Questions to Ask Yourself When Considering a Test Retake

We believe that you should sufficiently prepare to take an admission test to be successful in the first round. While you might consider a need to retake the test based on your score results, our recommendation is to focus your efforts on getting a great score.

Even so, some students will find that their test day performance just isn’t satisfactory. In this post, we cover some of the top things you should consider when deciding whether to sign up for the test again.

1. Does your performance reflect your abilities?

If you know you’re capable of getting a top score but ended up with a mediocre score, consider retaking your admission test. Your score will likely play a key role in any admission decision, and many schools and programs consider test scores to be just as important as (or even more important than) GPA. Don’t sell yourself short when you know that the number reflected on your score report doesn’t represent your abilities.

2. Does your performance reflect your studies?

Take a look at your practice test scores and the trends you saw during your studies. If there’s a serious gap between your practice scores and your real test day performance, stress could have gotten the best of you. It’d be worth signing up for the test again if you can get your stress under control.
In contrast, if your test day performance matches up to your practice test scores, there’s less of an argument to retake the test. Your practice test scores are the best indicators of your real test score, so there shouldn’t be any surprises if the numbers are similar. Students who give their all studying but still don’t score well on practice tests (or the real test) might not benefit from studying yet again.

3. How much effort did you really give for the test?

Think about how much time and energy you gave to your test prep. Assess whether you could have done more to prepare. If schoolwork, extracurricular activities, or outside distractions got in the way of effective study time, look to take the test again (and plan to increase your study efforts).

4. Did you encounter problems during the test?

It’s possible that you were sick on test day, or that you unintentionally left a whole page in your test booklet blank. Maybe you misunderstood the directions for a full section. A live chicken could have landed on your head during the test, throwing off your test-taking balance. If any of these things happened to you, sign up to retake the test. Sometimes extenuating circumstances call for you to give yourself a chance to improve.


About the Author:

Catherine Blogger PhotoCatherine supports Magoosh’s future grad school students by unlocking tricks of the test prep and application trade. Catherine spends her free time checking out local farmer’s markets, reading food and lifestyle blogs, and watching Bravo. She is forever in search of the best Mexican and Italian food in any given city.

Photo attribution:

1 – Photo at top courtesy of Flickr user UBC Library Communications under the Creative Commons 2.0 license.


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