Tuesday, October 26, 2021

SAT Dates and Deadlines: Quick Guide and Tips [2021-2022]

Are you preparing to take your SAT in 2021 or 2022? You might be feeling a little nervous and overwhelmed — but don’t stress! To help you prepare, we’ve gathered all the information you need to know for the upcoming SATs: registration deadlines, score release dates, and the test dates themselves.

To further ease any testing jitters, we’ve also thrown in everything you can expect leading up to and on the day of the test. Here’s what you need to know about when to sign up and take the SATs in 2021 and 2022.

SAT Dates 2021-2022

Before anything else, check out this list of colleges that have moved toward test-optional policies. Many colleges are more lenient in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

If your desired colleges still require the test (or you want to boost your application with a high SAT score), get ready to mark your calendar — you can find all of the current SAT dates for 2021-2022, registration deadlines, and score release dates below. 

Future SAT Dates and SAT Score Release Dates

If you’re planning to take the SAT this year, choose from the 2021 test dates:

2021 Test  Date Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline Score Release Date
May 8, 2021 April 8, 2021 April 27, 2021 May 21, 2021
June 5, 2021 May 6, 2021 May 26, 2021 July 14, 2021
August 28, 2021* July 29, 2021 August 17, 2021 September 10, 2021
October 2, 2021* September 2, 2021 September 21, 2021 October 15, 2021
November 6, 2021* October 7, 2021 October 26, 2021 November 19, 2021
December 4, 2021* November 4, 2021 November 23, 2021 December 17, 2021

*Registration, test, and score release dates are yet to be officially confirmed by the College Board.

Anticipated 2022 SAT Dates

SAT dates in 2022 are not yet confirmed, but these are next year’s tentative test dates: 

  • March 12, 2022
  • May 7, 2022
  • June 4, 2022
  • August 27, 2022
  • October 1, 2022
  • November 5, 2022
  • December 3, 2022

The registration deadline is around one month in advance of the test, so be sure to check back in with the College Board as your registration date approaches.

College exam answer sheet with pencil
It’s important to plan and prepare before your SAT date arrives. Photo: Vixit/Shutterstock

What to Know About Taking the SAT

Taking the SAT can be stressful — but knowing what to expect can ease the pressure! Here are a few things to keep in mind before, on, and after your test day.

When Do I Take the SAT?

You can take the SAT any time as a high school student, although many people suggest taking it either in the spring of your junior year, the fall of your senior year, or both.

Experts recommend taking the exam twice as students tend to score higher the second time. 

READ MORE: 11 Top Online Study Tools Every Student Needs in 2021

How Can I Register for the SAT?

The first thing to know about registering for the SAT is that it should be completed by you, the student taking the exam, and not by a parent or a guardian.

You’ll just need to follow these five simple steps:

1. Choose your preferred test date

Wondering when the perfect time to take your SAT is? There are several factors to consider: your college application deadlines, any scholarship application deadlines, midterms and finals, and how much time you’re planning to study. Make sure to give yourself plenty of time to prepare alongside your other personal and academic obligations. Once you’ve landed on a date, move on to the next step straight away.

2. Register for the SAT

The easiest way to register for the SAT is through the College Board website. All you have to do is:

    1. Create a College Board account.
    2. Fill in the required personal information (easy stuff, like your name and birthday).

If you aren’t able to register online, you have the option of sending a paper registration. Your school counselor will be able to supply you with the forms and details. Most importantly, be sure your registration is postmarked by the deadline.

Late registrations could cost you (the late registration fee is $30). If you miss the registration deadline, try joining the SAT waitlist (a $53 fee).

3. Create a Student Search profile

Filling out your Student Search profile is optional but encouraged. By including personal information, such as your current GPA and intended major, you can connect to colleges and get insider information about available financial aid options and scholarship opportunities that you qualify for.

READ MORE: How to Apply for Grants and Scholarships: All You Need to Know

4. Select the test center

During this step, all you have to do is choose your preferred test center. College Board has a handy search tool to find the test centers closest to you. If you don’t find an available seat at your top choice location, check others to see where you can squeeze in (another reason to register ASAP).

5. Upload your photo

We know you looked stunning in your homecoming photos, but the College Board won’t be impressed. While it’s tempting to upload your favorite photo, you’ll need to be sure it meets these specific requirements:

  • You should be easy to recognize in the photo.
  • The photo should not include any other person.
  • The photo must include only your head and shoulders, with your entire face, both eyes, and hair clearly visible. For religious purposes, head coverings such as hijabs are allowed.
  • You should be in focus.
  • The photo must not have any dark spots or shadows.
  • Black-and-white photos are also acceptable.
  • No filters or face tuning. Digitally altering or tampering with your photo can invalidate your application.

They’re serious, too — if your photo doesn’t meet these requirements, you won’t be able to take the test.

6. Checkout and print your admission ticket

Review your SAT registration information and make your payments. Once your registration is finalized, you’ll receive an admission ticket. Remember to print this ticket and bring it with you on your SAT day. Otherwise, you may be denied entry to the exam.

When Should I Start Preparing for the SAT? 

There’s no substitute for preparation and hard work. For a high SAT score, start preparing as soon as possible.

The sweet spot is to start studying during the spring or summer before your junior year. This will allow adequate time to prepare for your first SAT, and room to adjust and strategize to score higher the second time around. 

In general, many students require around two to three months of preparation. If you know you’ll also be studying for midterms or finals around the same time, you may want to give yourself another month or so.

READ MORE: Top 7 Study Apps to Make Student Life Easier

What Do I Do on SAT Day?

Showing up for your test is a lot like showing up for an important flight — be early and well-prepared. Make sure to eat, sleep, and hydrate. Arrive at the test site bright-eyed and earlier than scheduled. All test centers are scheduled to open at 7:45 am. Doors close at 8 am.

Students taking test in the exam hall of the college
Thousands of students will share the same SAT date as you. Photo: ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Bring the following with you to your SAT:

  • Your admission ticket and photo ID.
  • Two #2 pencils and an eraser.
  • An approved calculator.
  • A watch if you would like to keep easy track of time.
  • Water and snacks. It takes around three hours to complete the test, and you’ll have allotted breaks to eat and drink: one 10-minute and one five-minute break.

Your Seat Will Be Assigned 

Just like boarding an airplane, it’s important to note your assigned seat and then wait your turn to sit down. After everyone is seated, the test coordinator will read all instructions verbatim from a manual. The test coordinator will also tell you when to start and when to stop working on each section of the test.

No Cell Phone or Other Electronic Devices

Not surprisingly, you will be prohibited from using your cell phone and other electronic devices (not just during take-off, but for the duration of the test). Failure to follow this rule could mean your immediate dismissal and cancellation of your scores. Your device may also be confiscated.

Be Aware of Current COVID-19 Regulations

During the pandemic, you may be required to wear a face mask and practice social distancing. Additionally, if you’re traveling to take the SAT, test centers may require proof that you’ve followed quarantine requirements and travel restrictions upon checking in. 

What’s Next

Remember, checking the SAT dates and deadlines is just the first part of the strategy. Don’t forget to practice for the actual test itself. Make sure your registration is completed and verified before anything else and keep on top of any updates. Finally, we wish you low stress and high scores!

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