Anticipating Your SAT Results: Understanding SAT Score Release Dates

04/01/20249 minute read
Anticipating Your SAT Results: Understanding SAT Score Release Dates

The wait for SAT scores is a mix of excitement and anxiety familiar to all students on the college admissions journey. The anticipation, the nerves, the constant refreshing of the browser — we've all been there.

In this blog post, we're here to be your guiding light during this waiting game. We’ll demystify the timeline of SAT score releases and give you insights to ease the tension of this moment in your academic journey. Together, let's unravel the mystery of the timeline and shed light on what awaits you post-SAT.

SAT Score Release Timeline

Understanding the SAT score release timeline is key to navigating the post-test waiting period. SAT scores are typically released about 2 weeks after the test date. According to the College Board:

  • If you took the SAT on a Saturday, expect your scores approximately 2 weeks later on Friday.
  • If you took the test in school during the week, you’ll likely receive your score 3-4 weeks later. Your school counselor will get your score first, and they may share it with you early.

Here are the SAT score release dates for spring 2024:

Spring 2024 SAT Score Release Dates
Test DateScore Release Date
March 9, 2024March 22, 2024
May 4, 2024May 17, 2024
June 1, 2024June 17, 2024

These are the Saturday test dates from the College Board website. If you take the SAT in school on a weekday, your release date may be different.

Accessing Your SAT Scores

Once the scores are ready, you can access them through your College Board account. If you took the SAT on the weekend, you already have an account. Go to Student Score Reports and sign in with your College Board username and password. If you haven't set up a College Board account yet, it's straightforward to create one by clicking “Create Account” on this page. Then simply log in, and you'll find your scores waiting for you.

The College Board staggers the score distribution to make it easy for millions of students to access their results. All scores are generally available by 8 p.m. ET on release day, but the exact release time may vary — even for students who take the SAT at the same time and in the same testing center. So keep an eye on your account!

Understanding Your SAT Score Report

In the Student Score Reports Portal, you'll find a detailed overview of your SAT Suite of Assessments score reports. Each entry displays the total score and section scores for that test. Click on the box containing your score to access the detailed report.

Total Score

At the top of your score report, you'll see a prominent black number. That’s your SAT Score or total score. This figure, ranging from 400 to 1600, signifies your overall performance.

The percentile on the right of the total score indicates how your score compares to other test-takers. The Score Range below shows the range of scores you might expect if you took the SAT multiple times. Some colleges consider your score range rather than your Total Score when evaluating your application.

Section Scores

Following the total score, you'll find two section scores:

  1. Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW)
  2. Math.

Although the SAT comprises three tests, both the Reading test and the Writing and Language test are combined into one section. The infographic on your score sheet shows your scores in relation to a benchmark for college readiness. The percentiles show the percentage of test takers who scored lower than you.

Score Recipients

After section scores, you’ll see your score recipients. These are the colleges or scholarship programs you have chosen to send your scores. This section shows when your scores were sent, whether they were sent, and why or why not.

Score Details: Test Scores, Cross-Test Scores, Subscores

The Score Details tab on your report breaks down detailed information about each part of your test.

1. Test Scores: Reading, Writing and Language, and Math are shown with benchmarks for college readiness. This section also shows the number of questions you answered correctly and incorrectly.

2. Cross-Test Scores: Questions are drawn from all three SAT tests to form two cross-test scores – “Analysis in Science” and “Analysis in History/Social Studies.”

3. Subscores: Seven subscores highlight your proficiency in specific question types:

  • Command of Evidence
  • Words in Context
  • Expression of Ideas
  • Standard English Conventions
  • Heart of Algebra
  • Problem Solving and Data Analysis
  • Passport to Advanced Math

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Using Your Score Report for Self-Assessment and Improvement

Here are some tips for using your score report as a powerful tool for self-assessment and targeted improvement:

1. Identify Strengths and Weaknesses: Review section scores to identify your strengths and weaknesses. If you excelled in certain areas, celebrate those achievements. Tailor your preparation strategy based on weaker areas.

2. Analyze Percentiles: Examine your percentile ranking to gauge your performance compared to others. This context helps you understand your standing in a broader context.

3. Focus on Skill Insights: Delve into the insights provided for each section. Identify specific skills within those sections to understand where you may need additional practice.

4. Monitor Progress: As you prepare for future tests, regularly revisit your score report. Monitor your progress, celebrate improvements, and adjust your study plan accordingly.

By leveraging your SAT score report in this way, you transform it into a tool for enhancing your overall performance.

Sending Your SAT Scores to Colleges

Your SAT scores are NOT automatically sent to colleges. You chose colleges or scholarship programs to send your scores to when you registered for the SAT or took it in school.

If you originally indicated to share your scores, the College Board sends them to your selected colleges within 10-12 days after the scores are out. When your score becomes available, you can send it to additional colleges by using the instructions on this page.

Be sure to consider application deadlines and plan for your score to be sent well in advance of these. It takes time for colleges to process your SAT scores and incorporate them into your application.

Institutions typically won’t accept printouts or copies of your score reports — they require you to send your scores directly from the College Board. 

For help with deciding whether to send your SAT scores to a given institution, see this blog post: Should You Submit Your SAT/ACT Score to Test-Optional Schools?**

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What If You Need to Retake the SAT?

Considering a retake? Here's what you should keep in mind:

Strategic Planning

If your first attempt didn't yield the desired results, a retake might be a valuable option. Plan your retake strategically by considering upcoming test dates and aligning them with your college application timeline. Keep in mind that spacing out your attempts allows for focused preparation.

Preparation Strategies

Before retaking the SAT, assess your previous performance — this is where the test scores, cross-test scores, and subscores mentioned above come in handy! Target your practice to areas that need improvement for the best chance at improving your score.

Interpreting Scores

Before retaking the SAT, understand how your chosen colleges interpret multiple scores. Many institutions practice score choice, allowing you to submit only your best scores. But some colleges consider all scores or practice superscoring, where they consider the highest section scores across multiple attempts. 

Consider retaking the test if your scores don't aren’t in the range of the average scores of admitted students at your desired institutions.

Balancing Act

While a retake can show determination and improvement, it's essential to strike a balance. Evaluate whether the potential benefits of a higher score outweigh the time and effort required for additional preparation. We typically don’t recommend taking the SAT more than three times. After that, you’re likely better off focusing on other parts of the application.

Ready to Ace the SAT? Plan Wisely!

Planning is key when it comes to SAT success. Here's your roadmap:

1. Mark Your Calendar: Be proactive! Familiarize yourself with SAT test dates and release timelines. Plan strategically to ensure your scores align with college application deadlines.

2. Test Day Strategy: Opt for test dates that provide ample preparation time and align with your academic commitments. A well-thought-out test day strategy contributes to a more focused and confident performance.

3. Post-Test Readiness: Once the test is done, know what to expect. Understand the score release patterns and be ready to access your results through your College Board account.

4. Interpret with Insight: Score reports offer valuable insights. Learn to interpret them effectively, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. This knowledge empowers you to plan your next steps strategically.

For personalized guidance on SAT preparation, schedule a consultation with our expert academic advisors. They can help you achieve your best possible SAT score on your journey to the college of your dreams!