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Take It Once, Take It Twice ...

The College Board's new Score Choice policy was supposed to make it more alluring to take the SAT test multiple times. The premise is that students can decide which scores to send to colleges.

Many high school juniors have already taken the bait, according to Newsweek, and are taking the test month after month, figuring that these are free attempts at good scores.

But wait, not so fast. It turns out that colleges don't have to abide by School Choice and can ask for all of a student's scores anyway, Newsweek reports. Stanford, Cornell, Pomona, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Southern California have already told Newsweek that their applications next fall will demand all scores. Many other schools are still deciding what they'll do.

Do you think students should be encouraged to take the SAT over and over? And do you think students should be able to decide which scores prospective colleges see?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  December 8, 2008; 1:00 PM ET  | Category:  Teens
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Comments


"Many high school juniors have already taken the bait, according to Newsweek, and are taking the test month after month, figuring that these are free attempts at good scores."

Are the tests "free" after the first test?

Posted by: jezebel3 | December 8, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Back in the 70's when I was taking the SAT, I knew that it could be taken more than once. Even knew one or two classmates who did that. But it was mostly done because there was a big problem with the first attempt - like getting off on the numbering and filling in several columns wrong on the answer sheets, or getting physically sick partway through the tests and not being able to finish.

Those seemed like reasonable accompodations, back then. Not everyone is going to have a prefect test-taking experience. But taking it over and over many times, and then giving colleges only the best score - that does seem like gaming the system, doesn't it.

Posted by: SueMc | December 8, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I work in graduate school admissions, in a field that requires a specialized exam (e.g., LSAT), and we definitely prefer to see all of a student's attempts. If it takes a student 10 tries to get what we consider an acceptable score, that is *not* a student we want in our school, because that student won't get 10 tries to pass exams once they get here. I can understand taking the SAT two or even three times, but after that you're just trying too hard to pad your score.

Posted by: northgs | December 8, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if you get free tests now, but in the late 90s we were encouraged to take SAT prep courses which had tons of practice tests and to take the SATs twice, a few months apart. Ideally, your score would go up a hundred points or more in between.

Of course I think the SAT should be completely abolished since it measures absolutely nothing except how well you take the SAT, but that's not going to happen.

Posted by: EmeraldEAD | December 8, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

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