How Long Does It Take to Send SAT Scores?

The time it takes to send SAT scores depends on the method you choose for sending them. Here are the general timelines:

1. Online Score Reports:

If you have a College Board account, you can view your SAT scores online and send them to colleges and universities directly from your account. This is typically the fastest method, and scores are usually available within 10 days of receiving the request.

2. Score Sends:

If you request to send your SAT scores to colleges or universities through the College Board website, scores are typically sent within 1-2 business days after the request is made.

3. Regular Mail:

If you choose to have your SAT scores sent by regular mail, it may take longer, usually 7-10 business days, for your scores to reach the intended recipients.

It's important to note that these timelines are approximate and may vary depending on factors such as holidays, weekends, and processing times of the receiving institutions. It's recommended to plan ahead and send your SAT scores well in advance of application deadlines to ensure they arrive on time.

Free Score Report: Is It Faster?

Yes, sending your SAT scores through the College Board's free score report option can be faster than other methods. When you register for the SAT, you have the option to select up to four colleges or universities to receive your scores for free. These scores are typically sent electronically to the selected institutions within 10 days of receiving the request.

Sending scores through the free score report option is usually faster because it's done electronically and doesn't involve the additional processing time required for regular mail. However, it's important to note that you need to select the free score report option during the registration process or by adding it later before the test date to take advantage of this option. If you don't select this option, you may need to pay a fee to send your scores later or use other methods, which may take longer for processing and delivery.

Rushed Score Report: Is It Faster?

Yes, sending a rushed score report for your SAT scores can be faster than regular processing. The College Board offers a "Rush Reporting" service that allows you to expedite the delivery of your scores to colleges and universities. With Rush Reporting, your scores are typically sent electronically to the selected institutions within 2 business days of the request, instead of the usual 10 days for regular processing.

It's important to note that Rush Reporting is an additional service provided by the College Board and requires an additional fee. The fee for Rush Reporting is in addition to the regular SAT registration fee or score sending fee. If you need your scores to be delivered urgently to meet a college application deadline or for other time-sensitive reasons, Rush Reporting can be a faster option compared to regular processing. However, it's important to plan ahead and be aware of the associated fees and processing times to ensure timely delivery of your SAT scores.

When to Send Your Scores

It's recommended to send your SAT scores at least two weeks before the college application deadline to ensure that they are received in time. You should also consider sending scores as soon as possible after taking the exam, especially if you plan to take the SAT more than once, to allow colleges to review your scores in a timely manner.

Timeline: When to Take the SAT and Send Your Score

Here's a general timeline for taking the SAT and sending your scores:

1. Registration:

Register for the SAT well in advance of the test date. The registration deadline is typically about a month before the test date, but it's best to register early to secure your preferred test center and avoid late fees.

2. Test Day:

Take the SAT on the designated test date. SAT scores are typically available online about 10 days after the test date.

3. Score Release:

Once your scores are available, review them and decide which colleges or universities you want to send your scores to. You can send four free score reports to colleges or scholarship programs when you register for the SAT, or you can choose to send them later for a fee.

4. Score Sending:

If you're satisfied with your scores, you can send them to colleges immediately after they are released. If you want to wait for a particular test date's scores before sending them, you can do so without additional fees as long as you make the request by the regular deadline. However, if you need to rush your scores to meet a deadline, you may need to pay additional fees.

5. College Deadlines:

Keep in mind the application deadlines of the colleges or universities you're interested in. Plan to send your scores with enough time for them to be received by the deadline. It's generally recommended to send scores at least two weeks before the deadline to ensure they are received in time.

Remember to check the official College Board website for the most up-to-date information on SAT score sending and deadlines.

So When Do You Need to Take the SAT?

The SAT is typically taken during the junior or senior year of high school, but the exact timing can vary depending on the individual student's college application timeline and goals. Most students take the SAT for the first time in the spring of their junior year, and then again in the fall of their senior year if they want to try and improve their score. It's important to check the application deadlines for the colleges you're interested in, as well as their policies regarding SAT scores and testing requirements, to determine the best testing timeline for you.


In conclusion, taking the SAT can be an important step in the college admissions process, and it is essential to know when to take the exam and when to send your scores. It is recommended that students take the SAT at least once during their junior year and send their scores to colleges soon after receiving them. Additionally, students can use various methods to send their scores, including free, rushed, or regular score reports, and it's crucial to understand the timeframes and costs associated with each option. Ultimately, students should plan ahead and be mindful of SAT test dates and score sending deadlines to avoid any delays or complications in the college application process.