SAT Test Dates: Full Guide To Picking The Date In 2021-2023

SAT Test Dates

One of the most important things to consider in taking the SAT is the test date. If your goal is to perform well on the exam, you have to plan ahead. You may consider taking the SAT prep course online review to better prepare for the test. The date that you will choose will have a huge impact on your performance, so it is almost necessary to pick one that will be suitable for your personal schedule and preparation process.

When is the SAT offered? When is the next SAT test? In this article, we will fully look at both US and international SAT test dates in 2020. We will also look at the projected SAT dates in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Going over this full guide will help you plan your steps in preparing for the SAT So, let’s get right into it.

Here are the US and international SAT dates for 2020-2021 (1). Also included in the tables are the  projected SAT registration deadlines and score release dates.

Although these SAT test dates are confirmed, do note that the College Board has not yet released the registration deadlines and score release dates. The numbers below are based on patterns from previous testing years.

SAT test dates 2020-2021 (U.S.)

SAT Test Date1

Note: The May SAT and the June SAT for 2020 are both canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For updates about cancellations, you can visit the College Board’s website (2).

SAT test dates 2020-2021 (International)

International SAT Test Date

SAT Subject test dates 2020-2021

SAT Subject Test Dates

The SAT subject test registration deadline is usually 1 month before the SAT subject test date. However, the SAT subject test deadline for registration is still to be announced.

Not taking the SAT anytime soon? We’ve got you covered. We also have the anticipated SAT test dates by the College Board in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Here are the SAT test dates:

SAT test dates 2021-2022 (U.S.)

SAT Test Date2

SAT test dates 2021-2022 (International)

INt Sat Test Date

SAT Subject test dates 2021-2022 (U.S.)

SAT Subject Test Dates1

SAT test dates 2022-2023 (U.S.)

SAT Test Date 3

SAT test dates 2022-2023 (International)

International SAT t3st

A guide to choosing an SAT test date

Guide to ChoosingNow that you know the test dates set and anticipated by the College Board, it’s time to choose your test date. 

Things to consider in choosing when to take the SAT

1. Application deadlines for colleges

One of the things that you should consider in picking an SAT test date is the college that you are applying to. Colleges and universities have respective application deadlines and SAT scores are almost always required. 

With that said, the best thing you can do to plan ahead is to be aware of the college’s application deadline. You can view it on a school’s official website or you can also call the admissions office. 

Make sure that there is ample time between the SAT scores release date and the application deadline. Also, it is recommended that you give yourself enough time for a retake before the application deadline. In case you do not perform well on your previous try, you will be able to take another test and improve your score.

2. Personal schedule

Another thing to consider is your personal schedule. To fully prepare for the SAT, it is recommended that you spend at least one month for study and review. You must also consider other factors such as pre-scheduled vacations and extracurricular activities. 

Other major tests in your high school also play a role in choosing an SAT date. Do you have major final exams coming up? Maybe you can consider choosing a later SAT date. Are you also taking the ACT? It is also a good idea to study for both tests back-to-back. 

SAT test locations should also be considered. Upon registration, you will choose an SAT test location, and it is recommended for you to choose a test center near you for your convenience. Spare yourself the long commute and the risk of arriving late. 

I’m looking to attend the top universities. Which SAT test date should I choose?

If you want to attend one of the elite universities or colleges in the country, you should definitely plan ahead. Ivy League Schools, for instance, have a regular decision deadline, which is January 1. Meanwhile, Ivy League schools’ early action or early decision deadlines are scheduled on November 1. 

If you’re planning to get to an Ivy League school, it is best to take the test before the October SAT deadline for early decision or action. For regular decision, it is best for you to take the SAT before November.

How early should I take the SAT?

Again, the answer depends on the schools you’re applying to and your goals. 

Since you need to learn in high school the concepts needed to answer the SAT, taking the test super early, say freshman year, is not recommended. 

Always remember to give yourself at least one month to prepare for the SAT. Also, it is a good idea to set two SAT test dates before the application deadline for your preferred college. Just in case you do poorly on the first SAT, you can take another test to perform better. 

How many SAT test dates should I prepare for?

The simple answer to this question is – it doesn’t matter. You can take as many SATs as you want. Colleges you are applying to would not care about how many times you took the exam. They will only consider your best score. As already mentioned, you would want to have that cushion before the college application deadline, so it is best to schedule at least two SATs beforehand. 

How long should I prepare for the SAT?

There are two important things to consider in preparing for the SAT: When your SAT date is and how much time you need to study. One month is recommended, but you may need more if you’re struggling with the concepts involved. It also depends on your goals and target score. 

Here is a chart showing the estimated number of hours you should put in to get a certain score improvement:

Score Improvement

Since these are just estimates, they can vary depending on your other commitments, study habits, knowledge level, and personal schedule. Every student has his or her study style and strategy, so this table does not describe everyone. 

You should use the table as a basis on how much time you need to spend to reach your target score, however.

Once you know how much time you need to study for the exam, you will be able to plan ahead and pick an SAT test date suitable for your goal.

What is the best SAT test date for Juniors and Seniors?

SAT Test DateMost students take the SAT in their junior or senior years, but did you know that there are dates that are considered best for students at these levels? Of course, you do not have to choose the same dates, but they will most likely be suitable for what year in high school you are currently in. Let’s break it down.

If you’re a junior

If you are in your junior year, the best dates to take the SAT will depend on whether it is your first SAT or second. It is recommended that you take your first SAT as a junior. The October and November SATs are ideal test dates for you if you’re a junior. Choosing these test dates will give you ample time to prepare for the next SAT, just in case you perform poorly on the first one. Remember, having some cushion is key here.

If you’re a senior

The best SAT test dates to pick if you’re in your senior year are August, October, and November. These dates will give you enough cushion before January 1, when most application deadlines are scheduled. Again, being early is essential in taking the SAT. You want to have enough time before deadlines. 

The August SAT registration deadline, as well as the November and October SAT deadline is typically scheduled a month before the test date. 

The December SAT is also a good test date, but it is riskier. When is the December SAT scheduled? Usually, it is administered in the first week of December. This test date is only recommended for those whose application deadline is on January 10 or later. 

Is some SAT dates easier than the others?

One common myth students have is that some SAT test dates are easier than the others. Let’s set it straight – this is not true. The reason behind this popular belief is that some students have incorrect logic that an SAT score is based on a specific curve. Meaning, If you take the test with competent and high-scoring students, your score will be lower due to the harder curve. We’ll say this again – this myth is not true.

The SAT is a standardized test, so the performance of the students you took the SAT with has no impact on your score at all.

Another thing about the SAT is its equating process. There can be slight differences in SATs from different test dates, but test makers make sure that they scale your raw scores to account for the slight change in the level of difficulty of the test. 

At the end of the day, test-makers want to create an equal basis of comparison among tests from different dates. The ability that an SAT from a certain year indicates the level of ability other SATs indicate. 

Can I get an alternate test date?

If you can’t make it to the SAT test date you signed up for, don’t worry. You can always get an alternate test date. 

What is it exactly? 

This test is scheduled for the week after an official Saturday SAT. Alternate test dates are given to students with unexpected conflict on the original test date. 

Take note that you should send your request for an alternate test date no later than 10 working days before the regular SAT test date. So, what are the reasons accepted for taking an alternate test?

The criteria formulated by the College Board (3) for taking an alternate test are the following:

  1. The conflicting event must be unexpected
  2. The students involved in the event must have been registered for the SAT test date in question prior to learning of the conflict.
  3. The group with a conflicting event must be school-sanctioned.
  4. The students involved must be grade 10 or above. 

Here are the other restrictions set by the College Board regarding this matter:

  • Schools may request no more than two alternate test dates during a school year.
  • Alternate test dates can only be offered to students who were registered for the SAT before the conflict arose.
  • Students in grades 9 or below are not eligible for alternate SAT tests.
  • Students and parents must communicate and arrange with the college board through the school and not independently.  

How long does it take to get SAT scores back?

SAT Score BackSAT multiple-choice scores are usually released 13 days after the test date. Scores for the essay section are usually released 3 days after the multiple-choice scores are released. 

After getting your SAT scores, you will have to decide: will you send colleges your scores or will you retake the SAT? Basically, it will depend on which school you want to attend to and what is the required average SAT score. 

If you choose to retake the SAT, you do not necessarily have to take it on the next SAT date. The College Board schedules a lot of test dates every 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. 

With that said, just make sure that you have a cushion or ample time before the application deadline.

What if my SAT is postponed?

In case the College Board suspends an SAT (like the May and June 2020 SATs), they will usually give the students the next available test date. In some cases, the College Board sets a makeup test date (4). 

If there are announced postponing of SATs, it is best to keep updated by regularly checking the College Board’s official website (5). To continue the preparation for the SAT despite the closed prep centers, you can always use the College Board’s materials such as the official full-length practice tests (6).

When are international SAT test dates?

Included on the SAT test dates tables at the beginning of this article are international test dates for 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. If you are an international student and taking the SAT outside the U.S., you may have to accomplish some requirements to register for the test. You can check the requirements for international students per country here (7).

Here are some of the pointers you need to know if you are taking an international SAT:

  • Deadlines on international registration are applicable to everyone outside of the U.S. territory.
  • The expiration of deadlines is scheduled at 11:59 pm, Eastern Time, U.S.
  • There is no late registration for international testing.
  • Registration forms must be received by the set deadlines.
  • If you register through an international representative, you need to submit your paper registration with payment by the early registration deadline.


It depends. It is ideal to give yourself at least a month to study for the test. It can also vary depending on your goals on the SAT. Also, always remember to leave an allowance or ample time before the college application deadlines.

Things you should consider include the school you are applying to, your personal schedule, other commitments, and how many times you are planning to take the SAT. You should also take into account the time you will spend studying.

The best SAT test dates for Juniors are October and November for your first SAT. The best SAT test dates for seniors, meanwhile, are August, October, and November. Taking the SAT in these months will give you ample time for a retake, in case you want to improve your score. For seniors, a riskier SAT test date is the December SAT, which is closer to most college application deadlines.

This is a common myth and the answer is no. The SAT is a standardized test, so all tests from different dates measure the same abilities and skills.

Yes you can, but the event that caused the conflict must be considered valid or school-sanctioned.

Wrapping things up

There you have it, your full guide to choosing an SAT test date in 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023. You can use this guide to pick an SAT test date that is suitable for your personal schedule and goals on the test. 

Take note that the majority of the test dates in this article are anticipated. Nevertheless, they will be helpful to you in planning ahead.

In choosing SAT times and dates, it is important to consider the college application deadlines. Are you going for early decision/action? Are you applying to attend an Ivy League school? Being early is key, so you should check out the application deadlines of the school of your choice through their respective websites or the admissions office. 

Good luck with your next SAT!


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