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Can You Get SAT Scores Early? How?

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Apr 22, 2020 12:00:00 PM

SAT General Info



Anxious to get your SAT scores back right away? Need your scores to meet a college application deadline? If you’re wondering how to get SAT scores early, we have some bad news: you won’t be able to receive your SAT scores before other test takers. However, there are other options available if you need colleges to receive your SAT scores early. We cover all of them in this guide, along with the exact day you can expect your SAT scores, when colleges will receive your scores, and what your options are if you need early SAT scores.


When Are SAT Scores Released? When Will Colleges Get Your SAT Scores?

You’ll receive your multiple-choice scores 13 days after you take the SAT. An exception is the June test date which typically releases multiple-choice scores five weeks after the test. If you took the SAT Essay, you'll receive your Essay score two to five days after you receive your multiple-choice scores (so about 15 to 18 days after the test). The exact time of the SAT score release varies. It can sometimes be as early as 5AM Eastern time. Colleges that you indicate as score recipients will receive your scores within 10 days of you getting your scores.

There are sometimes delays in getting SAT scores out, but usually the College Board is able to stick to these deadlines. After years of students having long waits to receive their scores (between three and six weeks), the College Board revamped its schedule to get scores out to test takers faster.

Below are the exact score release dates by test date. Dates in the first chart are confirmed, while dates in the second chart are estimated based on previous score release dates.


2020 SAT Score Release by Test Dates

Test Date

Multiple-Choice Score Released

Essay Score Released

Multiple Choice Scores Sent to Colleges by

Scores w/Essay Sent to Colleges by

March 14

March 27

March 30-April 1

April 6

April 9-11

May 2

May 15

May 18-20

May 25

May 28-30

June 6

July 15

July 15-17

July 25

July 25-27


2020-21 SAT Score Release by Test Dates (Anticipated)

Test Date

Multiple-Choice Scores Released

Essay Score Released

Multiple-Choice Scores Sent to Colleges by

Scores w/ Essay Sent to Colleges by

Aug 29

Sep 11

Sep 14-16

Sep 21

Sep 23-26

Oct 3

Oct 16

Oct 19-21

Oct 26

Oct 28-31

Nov 7

Nov 20

Nov 22-24

Nov 30

Dec 2-5

Dec 5

Dec 18

Dec 21-23

Dec 29

Jan 1-4

March 13

March 26

March 29-31

April 5

April 8-10

May 8

May 21

May 24-26

May 31

June 3-June 5

June 5

July 10

July 12-15

July 20

July 22-25

Can You Get Your SAT Scores Early?

But what if you can’t wait several weeks to get your SAT scores? Is it possible to get early SAT scores? Unfortunately, no. The College Board used to have an option where students could pay an additional fee to view their SAT scores early, however they stopped offering it after complaints that it was biased towards students who could afford the extra cost. Now, everyone receives their SAT scores at the same time (except in rare cases of delay).

If you look online, you’ll find lots of early SAT scores websites and people claiming they can get you access to your SAT scores early. Ignore them. They’re either scammers or trolls. Only the College Board has access to your SAT scores before they send them to you.

However, if you need your SAT scores sent to colleges faster than the three to four weeks after the exam they usually receive them, you can order rush reporting. To be clear, you can only order rush reporting on SAT scores that have already been released. Rush reporting will only get colleges your SAT scores faster; you still won’t get your SAT scores early. Rush reporting costs $31 (total for all the schools you selected as school recipients), and the schools will receive your scores in one to two business days after you place the order. This means colleges can potentially receive your official SAT scores as soon as two weeks after you take the test if you request rush reporting for your multiple-choice results immediately after you receive them.




What If You Need Your SAT Scores Early to Apply to College?

But what if even rush reporting isn’t fast enough to meet college deadlines for SAT scores? What if schools need your SAT scores even earlier than that? Is there a way to get SAT scores early in that case? Again, no. No matter how desperate your situation, College Board won’t make any exceptions for releasing early SAT scores. 

However, if you’re concerned about a school not receiving your SAT scores by their deadline, there are often ways to solve the problem. Many colleges, instead of requiring test scores by a certain deadline, have taken to stating the final SAT exam dates they’ll accept scores from. This is often the October or November test date for students applying early action/early decision, or the December test date for students applying regular decision. If this is the case, and you’ve taken the SAT at or before the final date, then you don’t need to worry. Even if your scores are delayed, the school will accept them, and you don’t need to do any rush reporting.

Some schools will also accept unofficial test scores if your SAT scores haven’t arrived in time. This is where you manually enter your scores into your application, then the school will check them against your official score report when they receive it.

Be aware though that these solutions aren’t a guarantee, which is why we recommend taking your first SAT early so that you have plenty of time for several retakes, if needed.


Summary: Early SAT Scores

If you’re wondering how to get SAT scores early, know that you’re pretty much out of luck. SAT multiple-choice scores are sent out 13 days after you take the test, and SAT Essay scores are sent out 15 to 18 days after the test. Colleges will receive your scores within ten days of you receiving them.

What if you need early SAT scores to apply to meet a college deadline? College Board doesn’t make any exceptions, but check the school’s admission policies (or call them) to ask if they’ll accept unofficial scores that you self-report if they won’t receive the scores in time. You can also request rush delivery to colleges, but only for SAT scores you’ve already gotten. Because the options for getting SAT scores early are extremely limited, we highly recommend planning ahead and giving yourself plenty of time to meet college deadlines.




What's Next?

The best way to study for the SAT is to use official SAT practice questions. Download and take all official SAT practice tests here.

Trying to decide if you should retake the SAT? Read our guide to learn the three factors to decide whether you need an SAT retake.

How many times should you take the SAT? Learn the best number of times to take the SAT by reading our guide.


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Christine Sarikas
About the Author

Christine graduated from Michigan State University with degrees in Environmental Biology and Geography and received her Master's from Duke University. In high school she scored in the 99th percentile on the SAT and was named a National Merit Finalist. She has taught English and biology in several countries.

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