In my years of advising, I rarely have had a student that does as well on the SAT or ACT as they wanted. Most are disappointed. Some meet their expectation and some exceed it (rarely). My question is always “why do you think you got that score?” They will say they didn’t try hard enough, or they didn’t study enough, or they were sick. If you want to retake the SAT or ACT, go for it but you will usually not raise your score that much unless there was a significant reason you didn’t meet your goal the first time.
Then, we get into the college requirements. Sometimes they are just a point or two away from an institutional scholarship or there is a minimum for entrance. If you are only a few points away from your goal, then by all means take it again. I always recommend calling admissions and taking to them about it first. Colleges rely less on these tests than they used to. They take a more holistic approach to your application than before. You may be able to rely on a phone interview or some other means to meet your goal. Your application may be strong enough in other areas to get you where you want to be without taking the test again.
Take the test again? It’s up to you but I wouldn’t pay for it again without knowing what the college thinks first. What is your goal? In my experience, you are probably not going to raise your score more than a few points if you reasonably tried the first time.
Get close to your admissions contact and take their advice.
© 2017 Roger D. Chamberlain