College bound students are inundated with a lot of false information about college, and in particular, the SAT. Students are told “You can only take it during your senior year,” “You can only take it once,” and “Colleges average your scores” – NOT!
Myth #1 – You can only take it during your senior year. NOT!
You can take the SAT as early as you want. We have 6th graders take it at my school and Duke University has thousands of 7th graders take it every year as part of their Talent Identification Program. For those who are serious about Admissions to top schools and scholarships, we recommend you take the, best sat prep and ACT once a year in junior high for the experience. Take the PSAT each year and the SAT and ACT once each semester during the 9th and 10th grade years. Take a prep course in the summer between your sophomore and junior year. Take the PSAT for record in October (only time it is offered) of the junior year, and an SAT and ACT each semester, taking a continuing prep course or under the guidance of a college coach.
Myth #2 – You can only take it once. NOT!
You can take it as many times as you want. Although the ACT sets a limit of TWELVE times, the SAT has no limits. Like I mentioned above, start early and take the tests often to get the best results long term. After all, the people you are going to be competing against to get into those top schools and get those scholarships are doing the same thing.
Horror Story – I encountered an SAT prep coach in the Houston area who used this myth to scare parents in to taking his prep course. He said that top schools like Harvard and Rice will only accept ONE score and that if they see you took the test more than once, they automatically disqualified you. NOT! Just to satisfy the fears of one parent who heard this, I personally called the admissions offices of Harvard and Rice and asked the question directly. The guy at Harvard was nice and diplomatic about it. He stated that Harvard would accept the student’s highest score regardless of the number of times the student took the test. The guy at Rice was more direct. His comment included the term “Bull****,” but he wanted to make sure we were off the record.