When fall testing dates begin to approach, many seniors wonder whether they should test one final time. If this sounds like you, these 5 questions will help guide you toward the right decision.
1. Will a score increase have a significant impact on your chances of admission?
Some students get caught up in continuing to test without considering whether an increase will make a meaningful difference in the admissions process. Reach out to your college counselor to discuss whether your goals require one final testing push or whether your energy is better directed toward your applications.
2. How much did you prepare for previous tests?
If higher scores are likely to make a significant difference in where you are admitted, be honest about how much you prepared for previous tests. If you put in very little effort, you are likely to have more room to improve. If you’ve done months of tutoring or completed a rigorous self-study and taken a lot of timed practice exams, you may have reached your maximum score.
3. Do you have a new plan of attack for this final round?
Whether you prepared a lot or a little for your previous tests, you should only register to test again if you have a new plan of attack. If you haven’t prepared in the past, make a self-study plan, register for a class or sign up for tutoring. If you prepared for previous tests but have taken the past several months off, you need to review previous material and schedule out practice tests in the weeks leading up to the exam. If you have portions of the test that are still giving you trouble despite significant preparation, you might want to schedule sessions with a tutor. A great tutor can often zero in on strategy and pacing adjustments that can make a big difference in a relatively short period of time.
4. Do you have the energy to follow through on that plan?
Junior year can be exhausting. A lot of students are burnt out. Be honest with yourself about whether you are ready to put in the time and energy it will take to earn a significant score increase.
5. Do you have the bandwidth to prepare while also completing essays and applications?
When you reach out to your counselor about whether a score increase will make a meaningful difference in your chances of admission, have a frank discussion about the time you will need to invest in completing your applications. Will you have the energy and time to devote to both applications and test preparation? You don’t want to put yourself in the position of not being able to do either well.
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