Tests and Admissions

Gamble for Success

Bachelors Degree – CollegeandUniversity.net has over 150 schools that offer Bachelors Degrees.

Prep tests can be viewed as a game. A game that people encourage you to give another shot if the first attempt doesn’t go well.


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Take SAT for example. Most students sit down to take SAT for the first time in their junior year, and many do it again in the senior year. More than half of students who re-take SAT are reported to improve their scores on the second shot while about 1/3 of students had decreases in the scores.

Having said that, it’s natural to understand that the higher the first score was, the more likely that the second score will decrease. Similarly, if the first score was low, then re-taking for the second time will yield better score since the student is familiar with test center and usual formalities regarding test-taking.

The issue of re-taking isn’t as serious for undergraduate admission though more than twice can certainly hurt you – unless your scores went 1800, 1900, and 2100 (the third score “broke” 2000). For professional schools like medical schools and law schools, it’s more serious. What’s the benefit for re-taking? If you are aiming for comparable schools, would having a point or two higher make a big difference?

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The answer is a bit difficult to answer because it depends where that change is. If pre-med student sits down with her previous 28 on MCAT and gets 30, the chance for admission increases a lot because 30′s look better than 20′s. But, it’s a really gamble because if she gets 29, she will have not gained much advantage AND lost time and money that she could’ve spent with other things like volunteering, working, shadowing, and researching.

An important self-assessment is to ask yourself, “If I retake this exam, will I be able to improve?” Knowing the proper answer to this question is the key to success.

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