be costly and may not necessarily lead to a significant increase in scores. Students should carefully consider whether retaking the SAT is worth the time and financial investment.

If a student decides to retake the SAT, they can register for the exam through the College Board website. The registration process is similar to the initial SAT, and students must choose a test date and testing center. 

Resources are also available to help students prepare for the exam, including practice tests, study materials, and tutoring services.


Yes, there are several potential advantages to retaking the SAT as a college student. Here are a few.

Higher Score. Perhaps the most obvious advantage of retaking the SAT is the potential for a higher score. Many students find that they are better prepared for the exam after completing some college coursework and gaining additional experience in test-taking.

A higher SAT score can improve a student’s chances of being accepted into competitive programs or receiving merit-based scholarships.

Improved Admissions Profile. A higher SAT score can also improve a student’s overall admissions profile. In addition to demonstrating academic readiness, a strong SAT score can demonstrate a student’s ability to work hard, set goals, and persevere in the face of a challenge.

Potential For More Scholarships. A higher SAT score can also increase a student’s eligibility for more scholarship opportunities. Many colleges and private organizations offer scholarships based on SAT scores, and a higher score can qualify a student for more scholarship dollars.

Personal Satisfaction. Retaking the SAT and achieving a higher score can be a source of personal satisfaction for many students. It can be validating to see the results of hard work and effort and to know that the effort was worth it.

Potential For Better Course Placement. Finally, a higher SAT score can improve a student’s course placement in college. Some schools use SAT scores to determine which courses a student is eligible to take, and a higher score can result in placement in more advanced or challenging courses.


While there are potential benefits to retaking the SAT as a college student, there are also some potential disadvantages that students should consider before deciding to retake the exam. 

Time And Money. Retaking the SAT can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Students need to invest time in studying and preparing for the exam, and they also need to pay the registration fee and any other associated costs. 

Additionally, taking the exam multiple times may require taking time off work or other activities.

Test Fatigue. Retaking the SAT too many times can lead to test fatigue, which may result in diminishing returns on each subsequent attempt. 

Students may find their scores not improving as much as they had hoped and may become frustrated or burnt out from the process.

Diminished Confidence. Retaking the SAT multiple times can also have a negative impact on a student’s confidence and self-esteem. 

If students have already taken the exam and performed poorly, they may become more anxious or nervous about retaking the test. This can result in lower performance on subsequent attempts.

Lack of Improvement. While retaking the SAT may lead to a higher score, there is also the possibility that a student’s score may not improve or may even decrease. 

This can be a frustrating and disappointing experience, especially if the student has invested a lot of time and effort into preparing for the exam.

In summary, while retaking the SAT as a college student can be beneficial in some cases, there are also potential drawbacks that students should consider before deciding to retake the exam. 

Various Scores, One Result

Colleges and universities have different policies regarding how they consider SAT scores when evaluating applicants. 

Score Choice. Many colleges allow applicants to choose which SAT scores they want to send. With Score Choice, students can select which scores they want to submit by test date or by individual test section. 

This means that if a student has taken the SAT multiple times, they can choose to only send their highest scores to colleges.

Super Scoring. Some colleges “super score” SAT results, which means they consider a student’s highest score on each exam section, regardless of which test date the scores came from. 

Suppose a student scored a 700 on the SAT math section on one test date and a 680 on another. A college that super scores would consider the 700 math score, even if it came from a different test date than the other sections.

Holistic Review. Some colleges use a holistic review process, which means they consider various factors in addition to SAT scores, such as grades, extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendation letters. In this case, SAT scores may be just one part of a larger picture that the college considers.

In general, colleges are most interested in a student’s highest SAT scores and may not even consider lower scores if a student has a higher score on a subsequent test. However, it’s always a good idea for students to aim for their best score on each test date.

Graduate School And Post-College Programs

Yes, retaking the SAT as a college student can potentially help with admissions into graduate school or other post-college programs. Read a couple of reasons why below.

Retaking the SAT as a college student can demonstrate to graduate schools or other programs that you are committed to continued learning and academic growth. 

It can show that you are willing to put in the effort to improve your skills and knowledge, even after completing an undergraduate degree.

In addition, a higher SAT score can improve your chances of being accepted into competitive graduate programs or other post-college programs. 

Admissions committees often use SAT scores as one factor in their evaluation process, and a higher score can make you a more competitive candidate.

Furthermore, some graduate schools or post-college programs may accept the SAT as an alternative to other standardized tests, such as the GRE or GMAT. 

If you perform well on the SAT, it may save you time and money compared to taking another standardized test.

Note that not all graduate schools or other post-college programs require or consider SAT scores. Check the specific admissions requirements for each program you are interested in and decide whether retaking the SAT is worth your time and effort. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, college students can retake the SAT if they wish to improve their scores, even if they already took the test in high school. 

Retaking the SAT can have potential advantages, such as higher scores, improved admissions profiles, and more scholarship opportunities. 

However, it’s vital for students to consider potential disadvantages, such as test fatigue, time and money investment, and possible decreased confidence.

Understand how colleges consider multiple SAT scores when evaluating applicants and follow specific policies regarding score reporting. 

Ultimately, whether or not a college student should retake the SAT is a decision that should be made based on their circumstances, goals, and the policies of the colleges they are applying to.

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