Wondering how many times you can take the SAT or redo the test? Our SAT test retake guide covers essential information for high school students considering retaking the SAT. You'll find details about SAT test policies, how often you can retake, the pros and cons of retaking the test, valuable tips for score improvement, and common mistakes to avoid. It's an excellent resource to explore the advantages and pitfalls of retaking the SAT, empowering you to make informed decisions for your college admissions journey. Be sure to check out what to bring to the SAT on test day, too!

>>Want us to help you get accepted? Schedule a free strategy call here.<<

Article Contents
7 min read

How Many Times Can You Take the SAT? Should You Retake the SAT? Tips for Improving your SAT Score Common Mistakes to Avoid When Retaking the SAT Conclusion FAQs

How Many Times Can You Take the SAT?

As a high school student, the prospect of applying to college can be daunting and one of the most well-known components of the application process is the SAT, a standardized test that is used by colleges and universities to assess the academic abilities of applicants and determine their readiness for college-level work. While the SAT can be an important factor in the college admissions process, many students may wonder how many times they can take the test and whether it's worth the effort and expense to take it multiple times.

 So, how many times can you take the SAT in total? The answer is, there is no limit to the number of overall attempts.

However, the number of test dates offered per year by the College Board determines the frequency of retakes per admissions cycle. The test can be taken about seven times annually as there are SAT test dates in August, October, November, December, March, May, and June. 

So, while there is not hard limit on the number of tries you can take on the SAT, you should consider what it means to retake the SAT, and the pros and cons of retaking this test to achieve a higher score. All in all, it’s much better to ace the test the first time around, but if you decide to retake, consider your options carefully.


Should You Retake the SAT?

The SAT is a standardized test, which means that it is designed to be administered and scored in a consistent and uniform manner. As a result, the College Board, which develops and administers the test, has established policies and rules to ensure that the test is administered and scored fairly and consistently for all test-takers. SAT retake policies ensure that students have the opportunity to retake the test if they want to improve their scores, while also maintaining the integrity of the test. 

Based on research and statistics, students who take the SAT more than three times do not noticeably improve on their score. Some of the reasons may be because they may be too relaxed and not prepared properly because they know that they have the options of retaking as many times as they like. Also, taking the test too many times can be a drain on time and resources.

And of course, it is not for free. A registration fee of $60 applies for most students, however, fee waivers are available for some students that qualify. Also, you have the option to send your scores to about 4 colleges or universities for free. However, if you want your schools sent to more than 4 institutions, you will need to pay an additional fee to release your SAT scores.

We recommend that you aim at taking the SAT not more than three times total. These specific goals will assist you in preparing properly for the exam all three times and help you perform excellently. However, if you need to take it more than three times, there must be a compelling reason to do so, such as a significant change in your preparation or a barrier due to personal circumstances.

It's also important to note that colleges and universities have different policies regarding SAT scores and how they are used in the admissions process. Some schools require all SAT scores to be submitted, while others only look at the highest score of all attempts. Students should research the policies of the schools they are interested in applying to in order to understand how their SAT scores will be evaluated.

A strong SAT or ACT score can help you offset a low GPA when applying to colleges! Here are more tips for getting into college with a low GPA:

Pros and Cons of SAT Test Retakes

For students who are not satisfied with their initial SAT scores, retaking the test can be an appealing option. However, retaking the SAT can have both advantages and disadvantages. Under this section, you will learn about the different pros and cons of retaking the SATs.

What to Do Before Retaking the SAT: Tips for Improving your SAT Score

Instead of committing yourself to endless retakes of the SAT to achieve the score you want, it’s much better and more efficient to prepare yourself well the first time around. Save any SAT retakes for special circumstances and do what you need to do in order to score well the first time you take the test. Here’s a few of our tips on how to start preparing for the SAT and how to study for the SAT:

#1 Get to know the SAT’s content

First, familiarize yourself with the format and content of the SAT. The SAT consists of two main sections: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math. Reviewing the test format and structure can help you focus your preparation efforts and improve your test-taking skills. 

#2 Take practice tests

Take practice tests to get a feel for the SAT format and timing. Practice tests can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and focus your preparation efforts accordingly. You can find some practice tests on College Board or find an SAT tutor to assist you with your preparations. While taking the practice tests, you need to check your progress and analyze your scores, identifying your strengths and weaknesses and working on them.

#3 Practice your timing

Writing the SAT is more about time management. The SAT is a timed test, so it's important to pace yourself and allocate your time wisely. Practice time management strategies or time yourself during practice tests to determine where you might be losing time. For instance, if you are a slow reader you can practice reading challenging texts, highlighting important information and breaking it down into its key points, words or phrases so you can understand the passage faster without needing to re-read the entire thing.

#4 Expand your vocabulary

It is also important you work on your vocabulary because it is a core part of the test. Set weekly reading goals for yourself and read from a wide variety of sources that challenge your reading level. Keep a dictionary with you to look up unfamiliar words and expand your understanding of new words you may encounter on the test.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Retaking the SAT

If you do decide to retake the SAT, whether to enhance your score or because you feel you didn’t adequately prepare the first time, remember to avoid some common pitfalls. There are some common mistakes that students make when retaking the SAT which you must take note.

#1 Not preparing effectively

One of the biggest mistakes students make when retaking the SAT is not preparing effectively. Simply taking the test again without changing your study habits or strategies is unlikely to result in a significant score improvement. Make sure you develop an effective study plan and use a variety of study strategies to prepare for the test. While it's important to focus on improving your weakest sections, it's important to avoid neglecting other sections of the test. Neglecting other sections can lead to a lower overall score, even if you improve your weakest section.

#2 Being overconfident

Also, avoid being overconfident when retaking the SAT. Some students may be overconfident in their abilities and may not take the test seriously. This can lead to careless mistakes and a lower score. It's important to approach the test with a focused and serious mindset, even if you have taken it before 

#3 Not practicing good time management

Time management is a crucial factor in SAT success, and it cannot be overemphasized. Make sure you practice pacing yourself during practice tests and identify strategies for working quickly and accurately. This can help you manage your time effectively during the actual test and avoid running out of time.

#4 Taking the SAT too many times

Furthermore, taking the test too many times may not be a good idea. While retaking the SAT can be beneficial, taking the test too many times can be a mistake. Some colleges may view multiple test attempts negatively, and it can be costly to register and take the test multiple times. Make sure you research the policies of your preferred colleges and universities regarding multiple test attempts before deciding to retake the SAT. And remember that instead of paying for multiple SAT attempts, there are free practice tests available you can take as many times as needed to prepare.


Remember, retaking the SAT can be a powerful tool to demonstrate your academic abilities and improve your chances of admission to your preferred colleges. However, it's crucial to approach retakes strategically, ensuring effective preparation and consideration of your specific circumstances. Whether you're planning to take the SAT for the first time or retake it, this guide will empower you to navigate the SAT with confidence and achieve your academic goals. Best of luck on your SAT journey!


1. How many times can you take the SAT?

There is no set limit to the number of times you can take the SAT. However, the test is offered seven times a year, and retakes should be approached strategically. Consider the cost, timeline and whether a retake will significantly improve your score at all.

2. Is retaking the SAT worth it?

Retaking the SAT can be beneficial if you believe you can improve your score significantly. It gives you a chance to showcase your best performance to colleges and universities, particularly if you are trying to get into an Ivy League college or a competitive program.

3. What are the advantages of SAT test retakes?

Retaking the SAT allows you to improve your scores, demonstrate commitment to academic excellence, and become more familiar with the test format and content. Keep in mind that you can also take as many practice SAT tests as you like for free and still see a score improvement. It’s better to prepare yourself as well as possible the first time around instead of relying on test retakes.

4. How many times should I retake the SAT?

It is recommended to retake the SAT no more than three times in one year, as taking it too many times may not lead to significant score improvements. On top of this, it costs time and money to retake the SAT multiple times.

5. What factors should I consider before retaking the SAT?

Consider your previous SAT score, financial capability, SAT schedule, and reasons for retaking. Evaluate your preparedness and identify areas for improvement.

6. Do colleges practice SAT super-scoring?

Some colleges and universities practice SAT super-scoring, which considers a student's best section scores from multiple test attempts, rather than overall scores from a single attempt.

7. What are common mistakes to avoid when retaking the SAT?

Avoid ineffective preparation, neglecting certain sections, overconfidence, poor time management, and excessive test retakes. Remember that you can avoid retakes by refining your prep strategy and taking practice tests instead!

8. Can retaking the SAT negatively impact my chances of college admission?

Some colleges may view multiple test attempts negatively. It's essential to research the admission policies of your preferred institutions to understand their stance on retakes.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting


Want more free tips? Subscribe to our channels for more free and useful content!




Apple Podcasts




Like our blog? Write for us! >>

Have a question? Ask our admissions experts below and we'll answer your questions!