Most high school students dread the day of their SAT exam. Whether it’s the dooming feeling that it’ll determine you’re future or the exam anxiety you have, it’s never a breezy day. However, even though it’s most commonly taken during high school, the SAT doesn’t have eligibility requirements. While that might come as a surprise, there are many reasons someone outside of high school might want to sit for the SATs.
As there is no academic or age requirement for the exam registration, you should know why people take the SATs. As it’s an internationally recognized standardized exam, it’s often a tool used as part of college admissions. Hence, most take it to portray their acquired knowledge and their readiness for college or university.
Hence, in this article, read about all the various reasons someone might want to take the SATs outside of high school. Don’t worry if it’s been a few years since you’ve studied for anything. We have all the tips and tricks you need below.
When Do Most Students Take the SAT?
One thing to remember is that not all countries offer the SATs at the same frequency as the United States. Moreover, not all universities require students to sit for the exam, especially in places outside the US. However, it’s commonly used as the ultimate standardized test for college admissions, especially for international students.
More often than not, the SAT is offered 7 times each year in the US. The exam is offered monthly in the following months: March, May, June, August, October, November, and December. Usually, you’ll find that the exam is scheduled on a Saturday. Check the available dates on the official College Board website for exact dates and times.
But when do most students take the SAT? Most high schools require students to sit for the examination during the spring semester of Junior year. However, many resits for the exam the following semester, the fall semester of Senior year. This allows anyone to retake the exam if they desire.
How Many Times Can You Take the SAT?
But many still ask: how many times can you take the SAT? There is no limit on how many times you can retake the SAT exam. Hence, many students choose to resit for the exam at least one more time, and that’s for various reasons, including:
- Financial Aid: many colleges and universities offer some sort of stipend or financial support for those with higher scores. Hence, many students decide to retake the exam to qualify for such aid.
- Prepare Ahead:sometimes, sitting for the SATs for the first time is quite intimidating. Hence, many students perform better as they’re prepared and know what to expect.
- Improve Score: according to a study, 55% of students improve their scores on their second attempt after retaking it during their senior year instead of their junior one.
However, while there are unlimited trials, remember that it’s not a good idea to sit for it more than 5 times. That’s for several reasons. First, you’ll be spending an insane amount of money simply to retake it. Moreover, resitting multiple times for the exam without enhancing your score gives colleges a false idea of how prepared you are for your academic life.
Why Do Some Students Take the SAT After High School?
Can you take the SAT after high school? The good news is that there is no specification on minimum age requirement or even academic achievement to sit for the SAT. Hence, whether you’re 13 or 30, you can always apply for the SAT exam.
While you might be wondering if you’re the only one considering taking it outside of high school, remember there are multiple reasons someone might want to do so. Hence, you’re not alone. Here are a few reasons someone might take the SAT later on in life:
- Gap Year: if you have taken a few years off after high school for any reason, consider sitting for the SAT. As many colleges require sitting for the exam to be considered for admission, it’s a vital requirement. Remember that sometimes, even if you’ve taken the exam during high school, colleges might ask you for more recent college scores.
- Scholarship/Job Opportunity:some jobs might require you to submit your SAT scores. For reasons like that, you might want to increase your SAT score, even after graduating high school. Moreover, many students take it after graduating to get a higher chance of achieving a scholarship.
- Transferring Colleges:Are you wondering if you can take the SAT in college? Well, the good news is that you can. You might find yourself wondering if you can do so when you need to transfer universities. Hence, the new college would want your SAT scores, and increasing your score is the best way to guarantee a spot.
Where to Take the SAT After High School?
As you can, take the SAT at any age. If you’re above 18 and out of high school, remember that you’ll still sit for the exam with many high schoolers. You won’t be able to escape that, as the people who are obliged to sit for the SATs are always high schoolers.
As for where you’ll be taking the exam, the location won’t be different than any other person’s location. Hence, you’ll most likely find available sites in high schools, specific test centers, or sometimes even on college campuses.
The best location to choose is closest to you, as you will save time and money. When you’re registering for the examination, you’ll be asked where you want to sit for exam. Choose the location that is most accessible for you.
However, there are things to consider when applying for the SAT outside a high school. SAT for adults is a slightly different experience, although it’ll be the same examination as everyone else. However, there are things to anticipate, including:
- You’ll be asked for personal identification if you’re older than 21.
- As an adult who is 21 years old or older, you won’t be able to be placed on an SAT waitlist. The only option you have is to apply early on and on time.
- The grading is on a scale from 400-1600 now, as opposed to the previous 800-2400.
As of 2016, there has been a redesigned version of the SAT. Hence, if it’s been a few years, check out the new test format.
How to Take the SAT After High School: 5 Tips
Below are our top 5 tips to prepare yourself for the SAT outside of the high school boundary.
You might be wondering why confidence is the first tip we’re displaying. Well, it’ll be pretty awkward to take the SAT as an adult who is older than 21 years old. Not that there is any shame in doing so. However, you might feel out of place since you’ll be surrounded by 17 and 18-year-olds.
Hence, exercise your confidence. You have your own reasons for sitting for the examination now, and there is nothing wrong with that. Instead, you should feel proud for sitting for the test and still pursuing your dreams.
Get Familiar with the Format
One of the things that people of all ages struggle with is the format of the SAT. Yes, it’s almost all multiple-choice, but that doesn’t make it any simpler. While you might notice that the “Evidence-Based Reading and Writing” is relatively straightforward. However, the “Math” section requires you to exercise the basics more uniquely and creatively.
The most crucial step required throughout your process is practice tests. College Board offers free SAT practice tests that will be adequate enough to prepare you for the exam. Familiarize yourself with the format, time yourself, and put yourself under realistic exam environments.
Prepare Your Supplies
For the examination itself, you’ll need your pencils. Hence, ensure they’re sharpened beforehand and have a few on you. Moreover, bring the sharpener and the eraser. Don’t forget to confirm your calculator is approved, as not all of them are allowed in the examination. If you haven’t recently replaced your calculator’s batteries, change them beforehand or even bring extra ones.
Also, as an adult, you need your official identification card or documents.
Access new and updated resources, as the SAT has varied questions yearly. Hence, ensure your preparation material is as fresh as possible, whether that’s your guide or online resources.
Wrapping Things Up: Can You Take the SAT After High School?
The bottom line is that whether you’re a current student or not, the SAT isn’t a piece of cake. The experience is intimidating for everyone, as it often determines your next step in life. The key here is feeling confident about your preparation and skills.
Moreover, the most challenging part as an adult would be sitting in a room full of younger people. Hence, you might feel compelled to compare to them or feel ashamed of your process. However, remember that everyone, even other students, feels quite nervous on those days. No one will make fun of you or look down on you. If anything, you should feel proud of yourself.