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When Cher wished that she could turn back time, she was grieving a lost relationship, but students may have thought of her song as they regretted an SAT that they should have taken. Because SATs are only offered seven times per year, there’s very little flexibility for students who’ve missed their opportunity to take a test and are left remorseful.
Continuing our discussion from last month’s blog, we can look at some considerations that come after students have taken the SAT and have their scores at the ready.
- Just because a student takes the SAT, doesn’t mean they need to share their scores.
If a student is applying to a school that does not require SAT scores to be submitted, it’s totally up to the student to decide if the scores will help or distract from the other great parts of their application. And even if the student decides to send their scores, the SAT’s Score Choice program allows students to only send their highest scores to make the best impression.
- Students can choose to highlight their scores or disregard them.
Even if a student is required to submit their SAT scores, they have the choice to either highlight or largely disregard them. For instance, if the student’s scores are one of the pieces of their application that makes them feel the most confident, they can mention their scores in their interview, application essay, or any other open-ended portion of their application. If a student would rather not focus on their scores, they can simply submit them without drawing special attention. Remember, colleges are looking at every part of your application, not just test scores.
- Surprise! Stay prepared for an additional school application.
Even if a student thinks that they have their schools-to-apply list totally solidified, there is always a chance that a school could be added later in the application process, which is very normal. (Check out The Answer Class Personalized List Service for help constructing a balanced college list.) The best thing a student can do is to have their SAT already taken so that they can send their scores to a new school, if necessary. Students get all kinds of information about college programs and opportunities during this time, and having SAT scores to send will make jumping on these new ideas so much simpler.
- Students may be noticed by colleges that they weren’t originally considering.
If students choose to opt into the College Board’s Student Search Service, when they register for an SAT, they’ll get information from colleges and scholarship programs. This lets the College Board do some of the searching work for students, to ease the burden a bit. Also, it can be a major boost to a student’s self-confidence to feel like a college is looking for them, instead of the other way around.
- In some cases, a potential job may even want to see students’ SAT scores.
Recruiter.com reported several years ago (drawing on a Wall Street Journal article) that sometimes, employers ask students for their SAT scores – even 30 years later! Just like a college application wants to see different measures of a student’s personality and academic achievement, hiring managers use job applications to sense potential employees’ personalities, work experiences, and challenges overcome.
We are under no illusions that the SAT is fun. It takes preparation, it takes up most of a Saturday, and the test itself is hard. But having those SAT scores at the ready is one less thing to worry about during college application time.
Students should also be sure not to go into the SAT without the proper preparation! The Answer Class offers affordable SAT (and ACT) prep classes throughout the year. Find the class that best fits your schedule here.