During November, you're thinking about Thanksgiving, the upcoming holidays, and....the SAT? Maybe! One of the SAT's seven annual test dates is offered in November, and it may be the exam date you choose.
However, before you sign up for the November SAT, you need to make sure it's the right test date for you. In this guide, we go over all the key November SAT test dates, such as when you need to register by and when you'll receive your scores, and we also go over every key pro and con you should consider before deciding to take the SAT in November.
When Is the November SAT?
Below is the schedule for the November SAT in 2020, along with the other important dates you should know for registration.
|Test Date||Registration Deadline||Late Registration Deadline||Waitlist Deadline||Deadline for Changes|
|November 7, 2020||October 9, 2020||October 20, 2020||November 2, 2020||November 2, 2020|
Source: The College Board
The exam date for the November SAT is November 7, 2020. Like all regular SATs, it will take place in the morning.
To register for the SAT, you'll need to create a College Board account and pay an SAT registration fee of either $64.50 (if you're taking the optional Essay) or $49.50 if you're not taking the Essay). The registration deadline for the November SAT is October 9, which is about a month before the exam itself.
If you miss the registration deadline for the November SAT, you can still register for the exam through October 20. However, you'll need to pay an additional late registration fee of $30.
If you miss both the regular and late registration deadlines, you still have a final shot at taking the November SAT if you sign up for the SAT waitlist. Be aware, however, that getting on the waitlist does not guarantee you a spot on test day.
The waitlist deadline is Monday, November 2—five days before the test. If you're on the waitlist and a spot opens up for you, you'll need to pay a $53 waitlist fee. After the waitlist deadline has passed, you won't be able to register or get on the standby list for the November SAT.
November 2 is also the deadline for SAT changes, such as switching your test center location, your name on your admission ticket, etc. Some of these changes will incur a change fee of $30.
When Will You Get Your November SAT Scores?
You'll need to wait a few weeks after you take the November SAT to receive your results. Below are the estimated dates you can expect to receive scores for different parts of the November SAT.
|Test Date||Multiple-Choice Scores Available||Essay Scores Available||Scores Sent to Colleges|
|November 7, 2020||November 20, 2020||November 23-25, 2020||December 5, 2020 (at the latest)|
Source: The College Board
November SAT scores for the multiple-choice sections (Math and EBRW) of the test will likely be available to you online November 20. If you took the essay portion of the SAT, that score will be available beginning between November 23 and 25.
If you don't get your SAT scores on these dates, don't panic! What likely happened is the College Board got behind grading SATs and sending out scores, resulting in a slight score delay. If your scores are late, you can contact the College Board at 1 (866) 756-7346 for updates on when you'll get your results.
The colleges you selected for your free score reports will usually receive your SAT scores within a week of you receiving your scores. Based on the score release schedule for past years, all colleges will likely receive November SAT scores by December 5, at the latest.
Besides knowing when you'll get your SAT results, how are these dates important for you? It has to do with college application deadlines. The most common college application deadline for students applying regular decision is January 1, and the November SAT test date gives you enough time for your scores to be received by then.
However, if you're applying early action or early decision, the application deadline will often be November 1 or 15. That means you'll miss most of those deadlines if you choose to take the November SAT, so we don't recommend it as a test date if you are applying early action or early decision.
Should You Take the November SAT? Pros and Cons
Is the November SAT the right test date for you? In this section, we analyze the key pros and cons of this exam date.
Pros of Taking the November SAT
If you're a senior, your results will arrive with plenty of time for regular decision deadlines. If you take the November SAT, your scores will arrive with significant time to spare for regular decision deadlines (usually January 1). If you take the December SAT, you'll be cutting it much closer, although many schools do still accept scores from this test date. However, the November SAT is the final test date where you can be absolutely sure you'll make regular decision deadlines.
If you're a junior, you'll have time for multiple SAT retakes. If you're a high school junior, you don't need to worry about college deadlines this year, but you still need to be thinking strategically about when to take the SAT. Many people take the SAT two or three times to get their best score, and you'll want to be sure you have time for retakes, including time to study between test dates. The November test date is a great first date for taking the SAT because it gives you lots of options for potential retakes, such as during the spring of your junior year, the summer before senior year, and/or the fall of your senior year.
You won't have conflicts with AP exams or finals. November is a pretty solid time of the school year to take the SAT. You'll be used to your classes, but you won't yet be studying for finals or spring AP exams. You can study for the SAT in the summer or the beginning of the school year when classes are still revving up, giving you plenty of time to get your prep in and be prepared to earn a great SAT score.
Cons of Taking the November SAT
- You'll miss most early action/early decision deadlines. While the November SAT is great for regular decision deadlines, if you're applying early action or early decision, this exam date will likely be too late. Schools will receive your November SAT results around the end of the month, which is too late for those deadlines. Some schools specifically state they still accept November (and occasionally December) SAT scores for early action/early decision applicants, but unless this is the case, you shouldn't take the November SAT if you want to apply early action or early decision.
- If you're applying regular decision, you'll only have (possibly) one more chance to take the test. If you're a senior aiming for one last shot at your SAT goal scores, and you don't get the score you want in November, you'll only have the December test date (December 5, 2020) left as an option for a retake, and that's only if your schools accept December scores (most do though, for regular decision). It also only gives you about a month between exam dates to study and potentially raise your score. If you're a senior and considering trying to squeeze in two more SATs, we recommend at least one of them be the October SAT (on October 3, 2020) so you have enough time to study, look over your mistakes, and then take either the November or December SAT as your retake.
November SAT Recap
This year's November SAT will be on Saturday, November 7, 2020. The registration deadline is October 9, and the late registration deadline is October 20.
You'll receive your results starting November 20, and colleges will receive them by December 5. This is a great SAT to take if you're applying regular decision, but if you're applying early action or early decision this year, it may be too late for your scores to arrive in time.
To decide if the November SAT is the best exam date for you, be sure to consider key factors such as application deadlines, how many times you plan to take the SAT, and how much you think you'll be able to prepare for the SAT in the fall.
Check out our Complete Plan for when you should start studying for the SAT. This will give you a more comprehensive view of how to structure your time including what's tested, when you should take the test, and sample score goals for different levels of college selectivity.
The best way to study for the SAT is to use official SAT practice questions. Download and take all official SAT practice tests here.
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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.