How Many Times is Best?

Taking the SAT and the ACT

High school students all across the country are required to take college entrance exams. Whether those tests help them get into their dream school or get the full-ride scholarship they needed, these tests are very critical. The question that remains is: How often should one take the SAT or the ACT? A tricky question. 

When I was in school, I took each test once. I signed up for the test, showed up at my testing center, took it, then immediately forgot about it, and never looked back. This is not the ideal way to do things. Instead, taking these tests multiple times can actually increase your ACT and SAT scores in huge ways. Not only do you become more comfortable with the nuances of the test, you also practice working on similar questions before the pressure sets in on test day. 

Practice Test is Best

Always, always, always take a practice test. There are a number of ways to get access to both free and purchasable practice tests online and through Huntington Learning Center. Here at Huntington, we actually offer free practice tests to our students as they make their way through their program which leads to giant increases in scores. Practice tests help you learn the rules of a test and how to manage your time, so they become necessary for critical tests like the ACT and the SAT. Before taking your official test, try to take at least THREE practice tests to feel less stressed and more comfortable. 

What Score is Right for You?

Another factor to consider as you decide how many times to take these tests is the score that is right for you. Perhaps you want to get into an Ivy League college and need a nearly perfect score. Maybe you are going to a state college and need to meet a certain requirement for your program of study. Whatever the case, getting the score that is right for you should be your only goal. We advise our students to take the test three times in order to feel confident and proud of their results. Also, be aware of your potential school’s requirements. Some schools require that you submit your first official score, while others allow you to choose which scores you submit. Be aware of these rules. 


Many students have never heard of superscoring, but it can make a huge difference on your college applications. Only specific colleges accept these scores so do your research and see if you can take advantage of this opportunity. Superscoring is the process of combining your best scores from multiple tests to give you the best results. In other words, if you scored really high in math on your second attempt, really high in science on your third attempt, and really high in reading on your first attempt, you can take those separate scores and combine them into their own super score. This is HUGE for high school seniors. Take advantage of this. Take the test several times and pull your highest scores. It’s like walking through a grocery store and getting to pick out five free things, don’t miss this incredible opportunity!

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