You got through your big day. Sometimes it feels like those three letters—S-A-T—are all you’ve thought about for months. You dreamed about filling in bubbles and sharpening number two pencils. You’ve had nightmares of bringing a calculator to the no calculator math section. You’ve studied, you’ve done your reading, you’ve stressed, you’ve meditated on and visualized your perfect 1600 score report…
And then it was test day. You showed up with not two, but six perfectly sharpened yellow number two pencils. You have never filled in those scantron bubbles so completely—it was really a beautiful thing to behold. You feel confident about your answers. You are dying to know your results.
But when will your test scores be ready? How do you check your SAT scores?
How To Check Your SAT Scores
It takes two to three weeks for your score reports to be completely ready. Your score release date is based on when you took your test. You can find your score release date by visiting the College Board’s Getting Scores web page. Scroll down until you find your test date. Click the plus (+) sign to expand. Then find your projected score release date.
If you registered online or set up an online account, you will receive an email letting you know when your scores are ready. Most scores are released by 8 am Eastern time on the release date.
To check your SAT scores go to the Student Score Reports page on the College Board website. Have your username and password ready. This is the same password created when you registered.
You will then be able to check you SAT scores. Scores from the most recent test date will be displayed first.
Why Are My SAT Scores Not Available?
It’s test score release date. You log in to check your SAT scores. But instead of scores, you have a notice—“not yet available.” After all that time waiting, what happened?
Well, there are a few possibilities—some minor, other’s could mean trouble:
- Your test sheet and registration don’t match up—On your test sheet you have to bubble in certain identification information. If you make a mistake in your bubbling, you bubble too lightly, or didn’t fully erase an incorrect bubble, the system may struggle to identify you.
- There was a problem with your test administration—College Board is very strict with maintaining test security. If there was any breach or testing violation at all in your room or test site, all associated scores are investigated.
- You had a large score improvement—If your score improved by more than 400 points, or more than 200 in a single section, your score will be reviewed. According to College Board it is very difficult to have that great a scoring gain. To make sure you didn’t cheat, your responses will be compared to those seated around you. In all likelihood, you just studied hard and you will come out fine. It will merely take longer to get your report.
- You were reported for cheating—This is an unlikely and unusual scoring delay. But if someone suspected you were cheating, your responses will be carefully investigated and compared with others. In the unlikely case evidence of cheating is found, scores will be cancelled.
- You took your test on a large administration date—This is often the issue when score reports are delayed. Some test dates have a greater number of students than others. Sometimes with large numbers, the scoring just takes longer. College Board may be running behind.
In most cases you just need to exercise a little more patience. I know that means a little more stress and maybe a few more SAT nightmares. But give it another week and check again. If you are concerned you can call the SAT Program at 866-433-7728.
How To Check if Your SAT Scores Are Accurate
Let’s say you studied super hard. You felt extremely confident in your answers. But for some reason your score isn’t what you expect. College Board offers a score verification service.
If you have serious doubts about your results, you may request that your test be re-scored. The entire multiple choice test must be scored by hand—not just a single section. So there is a $55 fee for this request. And an additional $55 dollars for verifying the essay portion.
Machines do make the occasional mistake. So if you are confident in your answers or if your essay was scored as blank and you know you wrote something, it may be worth the extra cost. If a mistake is found in your favor, you will be refunded the $55 fee.
However, if it is simply a case of “user error,” your results will not be recalculated. Examples of mistakes you may have made that cannot be corrected are:
- You did not use a number 2 pencil
- You wrote your essay in pen
- You did not follow the guidelines for marking the circles:
- Using slashes
- Not completely or darkly filling in circles
- Not filling in the circles on the student-produced math responses
If you think back on test day and realize you made one of these mistakes, the extra $55 will not be worthwhile. Save your money. Unfortunately, you will need to accept your test results or register for another SAT administration.
How To Check Further SAT Score Information
If your plan is to use your first set of test scores to help you study for the second round, you might want a little more information than your score report provides. You may want to know exactly what types of questions you nailed, and which ones you bombed. For a much more detailed breakdown College Board offers two additional score reporting services:
- Question and Answer Service—For an addition $18 fee you may order this report. It lists each question from your test, the correct answers, and your answers. It will also break down the difficulty level of these questions.You may order this service when you register for the SAT. Or you may log back into your account and order it up to five months after your test date. This service is not available on all SAT test dates, so check the College Board site for your test date.
- SAT Student Answer Service—This is another helpful option. With this report, you will see your answers as well as the question type and difficulty. However the specific test questions and answers are not listed in this report. The fee for this service is $13.50. And as with the Question and Answer Service, it is available up to five months after your test date.
How To Cancel SAT Scores
Most students take advantage of sending four free score reports to the colleges of their choice. And most complete these requests at registration. This means that your scores will automatically be sent to colleges within 10 days of the score release date.
But sometimes there are circumstances that throw us off our game. Maybe you had one of those weekends and you know your didn’t do well. Or maybe you weren’t able to complete the test for some reason. You do have the option to cancel those scores. Any requests to cancel scores must be submitted no later than midnight Eastern time on the Thursday after your test date.
But think carefully. You will not be able to access your score report at all after you cancel. This should be extreme cases only. Make sure you aren’t just having a little self-doubt. You’ve put in a lot of time and effort into this test date.
Remember, the majority of students take the SAT test more than once. So if you don’t get the score you want the first time, it’s okay. You are far from alone. Use it to help you improve.
Waiting is tough. Sometimes waiting for results is harder than the actual test day itself. But relax. Your scores will come. Now that you understand how to check your SAT scores, you’ll be ready.