Receiving a low SAT score can be disheartening, especially for high school students aspiring for college admission.
As a seasoned math tutor, I’ve guided many students through this challenge. If you find yourself in this situation, here are five practical steps to navigate forward.
5 Things To Do When You Get A Low Score On The SAT
1.Understand What Constitutes a Low SAT Score
Firstly, it’s important to understand what a bad SAT score actually is. Your score might be low if it is:
- Significantly below the national average SAT score
- Below the 25th percentile of your target college’s admitted students
However, remember that a ‘low’ score is relative and depends on the colleges and universities you’re aiming for.
2.Consider Test-Optional Colleges
Many colleges and universities are now test-optional, meaning they do not require SAT or ACT scores for admission. If your score is lower than expected, research institutions that evaluate applicants holistically. Many don’t place significant emphasis on standardized test scores.
3.Prepare for a Retake
If you decide to retake the SAT, start by analyzing your test scores to identify areas of weakness. This is especially important in sections like evidence-based reading and writing or mathematics.
Engage in targeted test prep, utilizing resources such as practice tests to improve in specific areas. Remember, many test takers score higher on their second attempt.
4.Focus on Other Aspects of Your Application
A low score on the SAT isn’t the end of the road. Colleges consider various factors like your:
- High school GPA
- Extracurricular activities
- Letters of recommendation
Enhance these aspects to strengthen your overall application.
5.Set Realistic Expectations and Goals
It’s important to set realistic expectations based on your score. While you may not hit the 75th percentile or achieve a perfect score, you can still aim for improvement within a realistic score range. This approach helps in maintaining a positive outlook and reduces undue stress.