SAT Suite

How to Improve Your SAT Score

Looking to increase your SAT score? Getting your best score on the SAT can help you optimize your college options or earn additional scholarships. Most students who take the SAT again improve their scores, so we encourage students to take the SAT twice—once in the spring of their junior year and once in the fall of their senior year. (But we offer the SAT many times during the school year, so you can choose whichever dates work best for you.) 

With so much information available, we've distilled the most important points into an easy-to-follow list. 


1. Set Clear Goals 

Before taking (or retaking) the SAT, establish a target score. Considering the average SAT range of the colleges on your list—including those that are test optional-- or the application requirements for scholarships will help in setting a realistic goal. Utilize resources like BigFuture™ to find out how your SAT score compares with the average SAT score for the schools on your list. 


2. Plan and Register 

Identifying the right time to take the SAT is crucial. Make sure the date you select allows enough time for preparation and coincides with the deadline for your college applications. Remember, certain test dates are highly sought after, so registering early is essential. You can also ask your counselor if your school offers the SAT on a school day.  


3. Gain Experience with PSAT-Related Assessments 

The PSAT 8/9™, PSAT 10 and PSAT/NMSQT can offer a taste of the real SAT environment. These tests provide insights into areas of improvement and chart a path for success and growth. 


4. Take Challenging Courses 

Because the SAT focuses on skills and knowledge you gain every day in the classroom, one of the ways to prepare and perform your best is simply to take the most challenging courses you can. This can include honors and advanced classes at your school or any  Advanced Placement® (AP®) available to you.  If you took a PSAT-related assessment, your score report provides you with information about which AP courses you’re likely to do well in


5. Prioritize Prep and Practice 

Here’s the good news: You don’t need to pay for a private tutor or an SAT prep class to improve your SAT scores. The best way to practice for the digital SAT is free.  Use your time productively by following personalized practice suggestions, taking full-length practice tests and continuously leveling up your skills. Adapt your study techniques based on your areas of weakness, needs and when you’ll take the test.  


Test Day and Beyond 

After ample preparation, clear your mind, get a good night’s rest, and know that you’re ready. Know what to bring on test day and what to expect. Remember, your score is only one part of a complete application profile.