SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Full Review of Every SAT Test Date 2018-2019

Posted by Christine Sarikas | Jun 28, 2018 12:00:00 PM

SAT General Info



There are multiple SAT test dates a year, and choosing the best one can be tricky. If you choose a test date too early, you may not be fully prepared, but if you choose one too late, your scores may not arrive in time for college application deadlines.

You also need to take your own schedule into account as well. Will there be certain times of the year when you’re extra busy with a sport or club, or times when you’ll be too busy studying for your classes? The SAT is already difficult enough, and you don’t want to make things harder on yourself by choosing a test date that doesn’t fit your schedule.

Fortunately, we’re here to help you choose the best SAT test date for you. This guide covers all the SAT test dates for the 2018/2019 testing year, and we offer specific advice on each test date for sophomore, juniors, and seniors, so you’ll be able to decide exactly when to take the SAT.


2018 SAT Test Dates

The fall 2018 SAT test dates are generally best for juniors taking the SAT for the first time and seniors getting in one last SAT before college application deadlines. We don’t recommend current high school sophomores take the SAT on one of these dates because it’ll likely be too early in your high school career for you to score your best.


August 25, 2018

  • Registration Deadline: July 27, 2018
  • Late Registration Deadline: August 15, 2018



This exam date is too early for sophomores. At this point, the beginning of your sophomore year, you’ll only be about halfway through high school, and you won’t have studied many of the concepts tested by the SAT yet.



This is a great test date for juniors to take the SAT for the first time. You’ll have all summer to study so you can be well prepared on test day, and if you’re not happy with your score, you’ll still have plenty of time for retakes. Many students end up taking the SAT more than once in order to get their desired score, and taking your first SAT early on in your junior year puts you in a great spot to do this.



If you’re a senior and you’re still not happy with your SAT score, this is a good test date to give it one last shot. By taking the SAT on this date, you’ll still get your scores back in time for college application deadlines, including early action and early decision deadlines (which are usually in October or November).

Also, by taking the SAT early on in your senior year, you’ll avoid trying to balance studying for the SAT at the same time you’re trying to complete college applications, and you’ll have all summer to study for the test.


October 6, 2018

  • Registration Deadline: September 7, 2018
  • Late Registration Deadline: September 26, 2018



This test date is still too early for sophomores. However, if you want to get in some testing practice, you can take the PSAT which will be offered on Wednesday, October 10, 2018. Only juniors who take the PSAT are eligible for National Merit awards and scholarships, but taking the PSAT as a sophomore can help you be more prepared for both the PSAT and the SAT in the future. You’ll get an idea of what the tests will be like and what areas you should focus on in your future studying.



As a junior, you have the chance to take the PSAT this year and compete for National Merit scholarships. The PSAT is on October 10th, so if you’re already putting in a lot of prep for the PSAT, it may make sense for you to take the SAT just a few days before it, since the two tests are very similar.

Even if you aren’t taking the PSAT, this test date is still another good choice for you to take the SAT for the first time and still have plenty of time for a retake.



If you’re a senior, you can take the SAT on this test date and still be able to send your scores by the regular application deadline of most colleges (typically January 1). If you’re applying early action or early decision, this test date will still likely be OK for getting your scores in for those deadlines, but double check your application deadlines first to make sure. Also note that this is the absolutely last SAT test date for getting your scores in by those early deadlines.




November 3, 2018

  • Registration Deadline: October 5, 2018
  • Late Registration Deadline: October 24, 2018



This test is still too early for sophomores to be well prepared to take the SAT, but if you’re really interested in seeing what the test is like (or you’ve taken the PSAT and want to start SAT studying), you can take some SAT practice tests to get a sense of how you’re doing and where you need to make improvements.

If you’re unhappy with your practice test scores, remember that you still have plenty of time to get more studying done, and with an efficient study plan, you can make big jumps in your SAT score.



This another solid test date for juniors, and if you’ve just taken the PSAT, you can keep your studying going for just a few more weeks and take this November SAT test date.



This test date is too late if you’re applying early action or early decision, but your scores will be back in time for most regular decision deadlines. Just remember that, if you plan on taking the SAT on this date, you’ll likely be working on college applications at the same time and will have to juggle SAT studying, applying to colleges, and regular schoolwork at the same time, so you may not get in as much SAT study time as you were hoping.


December 1, 2018

  • Registration Deadline: November 2, 2018
  • Late Registration Deadline: November 20, 2018



While we still don’t recommend sophomores take the SAT this early, you can begin prepping for the PSAT 10, if you’ll be taking it. The PSAT 10 is a version of the PSAT designed specifically for sophomores, and, if your school administers it, you’ll take it sometime between the end of February and the end of April.

The PSAT 10 is somewhat easier than the SAT (since it’s for younger students), but the two tests are still quite similar in terms of format and content tested. This means that studying for one test can help you do well on the other.



You’ll likely be studying for finals around this time, so we don’t recommend this SAT test date for juniors as much as the other ones offered during the 2018/2019 school year. You can definitely still take the SAT on this date, but make sure you won’t be overloading yourself between your SAT study plan and your regular schoolwork.



For most seniors, this is the absolute last date you can take the SAT and still get your scores in time for college application deadlines. For some schools, it may actually be too late, so be sure to check the deadlines of each of the schools you’re applying to in order to make sure you don’t miss a key deadline! And remember, if you’re unhappy with your SAT score, there won’t be another chance for you to do a retake.

Even if this date still works with your college deadlines, you’ll likely be studying for finals and putting the finishing touches on your college applications during this time. For most seniors, we recommend choosing an earlier test date so you have enough time to devote to studying before the SAT.


2019 SAT Test Dates

These 2019 SAT exam dates will be too late for seniors, but they can be good options for sophomores or juniors.




March 9, 2019

  • Registration Deadline: February 8, 2019
  • Late Registration Deadline: February 27, 2019



You may have taken or be taking the PSAT 10 around this time, but you can also take the SAT on this date if you want to. This is still pretty early in your high school career to be taking the actual SAT, so if you do decide to take it, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get a great score, especially on Math, where you may not have covered some of the concepts yet.



This is another solid test date for juniors to take the SAT for the first or even second time if you took it in the fall and have been able to put in a solid amount of studying since then. By now you’ll know most or all of the concepts tested on the SAT, and you won’t be studying for finals at this time.



This exam date is too late for seniors planning to attend college in the fall.


May 4, 2019

  • Registration Deadline: April 5, 2019
  • Late Registration Deadline: April 24, 2019



High-achieving sophomores can take the SAT on this date since by now you will have covered many of the subjects tested on the SAT. However, it’s rare to reach your SAT goal score this early in your high school career; so don’t worry too much about a top score right now.

Instead, if you take the SAT on this date, use this score as a baseline to figure out how much you need to improve and in which areas. If you have finals around this time though, you may want to choose a different test date so you aren’t taking on too much, especially if this is your first time taking the SAT.



If you haven’t taken the SAT yet, we recommend you take it on this date so that, if you want to retake the test, you have the entire summer to study and several test dates during your senior year for potential retakes. However, this test date may conflict with your finals, and if it does the March or June dates will likely work better for you.



This exam date is too late for seniors planning to attend college in the fall.


June 1, 2019

  • Registration Deadline: May 3, 2019
  • Late Registration Deadline: May 22, 2019



This is another good test date for high-achieving sophomores, especially if the May test date conflicted with your finals. With this test date, you’ll still get your scores back by mid-summer and can get in a lot of studying before school starts again so you’re well prepared to take the SAT again in the fall of your junior year.



By taking the SAT on this date, you’ll get your scores back in mid-summer so you’ll have several weeks to study and be well prepared if you need to take the SAT again early in your senior year. However, again, make sure this SAT test date doesn’t conflict with your school finals before you register for it.



This exam date is too late for seniors planning to attend college in the fall.




Review: SAT Test Dates 2018 - 2019

There are seven SAT test dates for the 2018/2019 testing year:

    • August 25, 2018
    • October 6, 2018
    • November 3, 2018
    • December 1, 2018
    • March 9, 2019
    • May 4, 2019
    • June 1, 2019

For sophomores, the best test dates are those at the end of the school year: May and June. These later test dates will give you the best chance of knowing most of the information tested on the SAT. However, just make sure you don’t choose a date that conflicts with your finals. For other SAT preparation, you can take the PSAT 10 and/or the PSAT.

For juniors, pretty much any test date will work. We recommend taking your first SAT in the fall of your junior year and doing a possible retake in the spring. This gives you plenty of time to study for your retake and possibly take the SAT again in the fall of your senior year if you need to. You can also take the PSAT in October as additional SAT practice and to compete for National Merit.

For seniors, we recommend taking your final SAT in the late summer or early fall: August or October. You can study for the SAT over the summer so it doesn’t conflict with filling out college applications, and you’ll be able to meet school deadlines, even early action/decision deadlines, with either of these dates. If absolutely necessary, seniors can also take the November or December test dates, but be aware that you may not get your scores back in time for all your college applications if you choose one of these dates.


What's Next?

Now that you've chosen an SAT test date, the next step is to register for the SAT. Our detailed guide offers easy-to-follow instructions to help walk you smoothly through the registration process.

Hoping for a top SAT score? Check out our in-depth guide to getting a 1600 on the SAT, written by an expert full scorer!

Are you also thinking about taking the ACT? Check out our complete guide to choosing ACT dates for 2018 and 2019!


Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points? We've written a guide about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

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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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