SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

When Is the May SAT? Should You Take It?


May is a busy month for students with end of year exams, sports, and activities, but there is one more thing you might want to consider: taking the May SAT in your junior year. Taking the May SAT can help you boost your score and be competitive for early action or early decision at your top schools.

In this article, we'll go over everything you need to know about the May 2023 SAT, including registration deadlines, how to register, and when your scores can be expected to come out. We'll also go over some pros and cons to help you decide if this is the right test date for you.


When Is the May SAT?

Here are all the important dates you need to know for the May SAT:

Test Date Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline 
May 6, 2023 April 7, 2023 April 18, 2023 (by mail) or April 25, 2023 (online or by phone)


The May SAT is available to international students. Information about the international test and fees can be found on the SAT international page.

To register for the May SAT, you must pay the SAT registration fee of $60. You may be eligible for a fee waiver. The registration deadline is April 7, 2023.

If you miss the deadline, the late registration deadline is April 18 for mailed registrations and April 25 for registrations made online or by phone. There is a late registration fee of $30 and a phone registration fee of $15. These fees are in addition to the regular registration fee.


When Will May SAT Scores Be Available?

Your May SAT test scores should be available starting May 19. Once you have your scores, you can also access them by phone, but this costs $15.

If you don't receive your scores by that date, don't panic! The College Board may be caught up in processing delays or other admin issues. You can always contact the College Board at 1 (866) 756-7346 for more information.

Scores from your four free score reports will be sent to the colleges within a ten days of you receiving your score. Remember, that not all colleges operate in the same way and on the same scheduled, and the colleges may not receive or process your scores right away. Some can take up to a week or more, so make sure your take the SAT far enough in advance of the application deadline for the schools to receive and process your scores.

We recommend taking the SAT at least five weeks before the application deadline, and at least seven weeks before the deadline if you're going to need additional score reports. You shouldn't have any issue getting your May SAT scores to your schools on time, but in theory, this is the latest test you'd take if you had a June deadline.

However, you're not likely to be looking at a spring deadline like early June. Most colleges have early action and early decision deadlines on November 1 or 15, while most regular decision deadlines are January 1. Some schools with rolling admissions open up applications in early September. It's more likely that you're taking the SAT as a junior to give yourself plenty of time and more options for improving your scores.

So, how do you know if you should take the May SAT? This is a lot of information, but the most important thing is to figure out if this SAT test date will benefit you and your college application process.




Pros and Cons of Taking the May SAT

These are some of the biggest pros and cons to consider when deciding whether or not to take the SAT in May.


Pros of Taking the May SAT

  • No stress over deadlines. The May SAT will definitely arrive at your college choices before even early action/early decision deadlines, so that's one thing you can take off your plate. Some students do try to take the SAT early in their senior year to improve scores, but there's no guarantee that October, November, and December scores will arrive on time to meet your application deadlines.

  • More time to focus on your applications. If you do well on the SAT in May of your junior year, you can turn your focus to the other aspects of your applications. You'll have more time to work on your other application materials, which can be especially important if you're applying to a selective school.

  • You'll have more options. If you do well, the test is out of your way and you don't have to worry about it during your senior year. On the other hand, if your scores were lower than you'd hoped, you have all summer to study so you can retake the SAT in August or in the fall. This gives you a better chance of improving your scores if you have more opportunities to take the test and still meet your college application deadlines.


Cons of Taking the May SAT

  • The end of the year is busy. On top of studying for final exams and AP exams for your classes, you may find yourself stretched a little thin if also trying to take your SATs at this time.

  • Less time to prepare. Many students take the SAT in the spring of their junior year, but this may not work for you depending on your study plan. You may want to spend the summer taking an SAT prep course, working with a tutor, or engaging in an individualized study plan. This will depend on what works best for you, and what your study plan is.




May SAT Recap

This year's May SAT is Saturday, May 6, 2023. The latest registration deadline is April 25.

The College Board will release scores on or around May 19, and scores will be sent to colleges about ten days after. Remember, it may take schools up to a week to process your scores, but you shouldn't have any issue meeting your application deadlines.

The May SAT just might be the right test for you! Before you register, making sure you carefully weigh the pros and cons, consider what your score goals are, and your plan for your applications.


What's Next?

Did you know that the SAT is going digital? Learn what the changes are, when they come into effect, and how they'll affect college admissions in our in-depth guide to the digital SAT.

Looking for more info on SAT test dates? Check out our complete guide to upcoming SAT test dates and learn more about when to take the SAT.

Already studying for the SAT? Our ultimate SAT study guide can help. You can also learn how to create a study plan and find links to practice tests.


Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points? We have the industry's leading SAT prep program. Built by Harvard grads and SAT full scorers, the program learns your strengths and weaknesses through advanced statistics, then customizes your prep program to you so you get the most effective prep possible.

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About the Author

Carrie holds a Bachelors in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, and is currently pursuing an MFA. She worked in book publishing for several years, and believes that books can open up new worlds. She loves reading, the outdoors, and learning about new things.

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