Kate Sundquist 5 min read SAT Info and Tips

When Are SAT Scores Released? The Complete 2019-2020 Dates

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What’s harder than studying for the SAT? You might think that’s the first half of a bad joke, but in our experience, prepping for the SAT isn’t always the hardest part—it’s the waiting that sometimes really gets you. All that studying and stress gets poured into your work on a single test, and then you have to sit and wait to find out how you did.


So, how long exactly can you expect to wait for your SAT scores? The short answer is that it depends on when you took it. To learn more, including the score release dates for the 2019-2020 SAT test administrations, keep reading.


Want to know your chances at your dream school based on your SAT score? Calculate your chances right now.


How Long Does It Take To Get Your SAT Scores Back?


In general, the first test scores become available online about 13 days after you take the test. The exact date varies according to the date you took the SAT and according to your region, as not all test scores are released on the same date.


The first scores released will be for the multiple choice portion of your test. This includes the Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores, and also includes your cumulative score. These scores are usually available online 13-19 days after you take the test, though for some summer test administrations it can take up five  weeks.


When Is Your SAT Essay Score Available?


When you check your scores initially, you will probably only see your cumulative score and section scores. These won’t include the optional essay section, even if you chose to take this part of the test. Essays take a little longer to score because they are physically reviewed by two essay scorers, rather than being scanned by a machine as the multiple choices are. Your essay score is generally available about five days after your multiple choice scores are released.



When Are Your SAT Subject Test Scores Available?


Subject test scores are released on the same schedule as the multiple-choice scores for regular SATs, except for the August date—the Subject Test scores are released on September 6, 2019.


This means that if you plan to take SAT Subject Tests on October 5, 2019, your scores will be released on October 18, 2019, the first day of the window during which scores on the regular SAT begin are released.


SAT Score Release Dates 2019-2020


SAT Test Date Multiple-Choice Scores Release Date Essay Score Release Date
August 24, 2019  September 16, 2019  September 18, 2019
October 5, 2019 October 18-24, 2019 October 29, 2019
November 2, 2019 November 15-21, 2019 November 26, 2019
December 7, 2019  December 20-26, 2019 December 31, 2019 
March 14, 2020 March 27-31, 2020 April 5, 2020 
May 2, 2020 May 15-21, 2020 May 25, 2020
June 6, 2020  July 15, 2020 July 15, 2020 

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How Do I Get My SAT Scores?


The easiest and quickest way to receive your SAT scores is through your online CollegeBoard account. Simply visit the CollegeBoard homepage, and click on the blue box that prompts you to login with your username and password. Then, click on the “My SAT” link underneath your name. You’ll then be able to view all your available test scores, listed by test date.



Keeping Track of Test Dates and Score Release Dates


It can be tricky to track all these dates, especially if you’re also juggling AP tests and SAT Subject Tests. We recommend keeping a calendar all these dates clearly noted on it. Some students find that a physical calendar provides the visual reminder that they need to stay organized. Others prefer to use a virtual calendar or app to help keep track. If this is the method you choose, we recommend that you set alerts for important dates so that they don’t go unnoticed.


How to Understand Your SAT Score 


Composite Score: Scoring the test is fairly straightforward. Total composite SAT scores range from 400-1600 points, tallied from two sections: Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, with each worth 200-800 points. The College Board (the group responsible for administering the SAT) redesigned the test in 2016 with the intent of an “average” total score being 1000—squarely in the middle of the 400 minimum score and 1600 maximum score. With that knowledge, you can get an idea of how you stack up against other test takers. 


Percentiles: A more scientific way of understanding your SAT score is to use percentiles, which the College Board publishes yearly. Your score report will list two percentiles, one as a Nationally Representative Sample, and one as a User Percentile. The former compares your score to what’s typical of high school juniors and seniors, and the latter compares you to actual SAT test takers. The User Percentile is more useful as a data point. Your User percentile tells you how you did “rank” compared to other test-takers. For example, if you scored in the 50% percentile, you scored at or above 50% of other SAT students.


Subscores: The SAT also provides seven subscores ranging from 1-15, four from the Reading and Writing and Language Sections (Command of Evidence, Words in Context, Expression of Ideas, and Standard English Conventions), and three from the Math test (Heart of Algebra, Problem Solving, and Data Analysis). Subscores are color coded to make identifying strengths and weaknesses easy—green meaning on track for college readiness, yellow translating to close to being on track for college readiness continue to strengthen skills, and red signaling a need to strengthen skills. Subscores are an excellent way for students to identify where to focus their energy if they’re planning on retaking the SAT! 


How Do I know If My SAT Score is Good Enough?


According to the College Board, the average SAT score is 1059, with the average Math score at 531 and the average Evidence-Based Reading and Writing score at 528. These scores do little to tell you how your SAT score will affect your chances of getting into your dream school, however. 


To put your SAT score in context, look at the average SAT scores for incoming freshmen at the schools you’re interested in, and see how you compare. The majority of colleges publish the middle 50% SAT scores of the students they have admitted. If you’re not sure what that means, the middle 50% is a range of scores between the 25th percentile and the 75th—which is a good demonstration of the type of score you’ll need to gain entry. As an example of middle 50% scores, Princeton University had scores ranging from 1460-1580 for the class of 2023, with a Math score of 750-800 and an Evidenced-based Reading and Writing score of 710-770.


Keep in mind, these numbers reflect the average student—25% of students will have scored below the middle 50%, and 25% will have a higher score. That said, scoring on the high end of the range, or above it, will help increase your odds of acceptance.


What Should I Do If My SAT Score Is Too Low?


If you didn’t get the SAT score you were hoping for, don’t stress. Unless it’s December of your senior year, you probably have time to improve significantly before you apply to college. If you want to improve your score, review the SAT calendar and set your sights on a new test date. Then, go over your complete score report to get a better idea of what areas tripped you up the most. Focus on these areas to improve your score over the next few weeks.


For more information about improving your SAT score, check out these important CollegeVine posts:


Tips to Prepare Yourself for Your SAT Test Day

How to Pace Yourself on Every Section of the SAT

Five SAT Strategies You Should Know

10 Tips to Prepare for the SAT


Preparing for the SAT? Download our free guide with our top 8 tips for mastering the SAT.


Want to know how your SAT score impacts your chances of acceptance to your dream schools? Our free Chancing Engine will not only help you predict your odds, but also let you know how you stack up against other applicants, and which aspects of your profile to improve. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to gain access to our Chancing Engine and get a jumpstart on your college strategy!

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Kate Sundquist
Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.