How to Recover from First Test Blues
- June 11, 2015
- Posted by: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Category: Test Prep
It’s more common than you would think. You’ve studied, you’ve prepped, but when it came to game time, the SAT was harder than you gave it credit for. And your scores weren’t what you hoped they would be.
The SAT is a tough test and it’s designed to be. First of all, it’s a timed test, which already puts the stress on. Then there’s the increasing order of difficulty of the questions to leave you fried by the end of each section. And, at 3 hours and 45 minutes, it’s a marathon test. Even if you’ve taken practice tests before, it’s hard to prepare for the real deal.
You may go into a panic, thinking you’ll never get into your dream school with THESE scores. Relax and take a deep breath. It’s not the end of the world and there are many reasons why:
Stats show that scores will go up
If you had a low score on your first try, the odds are in your favor. Statistics show that lower scores tend to go up in subsequent tests. In fact, 55% of students who took the test their junior year improved their score in their senior year.
You may be able to hide your low score
Many colleges offer Score Choice which gives you the opportunity to only show them your highest score. Since chances are your score will probably go up the next time you take it, you can relax. The only person who may have to see this low score is you.
There’s still time to study
But that doesn’t mean that you can put your feet up and relax. If you’re like most students and you took your first SAT in the spring of your Junior year, then there’s plenty of time to study and raise your scores before the last test in the fall of your senior year.
Enroll in an SAT test prep course
There are many test prep courses out there with experienced tutors to give you one-on-one attention. They’ll teach you all the tricks of the SAT such as how to use Process of Elimination and how much time to allow for each question. These courses also include practice tests so you’ll get plenty of practice in before the next big day.
Join a study group
Maybe your school has an official or unofficial study group for the SATs. Why not join it? Studying with other students will help you be motivated to attend the study groups.
Even if you don’t join a study group or a test prep course, you should look at some test prep material on your own. Here’s a list of some of the top test prep books. Don’t skip the practice tests! The more practice tests you take, the more prepared you’ll be when the time comes for your next test.
Remember that the test isn’t everything – While SAT scores are a factor in most college acceptances, they’re not the ONLY factor. Colleges don’t only look at numbers. They’ll also look at your grades over the course of your high school career, read your recommendation letters and your application essay and examine your extracurricular activities. You should, of course, aim to get the best score you can. But don’t convince yourself it’s doomsday for you if you don’t get the score you wanted.
And in fact, it’s worth noting that over 800 colleges and universities don’t require you to send your SAT scores with your college application.
Good luck on your next test!