If you receive your SAT Pleasanton scores today and you find out to your disappointment that your scores are lower than you expected, you may wonder if you can still apply to college.

If you look through the profile of the college of your choice and find out that your SAT scores are below their requirement, don’t lose hope! You will still be able to apply to a good college, but you may have to take an alternative route to your dreams of higher education, so to speak. The following information provides some options to consider.

1. Retake the exam
As long as you are still able to meet college deadlines and have signed up for the SAT in time, you can retake the exam. For instance, if you took the exam during the spring season, you can still brush up your knowledge by using your SAT practice book and then take the exam again in the fall. Or after having taken the exam in the spring, you can also sign up for the SAT prep course in the summer. Bear in mind that colleges will consider only your highest scores.

2. Take the ACT
Perhaps you may do better on the ACT than on the SAT. Although these two standard examinations are both accepted by most colleges and universities across the country, there is a stark difference between them. The SAT is an aptitude test which means it measures a student’s reasoning and verbal skills, while the ACT is an achievement test where it tests what the student has learned in school, in general.

An aptitude test doesn’t specifically require you to prepare when you think you’ve got the ability to score well on this test. An achievement test, on the other hand, needs you to at least review or study what you have previously been taught in high school in order to ace it. If you do decide to take the ACT, you only need to review the previous lessons you have learned throughout high school.

3. Look for test-optional colleges
You would not believe that many excellent, reputable, and highly selective colleges and universities are in fact test-optional. A school that is “test-optional” means that it doesn’t require standardized test scores as part of their admission process. Most of these test-optional colleges consider your excellent academic record as a priority over your SAT scores. Explore some of the 800-plus test-optional colleges and universities and see if you’d prefer to study at one of them.

4. Pick a college major that’s in line with your academic strengths
For instance, if your SAT’s Reading and Writing & Language scores are strong but your Math scores are low, pick a college major that’s well-suited to your particular academic strengths such as English, Political Science, or History. On the other hand, if your Math scores are remarkably higher than the scores of the other sections, you may want to major in Civil Engineering, Architecture, Finance, or Biology. There are college admissions who won’t mind your low scores as long as you choose a college course that’s in your scholastic strengths, as evidenced by your high SAT scores in certain sections. In that way, you will have a good chance to succeed in getting into college.

5. Look for schools that will accept your low scores
The revised SAT has brought down the score scale from 2400 to today’s 1600, this means there’s a good chance that students would perform better on the tests. But what if you get an average score of 1000? You can still apply. Are you below 1000? Don’t despair! A lot of good colleges will be glad to accept students with below average scores. Find colleges that will accept your average or below-average SAT scores, and explore the options they offer.

Who says only those who have high SAT Pleasanton scores can go to college? Even if you don’t perform as well as those who score well, you are still in luck because there are college administrators who consider other factors than standardized tests as part of their admission process.