You can take SAT seven times a year, but it is essential to know which SAT dates work best for you? What significant factors should you consider before planning an SAT schedule? And, what are the best SAT dates for juniors and seniors?
This ultimate guide provides you the latest news on SAT dates (domestic and international) for 2021 and 2022. AP Guru gives you expert tips for selecting the best SAT dates for you and various resources to guide you through the complicated web of SAT/ACT dates.
Important SAT Dates and Deadlines: 2020-2021
You can opt to take the SAT on Saturdays, with many tests offered in the fall. If you cannot take the test on a Saturday for any reason, you can take the test on Sunday, where alternate dates are usually available.
The College Board has officially confirmed the test dates, yet some of the score release dates haven't been proved. We have mentioned both confirmed and anticipated test dates for the rest of the year.
We have also included the list of international test dates in separate tables since the SAT is managed on fewer dates outside the US.
Important Note: In the US and internationally, SAT Subject Tests are available on all SAT dates except March.
Official SAT Test Dates 2021 (US)
Important Note: ✶✶The late registration deadline is one week earlier if you are registering via mail.
✶✶✶SAT Essay scores are generally released within ten days of the multiple-choice scores.
Official SAT Test Dates 2021 (International)
Important Note: ✶SAT Subject Tests are not available on this date
✶✶Only SAT Subject Tests will be given on this date.
✶✶✶These are approximate dates. SAT Essay scores are generally released within ten days of the multiple-choice scores.
Anticipated SAT Test Dates and Deadlines (2021-2022)
The Official College Board does not confirm these dates, but we expect SAT to be held in 2021/2022.
Test dates, registration deadlines, and score release dates are subject to change.
Test dates, registration deadlines, and score release dates are subject to change.
Essential Factors to consider while choosing the Best SAT Test Date
Below we have mentioned five crucial factors you have to consider before committing to a test date.
Know about your College Application Deadlines
Many deadlines fall around January 1 for regular decision and November 1 or 15 for early decision in the US.
The College Board sends SAT scores to schools for your four free score reports just one day before online score release or about three to five weeks after the exam. Though not all schools analyze the scores, some schools take a week or more to report scores. So, you have to wait at most around six weeks for your schools to process your SAT scores.
And this does not even include the extra time needed to process orders for additional score reports if you have more than four schools you want to send scores to. Getting these reports will take a week or more once scores are released.
Therefore, do not take the SAT less than five or six weeks before your college applications are due. If your schools do not process your SAT scores in time, your application could get disqualified! So plan properly
Are you going to apply for SAT scholarships?. Often, school-based SAT scholarships use the same dates and deadlines as college applications. If you are not aware of when your SAT scores are due, make sure to contact your schools to know whether your scores will arrive earlier than or with your application.
Several times you will take the SAT
You must plan whether you will retake the SAT if you do not get the scores you need for college the first time.
We suggest taking the SAT at least twice, if possible three times, depending on your score goals. AP Guru’s suggested SAT schedule:
- You can appear for the SAT in the fall of your junior year.
- You can appear for the SAT a second time in the spring of your junior year.
- Finally, appear for the SAT one last time in the late summer/early fall of your senior year.
Remember, do not register for back-to-back SAT dates, especially in the fall of your senior year. Taking too many SATs hardly gives you any time to study, and it will not help to score more in the next test.
How Much Study Time You can Dedicate to the SAT?
Before registering for the SAT, determine the exact time you will need to dedicate to studying. We suggest anywhere between three to six months for SAT prep. You can make strategies and space out your study sessions to learn effectively without burning yourself out.
Dedicate a sufficient number of study hours. The number of hours you spend studying depends on the number of points you'd like to improve your baseline SAT score. Below I have mentioned the estimated number of study hours required to make the following total point improvements on the SAT:
- 0-30 point improvement: 10 hours
- 30-70 point improvement: 20 hours
- 70-130 point improvement: 40 hours
- 130-200 point improvement: 80 hours
- 200-330 point improvement: 150 hours+
The higher the point increase you want, the more hours you have to put in studying. Sadly, not everyone has got a lot of time to devote entirely to SAT prep. The best you can do is, try to clock in at least 10 hours of prep.
Remember your Responsibilities and Conflicts
Finally, remember your responsibilities. Is there anything important you can not reschedule which is going to clash with your test date? Do you have any commitments that could prevent you from being able to focus on your SAT prep? Or any obligations like school plays, marriage functions, sports tournaments, and AP tests.
Before choosing your test date, be aware of your schedule. Finally, if a specific test date feels overwhelming, choose another one.
The Perfect SAT Test Date for Juniors? For Seniors? For Early Action?
The perfect SAT date varies from student to student; however, you just want to know the best test date. Below we have mentioned the ideal SAT dates for four common scenarios.
If you are a Junior
For 1st SAT: October, November, December
For 2nd SAT: March, May, June
Usually, you should always take your first SAT as a junior in the fall. The October and November test dates provide lots of flexibility and too much time to study and prepare for round two if you want to retake the test.
In March, during the spring, try to take the SAT or May, or at the latest, June. You will have the entire summer to evaluate your scores, list down your favorite colleges, and contemplate on whether you want to retake the test in August or autumn.
If you are a Senior
Perfect Dates: August, October, November
Not so good Dates: December
A senior has up to four possible SAT dates for regular decision deadlines: August, October, November, and December.
The earlier, the better, with all the college prep. Make sure to appear for the test in August, October, or November. You get your scores to colleges in time with the mentioned dates, assuming your earliest deadline is somewhere around January 1.
You can also go for the December test date if your deadlines are January 10 or later. December scores aren't released until late December, so January 1 might be playing a little too close for some colleges. Contact your schools to verify whether they'll accept SAT scores from the December test date before you register for it.
If You are Going with Early Action
Perfect Dates: June, August
Not so good Dates: October
Many early action deadlines are November 1 or 15. A June or August test date before your senior year is the best choice because the scores from either test date get to your schools at the right time. One advantage you have these dates is that it gives you the time to focus entirely on your college applications instead of SAT prep.
The October deadline is riskier because its scores are not out until the end of October. So if your deadline is November 1, October would not work. If your deadlines are November 15 or later, October should be fine.
If your College Applications Aren't Anticipated Until February or Later
Below I have mentioned the latest SAT dates you can choose depending on your college application deadline. Remember, the latest recommended dates are guaranteed to get your SAT scores to schools in time, whereas tricky dates won’t get your scores before the deadlines.
The SAT dates change every year, and the exam has always held a total of seven times in the following months (in the US):
- August (This test date has replaced the January one)
- September (2020 only)
Generally, international test dates are similar to US ones. There are only a few significant differences like:
- There is no August test date outside the US.
- The international November and June test dates only offer SAT Subject Tests, no regular SAT]
Quick tips for choosing the test date which is best for you, consider the following factors:
- Remember your college application and scholarship deadlines.
- Number of times you want to take the SAT
- Number of hours you are willing to put to study
- Whether you are bounded or have any obligations or responsibilities that might prevent you from taking the SAT on a specific date.