SAT Test Dates 2022-23: When Should You Take the SAT?

A good SAT score can help you get into college. But when do you take the SAT? Discover what factors to consider before choosing an SAT test date.

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by Marisa Upson

Updated August 15, 2022

Edited by Hannah Muniz
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SAT Test Dates 2022-23: When Should You Take the SAT?
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Many colleges across the U.S. require ACT or SAT scores for admission. Schools use these two standardized entrance exams to determine your readiness for college. In addition to your GPA and the rigor of your coursework, your ACT or SAT scores may weigh heavily in whether a school decides to admit you.

Like the ACT, the SAT tests your math, English grammar, and reading comprehension skills. But when do you take the SAT? Most students take it their junior or senior year of high school — sometimes both!

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Ultimately, when you take the SAT will depend on multiple factors, including available test dates, your commitments, and whether you may want to retake the exam.

When Are SAT Test Dates 2022-23?

The College Board administers the SAT seven times a year in August, October, November, December, March, May, and June. You can also take the SAT on a weekday in October, March, or April if your school participates in SAT School Day.

The deadline to register for the SAT is typically about a month before the test date, so it's important you plan ahead. Early registration ensures you get the SAT date you want and the testing center that's most convenient for you.

It costs $60 to take the SAT, as of August 2022. That said, you may be eligible for a fee waiver. If you sign up for an SAT test date after the registration deadline but before the late registration deadline, you must pay an additional $30.

The table below shows all upcoming SAT test dates and deadlines:

SAT Test Dates 2022-23
Test Date Registration Deadline Late Registration Deadline / Deadline for Changes
August 27, 2022 July 29, 2022 August 16, 2022
October 1, 2022 September 2, 2022 September 20, 2022
November 5, 2022 October 7, 2022 October 25, 2022
December 3, 2022 November 3, 2022 November 22, 2022
March 11, 2023 February 10, 2023 February 28, 2023
May 6, 2023 April 7, 2023 April 25, 2023
June 3, 2023 May 4, 2023 May 23, 2023

Source: College Board

When Should You Take the SAT for the First Time?

The College Board recommends taking your first SAT during the spring of 11th grade. By this point, you should have learned most of the major concepts tested on the exam and will have ample time to retake the SAT one or more times, if needed.

You may wait to take your first SAT until the fall of your senior year. If you do this, however, you'll have fewer opportunities to retake the SAT before your college applications are due.

When to Take the SAT: 5 Critical Factors

When should you take the SAT? The answer to this question depends on various factors, including how much time you need to prepare, your commitments, and your college application deadlines.

1. How Much Prep Time Do You Need?

When choosing an SAT date, make sure you leave yourself enough study time. Many students start preparing for the SAT 2-3 months before their test.

If you know you have some serious studying to do to get the SAT score you want, create a study plan. For example, you might aim to prep for four hours a week for three months.

You should also take SAT practice tests before your test date. Taking a practice test at the beginning and end of your prep can help you track improvements and identify your strengths and weaknesses. Make sure to prioritize official SAT practice tests, as these will be most similar to the actual exam.

You might consider investing in an SAT prep book as well. Top-rated SAT books typically contain high-quality practice tests and useful study recommendations you can apply to your prep.

2. Will You Take the SAT More Than Once?

The College Board encourages all test-takers to take the SAT twice, claiming most students earn a better score the second time around.

And the data backs this up: According to a 2018 paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, retaking the SAT was found to often lead to "substantially" higher scores, along with an increase in four-year enrollment rates.

Of course, if you earn the score you want the first time around, you're done! However, just in case you don't, give yourself time to retest before college applications are due.

3. Does Your School Participate in SAT School Day?

Some high schools and districts participate in SAT School Day, which is when a school administers the SAT on a weekday.

This allows you to take the SAT in a familiar environment and avoid potential barriers, like securing transportation to and from a testing center. Some schools may even waive registration fees for students.

Here's an overview of all upcoming SAT School Day test dates. Check with your school to see which date (if any) it plans to administer the SAT.

SAT School Day Test Dates 2022-23
Test Date Most Scores Available
October 12, 2022 November 2, 2022
October 27, 2022 November 17, 2022
March 1, 2023 March 23, 2023
March 22, 2023 April 14, 2023
April 12, 2023 May 3, 2023
April 25, 2023 May 18, 2023

Source: College Board

4. When Are Your College Applications Due?

A good SAT score can help you get accepted to your dream college. It can also help you when applying for scholarships. Make sure the College Board has ample time to send your SAT scores to your schools and scholarship organizations before your college application deadlines.

Regular college decision deadlines are usually around Jan. 1. The deadline for early action and early decision, which let you apply to schools sooner, is usually in November. Check your schools' college application processes, as deadlines and requirements vary.

Keep in mind that it takes the College Board time to process your SAT scores and send them to schools. Scores are usually available online about two weeks after you take the test. At that point, it takes about 10 days for colleges to receive and process your scores.

While some schools may set aside a strong application until SAT scores arrive, many disqualify late applications. Aim to take your last SAT no later than 6-8 weeks before your earliest college application deadline.

5. What Other Commitments Do You Have?

Consider your obligations and responsibilities when choosing an SAT test date. For instance, is it easier for you to set aside time to study over the summer and take the exam in August? Or do you have family or sports engagements that rule out a summer test date?

Also, think about extracurricular and academic activities, such as band and AP exams.

Life can get busy in high school. If you're struggling to carve out time to prep, meet with your high school guidance counselor, who can help you make an SAT study plan and stick to it.

Frequently Asked Questions About When to Take the SAT

When is the best time to take the SAT?

It's generally best to take the SAT in the fall or spring of your junior year and then again in the fall of your senior year. The specific month you choose depends on your outside commitments and how much time you want to prepare for the exam. For example, you might find that the May SAT test date doesn't work for you since you'll need that time to study for finals and AP exams.

Keep in mind that most students spend 2-3 months preparing for the SAT.

How many times can you take the SAT?

There is no limit — you can take the SAT as many times as you want. The College Board recommends all test-takers sit for the exam at least twice, as research shows you're likely to raise your SAT score on a second attempt. Beyond 2-4 times, however, it's unlikely you'll continue to see drastic improvements.

In addition, the more SAT test dates you register for, the more money you'll have to spend on registration fees (unless you qualify for a fee waiver).

Can 10th graders take the SAT?

Yes, 10th graders may take the SAT. Note, however, that in 10th grade, you're likely still learning many of the key concepts tested on the SAT.

A better alternative may be to take the PSAT/NMSQT or PSAT 10. The PSAT is a practice exam that's slightly shorter and easier than the SAT. Taking it can help you see where you're currently scoring on the SAT and what content gaps you'll need to work on in order to hit your target SAT score.

You can also take SAT practice tests. If you do this, make sure to prioritize official practice exams from the College Board website, as these will be most similar to what you see on test day.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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