How to Prepare for Your SAT/ACT Retake

By Bailey Linton on March 15, 2019

Don't worry, I'm aware of what you're probably thinking. Something like, why would I ever want to take the SAT/ACT again?

When I took the ACT, I was so worried that my entire future would rely on that one test. I truly felt that there was no way to study for the test (not to mention that I wasn't all that great at studying in the first place) and it made me feel like I was just going to have to accept whatever score I got.

Thankfully, I earned a decent score on my first attempt and called it good enough because it was high enough to meet Cornerstone's admissions requirements. However, I didn't take one very important fact into consideration: If you retake the SAT/ACT and earn a higher score, Cornerstone may raise your academic scholarship.

This can be roughly a $4,000-$8,000 difference over the course of four years. That means that in most cases, retaking the SAT/ACT is so worth it.

So, here are three ways to prepare for your SAT/ACT retake.

Find online study materials

One of the biggest lies I told myself when it came the SAT/ACT was that I was not capable of studying for it.

The truth is, while it may not be your usual type of studying, there are ways to prepare yourself for the test. Instead of studying specific material, you can study the methods by which to answer questions. In other words, you can study how to logically solve problems, or at least how to eliminate the wrong answers.

In addition to this, there are tons of online materials from past SAT/ACT tests just a Google search away that you can use to score yourself and prepare. More good news is, if you're retaking a test then you've already experienced the format and probably have a pretty good idea of what to expect! This can be a huge help the second time around.

Meet with your teacher

If there is one thing I have learned in my life, it is that there are a ton of people who simply know more than me.

Whenever I have questions about what to do next or need tangible answers to problems, I have often found meeting with an individual who has experience in my area of worry useful.

Your teacher has most likely been giving out the SAT/ACT for years and knows a bit of what to expect when it comes to it. Most have even been trained in the best ways to prepare students to take the test.

This means that in addition to advice, they can possibly provide you with practice material from past years and grade you on them, as well as give you feedback.

Not every teacher has time to help with this type of study method, but it can never hurt to ask.

Register online for a location

The ACT/SAT may not have been fun the first time around, but at least you didn’t have to go anywhere besides your school to take it.

The second time around, however, you may find that you have to go to a separate location for the retake. This will not be the case for everyone, but it is still a good idea to check.

A great way to find ACT/SAT test retakes close to you is by going to collegereadiness.collegeboard.org. This website will provide you with a quick search to find the dates, times and places that work best for you.

Be sure to check with your school advisor so they know that new test scores may be coming in soon, as a change to your transcripts may be necessary.

Rock that retake

If you've followed all of the steps up until now, you should at least be better prepared for the test than maybe you were before. With all of the knowledge you have now, you should be ready to rock that retest!

Remember that this test isn't the “end all be all” to being accepted to the college of your choice, but it is a defining force. Be sure to take it seriously, and you could potentially be walking away with a little more grant money than you had before!

For a breakdown of the academic scholarships rewarded to students based on scores, as well as to calculate your own score, visit our Scholarships and Grants web page. Cornerstone would also like to offer you the Improving You SAT and ACT Scores guide, which you can download here!

Category: Student Perspectives