How Long Are SAT Scores Good For? Valid Until …

Most students take the SAT in high school. Some take it in their junior year, while some take it later than this. Whether you have taken the SAT or not, you’re probably wondering, “How long do SAT scores last?” Do SAT scores expire? This article will provide you the answers you’re looking for. 

How long are SAT scores valid?

Forever. 

Did you take the SAT 80 years ago? Your score is still valid! According to the College Board (1), once you have left high school and have not tested for a year, your SAT scores will be archived. They can also be retrieved for reporting to colleges, universities. 

With that said, your scores do not have an SAT expiry date and are still valid, regardless of when you took them. However, there are still things to consider to determine the validity of your SAT scores. 

Yes, your SAT scores are valid no matter when you took them. So, when does your SAT score expire? Never.

However, some colleges and universities have some restrictions on the validity of your SAT scores. One of the reasons why is that the SAT’s format and scoring system has changed throughout the years.

Changes on the SAT

The Redesigned SATThe SAT’s format was pretty much different before 2005. Although the maximum score is also 1600, it measured some skills that are different from what the current SAT measures. The test involved a lot of analogy questions, which many of the students back then were not fans of. 

In 2005, the College Board changed the maximum score on the test from 1600 to 2400. The analogy part was omitted. Some concepts were added to the math section, and the essay section was mandatory for all SAT takers. 

This format still sparked criticisms, so the College Board decided to bring back the old system and reverted the top score to 1600 again in 2016. Plus, they made the essay section optional, which was favored by many students. 

How does this affect the validity of your SAT scores? Since the old and the new SATs have different structures and content, many have claimed that they measure different aspects of academic skills. Thus, making it hard for colleges to compare students’ abilities.  

It depends on the colleges you are applying to

How long does the SAT score last? Well, it depends on which schools you are applying to. 

Different colleges nationwide have different admission requirements. Most schools do not accept SAT scores that are older than 5 years, while some colleges accept SAT scores from any year. How do you know if your SAT score is valid in the school you are applying to? You might have to do some research and find out what the admission requirements are in the school of your choice.

If your SAT score is older than 5 years, don’t panic! What you can do is go to the school of your choice’s official website and look for the admission requirements. As mentioned, some schools are flexible and will accept an SAT score from any year. You can also call the admissions office to ask regarding this matter.

The College Board can send out an old SAT score to the colleges you are applying to. If your SAT score is older than 5 years, they will include in the score reports special notes.

According to the College Board, “Official score reports sent to colleges five or more years after a test date are accompanied by a message explaining that they may be less valid predictors of college academic performance than more recent scores.”

How to request for an old SAT score

If you happen to have taken the old version of the SAT, you will have to pay a fee (2) to get your score. According to the College Board, “Scores for tests taken on or after April 1, 1995, are reported on a recentered scale. An “R” next to your scores indicates this.”

The procedure of requesting and sending old scores can be viewed on the College Board’s official website.

Final thoughts

Many students are asking, “How long is an SAT score good for?”. The answer to the question is simple and straightforward – your SAT scores do not expire. However, you should keep in mind that most universities and colleges today accept only SAT scores that are not older than 5 years. 

If your SAT score is older than that, you should not worry too much. There are still schools that accept SAT scores from any year. The best thing to do is to search for the admission requirements of your preferred university or college. 

If you want to boost your chances of getting accepted or you want to avoid the dilemma of your SAT score being invalid, you can always take the SAT again to have a more recent result. Check out the online SAT prep course if you opt to retake to help you ace the exam.

Do you have a target score for your SAT? Do you want to know how you did the last time you took it? Whether you have taken the SAT or are about to take it for the first time, you may be wondering; what is a good SAT score? Check it out in my other article!

While wondering “How long are the SAT scores valid?”; maybe, you also wonder “How long does it take to get SAT scores back?.” Well, 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. 

FAQ

SAT scores never expire. Once you left high school and have not tested for a year, the College Board archives your test scores. You can also retrieve your score for reporting purposes.

Technically, all SAT scores are valid, regardless of when you took it. However, it is important to know that the majority of schools nationwide have restrictions on SAT scores’ validity. Most colleges accept SAT scores that are not older than 5 years.

References

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