When exactly do SAT scores get released? Today, we identify how long it will take to get your SAT scores back, so you can prepare to…

How Long Does It Take To Get SAT Scores Back?

Get SAT Scores Back

After months of preparation and almost four hours of answering questions, you’re done with the SAT. What’s next? You wait for the results to return. The question that most students have is this: How long does it take to get SAT scores back? 

In this article, we will find out when exactly your SAT scores come out. We will also look at the exact release dates for SAT scores, how to view your SAT score, and what your next steps should be after getting the results. 

When do you get your SAT scores back?

Your SAT score will come out 2-6 weeks after the test date. Yes, waiting periods vary depending on what day of the week you took it, but the usual waiting period for your SAT score is 13 days after taking the test. 

Take note, however, that only your score on the multiple-choice sections will be released after that time frame. If you took the Essay section, you will have to wait 2-5 days after you got the multiple-choice sections results to get your score.

To have an idea of when exactly SAT scores are released, check out the release schedules in 2019 (1):

SAT scores release 2019 dates

SAT date Multiple-choice scores release date Essay score release date
August 24, 2019 September 6, 2019 September 9, 2019
October 5, 2019 October 18, 2019 October 21, 2019
October 16, 2019 November 8, 2019 November 11, 2019
October 30, 2019 November 20, 2019 November 25, 2019
November 2, 2019 November 15, 2019 November 18, 2019
December 7, 2019 December 20, 2019 December 23, 2019

You can see in the release schedule last year that the waiting period for the SAT results is different for SAT dates that fall on Saturdays and those that fall on school days. From all SATs that were taken on Saturdays, it took 13 days for the results in multiple-choice sections to come out. 3 days after that, the essay scores were released. 

Students who took the SAT on a school day (October 16 & October 30), had to wait for 3 weeks to get their scores back. 

When do you get SAT scores back in 2020? Let’s look at the release schedule set by the College Board:

SAT scores release 2020 dates

SAT date Multiple-choice scores release date Essay score release date
March 14, 2020 (canceled) March 27, 2020 (canceled) March 30, 2020 (canceled)
March 25, 2020 (canceled) April 16, 2020 (canceled) April 20, 2020 (canceled)
April 14, 2020 (canceled) May 6, 2020 (canceled) May 8, 2020 (canceled)
May 2, 2020 (canceled) May 15, 2020 (canceled) May 18, 2020 (canceled)
June 6, 2020 (canceled) July 15, 2020 (canceled) July 15, 2020 (canceled)

For 2020, SAT scores for test dates that fall on Saturdays will also be released 13 days after the test. The release of essay scores is 3 days after that. For SATs taken on school days (March 25 & April 14), results will come out 3 weeks after the test date. 

Note: All SATs from March to June are canceled due to COVID-19. Check out their latest updates on this matter on the College Board’s website (2). 

What time do SAT scores come out?

Release time varies but SAT scores are usually released around 5 am Eastern Time (2 am Pacific Time) on the release date. You will receive an email once your SAT scores are ready for viewing, so you won’t need to check throughout the day.

Why does it take that long to get my SAT score?

Maybe you’re wondering why SAT results are released weeks and not days after the test. There is a certain process that the College Board follows in checking SATs. Also, there is a huge number of SAT takers, so they have to do some steps before releasing the results:

  1. Tests are delivered to the College Board headquarters.
  2. Answer sheets are scanned to get students’ raw scores.
  3. Essays are checked by human graders.
  4. Raw scores are converted to the 1600 scale.

When do SAT scores become available for schools?

Official SAT score reports from the College Board are required by most colleges for application. They do not accept online copies or labels on transcripts. That said, the College Board is the one who sends the official report to the colleges. 

As you register for the SAT, you can send four free score reports to colleges. This is considered the fastest way to send your scores to colleges. Plus, it’s free. You are allowed to use your free reports until 11:59 Eastern Time, 9 days after the test. 

How long does it take to get SAT results sent to colleges? Your colleges will get your SAT scores about 10 days after the release date. 

If you choose to send colleges your SAT score after the release date, you will have to pay a fee. However, It is free if you’re eligible for an SAT fee waiver (3).

How do you view your SAT score?

To view your SAT score, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the College Board website.
  2. Sign in to your account. 
  3. Click “My SAT”.
  4. Click the link leading to your SAT score.

Other ways to view your SAT score include:

  • Paper score reports – If you register by mail (4) and do not have an active College Board online account, you will receive your score reports in paper.
  • Printing your scores – To print your SAT scores, you just have to go to your online score report, click “View Details”, then click “Download Report”.
  • Scores by phone – You can also view your scores by phone, but you will have to pay a fee. 
  • Old scores – You can request for your older scores, but you would also have to pay a fee. 

What if you did not get your SAT score?

For a student to not get their SAT score on the scheduled release date is very uncommon. However, it is important to know the possible reasons why you did not get the results of your SAT. If you are starting to ask, “why are my SAT scores pending?”, here are possible reasons why:

1. Your score improved by too much

The College Board might have delayed the release of your results because your score improved by an unusual number of points. If your score improves by around 400 points in total, the College Board starts to speculate about your test. 

Although many believe that improving your score by 400 or 500 is not an impossible thing to do, the College Board still looks at possibilities of cheating. 

In cases like this, they look at and study the sitting arrangements to look for angles of possible cheating. They compare your correct and incorrect answers from the answers of students next to you. If they are close enough and match in a certain way, they may suspect you for cheating. 

How do you avoid this scenario? In the test, it is recommended for you to show your work or solutions in your test booklet. That way, you will be able to prove that you did not cheat.

2. Irregularities in the testing site

Another reason to look at if your SAT score was not released on time is irregularities on the testing site. This case has happened in the past, in which some students were not seated according to plan and some students got extra minutes in certain sections.

3. The College Board is just slow

There are times when the College Board just could not handle the demand of SAT takers. Consequently, there are times when the delivery of scores to several students becomes delayed. 

What’s next after you get your SAT score?

Now you know what your SAT score is, what’s next? Your next steps would depend on how you did on the test. There are two things that you can do after you get your SAT score. You can either retake the SAT or you can send your score to colleges.

Retaking the SAT

Let’s say that you got a low score and are not satisfied with it. What should you do? If that’s the case, it is recommended that you retake the SAT. However, there are things that you should consider before retaking the SAT, and one of them is the college you want to attend. 

Before retaking the SAT, it is important to know what the average SAT score is in the college of your choice. If your score is below the average SAT score of students in the college you are applying to, you can consider retaking the test to get a higher score. If you get a score that is above the average SAT score in that college, you will boost your chances of getting accepted. 

How well do SAT retakers do the next time they take the SAT? According to the College Board’s research (4), 63% of the students in Class 2018 improved their SAT scores by taking the test more than once. 

Another advantage of retaking the SAT is that you know what to expect the next time you take it. Since you already experienced taking the test firsthand, you become more confident in your retake. 

On the flip side, there are still many students who drop their scores by retaking it. For some reason, some students find the second attempt more challenging than their first one.

What are things that you can do to avoid dropping your score and improve it, instead? According to test experts, prep course companies, and retakers themselves, the most effective way to improve your SAT score is through practice. That means answering more practice tests and spending more time studying concepts. Since you have taken the SAT before, you would know what your weak areas are and you can double down on that. 

Overall, retaking the SAT is a good idea if you are aiming for a target score or a specific college. Just make sure to put in the work the next time you prepare for the test.

Sending your score to colleges

If you scored high on your SAT, you can then send it to colleges. The steps in sending your score to colleges are discussed earlier in this article. If you choose to send your score to colleges after the release date, you will have to pay $12 per report.

In sending your SAT score to colleges, make sure that you are aware of the college’s deadline for submission of scores. If the deadline happens to be in a few weeks, you can consider rush reporting, in which you have to pay an additional $31. With rush reporting, you can send your scores within 2-4 days. 

Tips on getting your SAT scores and what to do after

Waiting for the results

When you’re on the thirteenth day of the waiting period, you don’t have to stay up all night just to wait for your scores. There is no exact time when your SAT scores will be out. Just expect that when you wake up, you will be able to view the results. 

If you choose to retake, take your time

Once you get your SAT scores, you will have to decide: will you send colleges your scores or will you retake the SAT? As discussed earlier, it depends on which school you want to attend to and what the average SAT score of their students is. 

If you choose to retake the SAT, you do not necessarily have to take it on the next SAT date. There are plenty of test dates set by the College Board in a year, so you are going to have options. Plus, you should take your time in preparing because you would want to improve your score the next time you take the SAT.

Frequently Asked Questions

Final thoughts

Now you know how long it takes to get your SAT scores back. Even though the SAT is a standardized test, it is important to know that the College Board goes through a certain process in checking your tests. Plus, a lot of students take the test, so the results won’t be released in a snap. 

Whatever your SAT scores are, the next steps you are going to take are more important. If your scores are high, kudos to you! If your scores are low, take it as a challenge and prepare better for the next SAT. Good luck!


  1. https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/scores/getting-scores
  2. https://pages.collegeboard.org/sat-covid-19-updates
  3. https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/scores/sending-scores/fee-waivers-extra-free-reports
  4. https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/by-mail
  5. https://blog.collegeboard.org/should-i-retake-sat