When Do SAT Scores Come Out?

You’ve studied for what seems like forever, read up on all the test-taking tips, and owned that SAT test–all you have to do now is wait. But for how long? When do you get to see the fruits of your labor? When do the SAT scores come out?

An empty classroom with a blackboard, as well as beige and brown desks.

The answer: It depends.

Each of the seven test dates has its own corresponding day when the scores are released to you, and a day when scores are released to the colleges. These dates change year to year, but are typically within the month or soon after.

Let’s take a look at 2019-2020* as an example,

Test Date Score Date
December 7, 2019 December 20-25, 2019
March 14, 2020 March 27-April 1, 2020
May 2, 2020 May 15-20, 2020
June 6, 2020 July 15-17, 2020
Dates from CollegeBoard

*In March 2016, a brand new SAT test came into play. Along with new scoring criteria and formatting, the release dates for the scores changed a little too.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s not actually that long of a wait time, but considering all the blood, sweat, and tears you put into studying for the SAT, it might feel like forever. And why does it take so long, anyway?

Well, over one and a half million people take the SAT every year, so there are a ton of tests to grade. It’s not as easy as sending a Scantron through a machine and having it spit out your score. Your test is mailed to the College Board HQ where the raw score is graded, your essay is scored by two reviewers, and then your total score is converted to the SAT scale. It is a pretty thorough process, and every single SAT test goes through the same method.

When you registered for the test, you submitted some colleges that you wanted to receive your SAT scores. These colleges will get your test results shortly after you do. But if you’re in a hurry, you can pay to rush your scores.

The good news in all of this? You did it! Take a well-deserved break and pat yourself on the back. And when you do finally get your scores, celebrate! You’ve earned it. If the scores weren’t quite what you were hoping for, try to take the SAT again–studies show people who retake the SAT tend to earn a higher score the second (or third or fourth or fifth) time around.

Want to see how the SAT stacks up against the ACT? Check out our infographic comparing the two.

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