While the SAT is completely standardized, the time it takes the College Board to release SAT scores is anything but.
Did you take the SAT in March or May? Great news: it only takes a couple of weeks for those SAT scores to come out. In fact, most school-year SAT test dates have a relatively quick score release; your scores will come out online somewhere in the neighborhood of 13 days.
If you take the test in June, however, your SAT scores will come out in July. I don’t know if the College Board takes a big summer vacation or if there’s something special-but-undisclosed about the June SAT test (you may remember the scoring debacle of the June 2018 test), but you’ll have to wait roughly five weeks in the summer for your SAT scores.
Obviously it takes less time to for the College Board to score a bubbled-in answer sheet from your test–it’s just run through a scanner–than it does for two different people to personally read and score your essay, so you’ll receive your Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and Math section scores before your essay scores.
Don’t worry though: the essay portion of your SAT scores comes out three to five days or so after your first scores. You’ll know how you did relatively quickly.
If you requested that your SAT scores be sent to colleges ahead of time, those scores are sent out within ten days of the scores’ release to students. All in all, most of the process from test dates to scores being at your college’s admissions office is a matter of weeks.
|Test Dates||Scores Out Online||Essay Scores Out|
|March 9, 2019||March 22, 2019||March 24-29, 2019|
|May 4, 2019||May 17, 2019||May 20-22, 2019|
|June 1, 2019||July 10, 2019||July 10-12, 2019|
If you’re planning far in advance, you can find the College Board’s continually updated list of SAT test dates here.
Three SAT tests each year include the option of ordering a Question and Answer Service (QAS) report, which is primarily designed to help you verify your score by cross-referencing your answers with test questions. The QAS also provides an excellent resource for you to consult while you review for your next SAT.
It can be incredibly illuminating to see exactly what errors you made on the SAT, especially if your performance was not as strong as you expected it to be when you finished up the test.
Perhaps you weren’t as clear on some tested rules or concepts as you thought. Perhaps you made several mistakes, the kind some people might call “careless,” like when you copy the problem wrong, misread, or add rather than multiply. Seeing your performance question by question (rather than topic by topic, which is available on other SAT test dates) is priceless.
You can order a full QAS for the October, March, and May tests dates of each year. The drawback here is that the QAS isn’t released at the same time that your SAT scores come out. In fact, the QAS isn’t available sometimes up to eight weeks after the test.
Nevertheless, a QAS is an invaluable study tool if your SAT prep plan spans several months and test dates.
Which brings us to an important part of SAT prep: planning and consistency.
Once you’ve finally had the relief of taking the SAT, it’s tempting to stop prepping until your SAT scores come out. The thinking behind this choice is usually that you don’t want to spend any time preparing for a test that you aren’t going to end up taking, and if your scores are strong enough, maybe you won’t.
Ignoring your SAT prep for several weeks can be costly to your preparation, though. Whether it’s the large quantity of grammar you’re responsible for, the nuanced elements of SAT math, or your personal pacing on the Reading section, the material that shows up on the SAT is particular–and particularly forgettable. You can put aside your prep while you wait for your SAT scores to come out, but do so at your own risk.
When SAT scores come out matters most when you’re taking the test in the fall of your senior year–usually the October or November test–and you’re hoping to use the scores for early admission or early action.
As many schools have October or November early decision deadlines, you should verify with each admissions office of the colleges that you’re applying to that they will accept your scores if the College Board rushes those scores–or if it’s even necessary that you rush them at all. Official SAT scores are rushed within one to two days after the SAT scores come out online, according to the College Board.
Ultimately, you want to be sure you can anticipate your SAT scores coming out rather than dreading the day.