What Happens if My Child Fails SATs?

December 27, 2021
December 27, 2021 The Spark Tutoring Team

SATs are an annual event for Year 2 and Year 6 students. For parents, students, and even the schools, it’s an important exam carried in high regard. Most parents dream and work towards helping their child pass the exam.

But have you ever asked yourself what would happen if your child failed the SATs, or worse, if your child just for the SATs and scored low grades? The situation is not as grim as it sounds. There is plenty your child can do to get back to success.

What is the Purpose of SATs?

The best place to start is by understanding the role of SATs. The tests are taken by children at the end of KS1 (year 2) and KS2 (year 6) around May every year.

The purpose of the test is to assess the students’ progress against age-related expectations set out by the National Curriculum. The KS1 SATs are internally marked by the teachers, while the KS2 SATs are external.

The results from the SATs are used for various reasons:

For your child

SATs measure the child’s progress and help alert teachers of specific areas where the child might need extra support.

Sometimes, this might mean the information is passed on from the child’s primary school to their new secondary school for students sitting their KS2 SATs.

For secondary schools

SATs also have a role to play for secondary schools. First, the results from SATs help the secondary schools group the children into streams based on their academic ability. Some secondary schools can also use their own tests like Year 7 CATs to better advise the grouping process.

Secondary schools also use SATs results to figure out their Progress 8 score, so it is also a performance measure of how well students progress between Year 6 and Year 11. The SATs make a good starting point.

Now that you have a clear picture of the importance of the SATs, you can start finding out what happens when your child fails in the SATs.

What Happens When My Child Fails SATs?

If your child doesn’t perform as expected in their SATs, there are plenty of options on the table that you can pursue. Hope is not lost.

Request SATs score verification

The college board scans the accuracy of the SATs answer sheets through multiple quality assurance checks. But even the best systems sometimes fail, especially when the answer sheets are scanned by a machine.

The machine may malfunction or commit errors. That is why you should consider requesting a Hand Score Verification to make sure the SATs were scored accurately. However, before taking this approach, ensure that you filled the SATs with the proper pencil and you have a reasonable doubt in the results that your child received.

Retake the SATs

More than half of the students that retake their SATs get better scores. That is why it is a good idea to consider retaking the SATs if you’re not happy with the score. It could significantly impact your college admission.

Retaking your SATs doesn’t always mean that you will get better grades. Some students get lower scores. If you decide to go down this path, you should buckle down and prepare thoroughly for the SATs retake to ensure you get the best possible grades.

Take the ACT

Most colleges and universities will accept SATs or ACT scores. If you’re not happy with your SATs scores or they aren’t high enough to get accepted into the school you have always wanted, you should consider taking the ACTs instead. It might be better suited to the type of test-taker you are.

The ACTs are not any easier. Like SATs, these are also standardized tests, but they are different. The SATs are aptitude test that is designed to measure your reasoning and verbal skills. ACTs, on the other hand, are achievement tests. They test everything you have learned in high school. If you believe no amount of SATs retakes will improve your score, opting for an ACT is the best decision.

But remember, while you can take the SATs an infinite number of times, you can only take the ACTs up to 12 times only.

Apply to a test-optional school

You can also try applying to a different college or university. This means you will have to give up going to the school you have always dreamed of attending, but you don’t have to worry about getting a rejection letter in the mail.

Many community colleges accept applicants with less than stellar SATs. However, when making these applications, you have to ensure the rest of your application is strong since the admissions officers will be looking for something that catches their eyes other than the SATs.

Final Thoughts

Just because your child doesn’t do well in their SATs is not the end of the world. You still have plenty of options on the table that you can consider depending on your child’s strengths. However, you need to make sure that whichever decision you make, you make it with your child and you prepare your child adequately for the next steps.  If you decide to retake the SATs, hiring competent and quality tutors is one of the best decisions you can make.