How many times can you take the SAT exam? This is probably the most frequently asked by both students preparing for the SATs and their worried parents. Well, if you have pondered upon this question then that means you are on the right path and you are serious about your preparations. The SAT exam can be taken as many times as you want. The test is offered multiple times a year and there is no such restriction placed on how many times one can appear for it.

However, there is a certain ideal number of times one should appear for the SATs. But the first thing one must realise is that taking the SATs multiple times is purely optional and there is no obligation upon the students to appear for the SATs more than once.
Now coming back to how many times one should take SATs. Well, it can differ from person to person. Ideally, one should take SATs at least twice. Once at the end of their freshman year and the other during the senior year. You can appear for more than twice to see your improvement, however, the number of attempts should not be more than four. It reflects badly on your application.

How many times can you take the SAT Exam in a year?

The SAT is offered several times a year. The college boards offer the SAT seven times in a year. August, October, November, December, March, May and June. Technically there is no restriction on how many times you can give the SAT in a year. However, taking too many SATS can only confuse you more and add to your burden. It is advised that you should take your first SAT at the end of your junior year. Doing so will allow you to assess where you are standing. You can compare your score against the score ranges in the college profiles of your choice. This way you will be able to know whether taking SAT again in the senior year will make any sense. 

By testing yourself in the junior year you’ll have a fair idea where you lack, and you can utilize the summer break to make up. If you are anxious about your college and you desire to see where you stand in the college acceptance landscape, you can also give your SATs before spring. Nowadays many colleges are seeing candidates who have taken the SAT multiple times. 

However, taking the SATs too many times is a waste of both time and money. The Syllabus of the SAT is designed according to what you learn in school. And you will be much more prepared at the end of the junior year than the beginning. Also, PSAT performs the same function of giving you a fair idea on where you will stand in your SATs, making it unnecessary to give SAT early in the junior year.


Do colleges see how many times you take the SAT?

No, most of the colleges do not mandate disclosing the number of times you have taken SAT or what you have scored in other SATs. You only have to send your best scores. The College Board gives you an easy option for selecting which scores you want to send with an option of what is known as “Score Choice”. This means you can skip telling your college your worst scores. You can send your best two scores or as many scores as you want to. 

However, some schools require you to send all your SATs scores. These schools are referred to as “All Score Schools”. All Score Schools are typically highly selective schools like Yale or Duke. So what exactly do the colleges do with all your scores? Well, different colleges have different ways of evaluating multiple SAT scores. Some colleges opt for superscoring, where they only consider the highest score from each section of the SAT and then combine those scores. Others opt for the highest sitting score, i.e. they would select based on highest composite SAT score from a single test. 

Is taking the SAT Exam four times too much?

As mentioned above, not many colleges ask for the number of times you have taken the SAT or your scores in each and every one of them. However, this does not imply that one should take as many SATs as they want. Appearing for SATs mindlessly multiple times is not recommended. Every consecutive SAT should be taken with the aim of scoring better than the last time. Hence, there should be a preparatory gap in which one can analyse their mistakes and accordingly work upon them. 

Furthermore, along with your SAT scores, you’ll also have to build up your school’s average score. You must remember that SAT scores are not the only thing that goes into your college application. You must invest some time in your extracurricular activities as well.

Taking SATs for more than four times is not bad, however, if you are applying for an All Score college then it might look bad on your application. Too many SAT appearances will show that your priority was merely limited to qualifying the test rather than extracurricular activities and other elements of your application and overall development of your profile. This will make your application look bad, and the selectors might opt for a student with good score who took the test only once, rather than one who took more than four attempts to get the highest score. 


How many times can you take the SAT exam for free?

The SAT fee waiver is available for low-income intermediate students who are residents of the USA. You can take two free SATs with or without the essay and 6 free SAT Subject Tests. The free waiver option will send your unlimited score reports to colleges and your application fees will be waived for the participating colleges.

In conclusion, many students nowadays are inclined towards appearing for SATs multiple times. Knowing the scoring policy of the college you are applying to will significantly help you in deciding on how many attempts would be adequate for you. If you are inclined on appearing only once or twice, you can always opt for nationwide mock tests. This way you will be able to assess yourself and formulise your SAT taking strategies to bring your scores to the highest potential.