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 2021 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||Waitlist Deadline||Deadline for Changes|
|May 8, 2021||April 8, 2021*||April 20, 2021 (by mail) or April 27, 2021 (online or by phone)*||May 3, 2021*||April 27, 2021*|
*Dates with asterisks are projected dates based on past SAT scheduling.
The May SAT is available to international students. SAT subject tests will also be available both in the U.S. and internationally. 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 $52 (without the essay portion) or $68 (with the essay). You may be eligible for a fee waiver. The registration deadline is Friday, April 8, 2021.
If you miss the deadline, the late registration deadline is April 20 for mailed registrations and April 27 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.
If you miss both the regular and late deadlines, you may still be able to take the SAT by signing up for the SAT waitlist. Keep in mind that this won't guarantee you a spot on test day. The waitlist registration for the May SAT is May 3, five days before the test. The waitlist fee is $53. After this date, you will no longer be able to register for the May SAT or get on the waitlist.
When Will May SAT Scores Be Available?
Your May SAT test scores should be available starting May 21. Once you have your scores, you can also access them by phone, but this costs $15.
If you don't receive your scores by May 15, don't panic! The CollegeBoard may be caught up in processing delays or other admin issues. You can always contact the CollegeBoard at 1 (866) 756-7346 for more information.
Scores from your four free scores reports will be sent to the colleges within a week 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 6 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. You may be studying for your AP exams and SAT subject tests in June, or be planning to take them in May. On top of studying for final exams for your classes and other year-end activities, 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 8, 2021. The latest registration deadline is April 20.
The College Board will release scores on or around May 21, 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.
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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.