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Because SAT scores can play an important role in the college admissions process, most applicants are eager to learn how they performed on the exam. Scores are typically available online about two to three weeks after the test date. The table below presents the exact dates.
|2019-2020 SAT Score Release Dates|
|SAT Test Date||Multiple-Choice Scores Available Online||Essay Scores Available|
|August 24, 2019||September 6||September 9-11|
|October 5, 2019||October 18||October 21-23|
|October 16, 2019||November 8||November 11-13|
|October 30, 2019||November 20||November 25-27|
|November 2, 2019||November 15||November 18-20|
|December 7, 2019||December 20||December 23-25|
|March 4, 2020||March 26||March 30-April 1|
|March 14, 2020||March 27||March 30-April 1|
|March 25, 2020||April 16||April 20-22|
|April 14, 2020||May 6||May 8-12|
|April 28, 2020||May 20||May 22-26|
|May 2, 2020||May 15||May 18-20|
|June 6, 2020||July 15||July 15-17|
The SAT is offered worldwide on Saturdays seven times a year. This table presents more than seven test dates because of special school-day administrations of the exam. These weekday options-October 16, October 30, March 4, March 25, April 14, and April 28-won't be available or convenient for many high school students.
How Do I Check My SAT Scores?
When you register for the SAT, you create an online account to do so. Be sure to keep track of your login information, for you will use that same online account to retrieve your SAT scores. In the "My SAT" section of your College Board account, you'll find the scores for every SAT and SAT Subject Test you've taken. You'll also find breakdowns of your scores and percentile rankings that show how you measure up compared to other students.
Another benefit of the College Board's online score reports is that you'll get a customized study plan should you choose to retake the SAT, and you'll get access to free SAT practice materials through Khan Academy.
What Time Do My SAT Scores Appear?
In the past, scores would appear online at 8:00 a.m. EST. In recent administrations of the exam, the scores have rolled out throughout the day. If you live on the east coast, don't bother setting your alarm for the wee hours to get your scores early. They will not be posted before 8:00 a.m. Also, don't panic if the morning of the score availability date comes and goes and your scores have not yet appeared online. It could be the afternoon or even the evening before your scores appear. There have also been cases in which the College Board has missed the score date for logistical reasons, and locally scores may be delayed if there were testing abnormalities at your particular testing center.
In short, be patient. The only reason you should worry about your scores is if your classmates who took the exam on the same date have received their scores, and a day later your scores still have not appeared. At that point, it may be worth contacting the College Board to see what the issue may be.
Why Do My SAT Essay Scores Appear Later Than the Multiple Choice Score?
You'll notice that the College Board provides a later score availability date for the SAT essay than for the multiple-choice section of the exam. The reason for this is rather simple: the multiple-choice answers are scored by a computer whereas the essay section needs to be scored by experienced readers. In fact, your essay will be read by two different people and then the scores from those two readers will be added together to arrive at your final SAT essay score.
The logistics of getting the essay scores are much more complicated than for the multiple-choice section. The essay readers need to be trained for consistency in the scoring process, the essays need to be distributed to those readers, and then the scores from those readers need to be reported back to the College Board. Even though the essays are scored holistically (the readers do not mark up the essays or spend much time focusing on an essay's minutiae), reading and scoring the essays is still a time-consuming process.
It makes sense that the College Board can post the multiple-choice scores before the essay scores. That said, you may very well find that your essay scores are available when your multiple-choice scores are posted.
Paper SAT Scores and College Score Reports
Once the College Board has your SAT scores, posting those scores online is quick and easy. Paper score reports, however, take more time, as do the reports you requested that will be sent to colleges. In general, you can expect paper score reports and college reporting within ten days of receiving all of your scores (multiple-choice and the essay scores) online. Be sure to take this slight delay into account when you calculate when you should take the SAT. You'll want to make sure your score reports will arrive at colleges by the application deadline.
Can I Get My Scores Earlier Than The Posted Dates?
In a word, no. Scoring and processing hundreds of thousands of answer sheets takes time, and the College Board isn't in a position to flag individual exams for expedited service. If you're applying Early Action or Early Decision, you'll want to plan ahead so that you are taking exams that will get scores to colleges on time. The new August test date makes this easier, and the August and October exams should work fine for early admission programs.
That said, for a fee, you can order rush service to get a score report mailed to a college more quickly (see SAT Costs, Fees, and Waivers). This doesn't change the date that scores become available, but it helps get a score report to a specific college a little faster if you didn't order the scores at the time of the exam.
I Got My Scores. What Now?
Once you have received your scores, you'll need to figure out what the scores mean in relation to your college aspirations. Are your SAT scores good enough? Are you on target for admission to the college you hope to attend? If time allows, should you take the exam again? What are your options if your scores aren't what you had hoped for?
To get a sense of how you measure up at some of the nation's most selective colleges and universities, these articles can help guide you. They present SAT data for the middle 50% of admitted students at different types of colleges:
Can I Challenge My SAT Scores?
If your SAT scores seem far off from what you expected, you have some options for figuring out what went wrong. It is possible, for example, that your answer sheet did not scan properly. For a fee, you can request that your multiple-choice answer sheet be scored by hand. This needs to be done within five months of the test date. If it turns out that an error did occur in the processing of your score, the College Board will refund the verification fee.
Note that the College Board will not rescore your exam if you failed to follow directions. For example, if you did not fill in the ovals properly or you used a pen instead of a #2 pencil, you will not be eligible to have your scores changed.
With the SAT essay, the situation is similar. You can request that your essay score be verified in case of a score reporting error or a scanning problem. Your essay will not be reread. The College Board's essay scoring process has built-in safety measures to ensure accurate scores. Two readers will score your essay, and if the scores by those two readers differ by more than one point (on a 4-point scale), the essay will be sent to a scoring director who will score the essay.
A Final Word on SAT Scores
There's no getting around the fact that SAT (and ACT) scores often play an important role in the college admissions process. That said, try to put the exam in perspective. Your academic record will matter more than the SAT, so be sure to work hard and do well in challenging college-preparatory classes. Also, realize that the most selective colleges have holistic admissions, so a winning application essay and meaningful extracurricular involvement can help compensate for less-than-ideal SAT scores. Finally, keep in mind that hundreds of colleges have test-optional admissions and don't consider SAT scores at all.