I Got My Test Score Back…Now What?

April 18, 2017
Sade Bowen

Learn what to do after you get your test score back.

Behind every test score are challenges and opportunities.

It’s April, and you’re finally getting your SAT/ACT test scores back. You’re either super excited about how you’ve done or are thinking of ways to do better. Either way, be sure to give yourself a pat on the back for even getting through it. No matter what test score you received, you’re awesome for taking the exam and doing the work necessary to see it through. Now that you know your test score, what are the next steps you should take?

Acknowledge the strengths that led to your test score

No matter what test score you received, there are parts of the exam where you performed average or above average in. Recognize and mark those as your strong points. To stay on top of your progress, you have to keep practicing those strong points to make sure you continue to do well in those sections.

Examine where you could have done better

Unless you got a perfect score, there were undoubtedly certain sections you struggled with more than others. Play close attention to those parts, write them down, and note when you got those questions wrong. Let these be your guiding principles when you go back to study again. However, don’t be concerned with just getting the right answer. Instead, fight to understand why you got it wrong so you will not make the second mistake.

If you’re not happy with your score, there’s still hope   

An average or lower score does not mean to give up. Instead, it should motivate to prove your original score wrong. This time, study harder and use the knowledge you know from the first exam to do even better on the second. If it’s too late to take it again, find alternative ways to show how great of a student you are. Improving your GPA, becoming more involved in school, and volunteering are all great ways to show potential schools that you are a great student and that a test score does not define you. Also, look for schools that match your score range.

If you are happy with your score, there’s still room to improve

If you got a good score on your first go-around, that’s an amazing feeling. However, do not let a good score make you complacent and underestimate your full potential. Always aim to improve—just a point or two could stand between you and your dream school. Remain focused in school and continue to push yourself. Remember, in order to achieve success, your only real competition is yourself.

Ready to take your test score to the next level? Prep for the SAT/ACT with Kaplan—the world leader in test prep.


Sade Bowen GRE? Piece of cake. College? Walk in the park. How? With my help of course! I am your education guru, providing you with tips, information you need to know, and a little bit of humor. Getting you through college—one post at a time.

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