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Prep Expert’s Guide to SAT Test Dates 2021 & 2022

When it comes to taking the SAT, you can never start preparing too early. With college acceptances and scholarship money on the line, it’s better to start planning for the SAT sooner rather than later.

This guide has SAT dates for 2021 and 2022 as well as strategies for choosing the right SAT test date so that you can get a jump start on prepping for the SAT.
SAT Test Dates in 2021 and 2022

Here are the anticipated test administration dates for the 2021 and 2022 according to the College Board:

SAT Test Dates- 2021


Test Date Registration Deadline
May 8, 2021 April 8, 2021
June 5, 2021 May 6, 2021
August 8, 2021 July 29, 2021
October 2, 2021 September 2, 2021
November 6, 2021 October 7, 2021
December 4, 2021 November 4, 2021

SAT Test Dates- 2022


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


These are the anticipated dates for 2022, and the College Board has not released official registration deadline dates.


Choosing the right SAT test date

While it’s no secret that there are SAT strategies that you should learn in order to do well on the test, it may come as a surprise that choosing your SAT test date should also be strategic.

When the time comes for you to take the SAT, you shouldn’t just sign up for the soonest available test administration. You need to consider which date will work best for you and your goals.

For instance, a senior should not wait until the spring of their senior year to take the SAT. At that point, tests are few and far between, and college decisions have already been made.

Likewise, a student who is trying to raise their score in order to earn the minimum score needed to receive a specific scholarship should not sign up for the test date closest to the last time they took the test. Some administrations are so close together that it would leave no time for the studying and extra preparation they need to improve their score.

As you can see, your schedule and availability are not the only factors you need to consider when you choose an SAT test date. Here are a few other factors that you should keep in mind when you sign up for the SAT:

College application deadlines

If you are applying to colleges or universities that require you to take the SAT, you need to make sure that your scores are received by these schools before their application deadlines. While you might take the actual test with plenty of time to spare, it’s important to remember that it can take 6-7 weeks for colleges to receive and process your scores.

When you choose your SAT test date, make sure it is at least six weeks before your college applications are due. Keep these dates (and any application dates that are specific to the schools on your list or the scholarships you’re applying for this year) in mind when you are selecting your test date.

SAT retakes

Chances are you are going to want to take the SAT more than once. Regardless of how well-prepared you are for the exam, the first time you take the SAT, you are going to feel more nervous and unfamiliar with the test than you will if you take it again.

In addition to helping you feel more confident and comfortable with the test, retaking the SAT can help you reach your score goals.

Is there a certain percentile you want to reach? Do you want to apply for a scholarship that requires a minimum SAT score?
Are you trying to get into a competitive college where the middle 50% of students have earned a higher score than yours?

Taking the SAT again after you have had the chance to review your previous SAT scores and spend more time studying will help you work toward these goals.

This means that you need to do two things when scheduling:

  • Make sure you have enough time to take the test more than once before your college applications are due
  • Make sure you have enough time to study in between test administrations

While signing up for back-to-back test dates is a great way to make sure that you have adequate time to retake the test, it does not give you much time to prepare. Chances are you will not have even received your scores from the first test for long before it will be time for you to take it again. Improving your score will take hours of studying, and you will likely not have enough time to take an SAT prep course to help you prepare. This means that your score will probably not improve much, wasting your time and money.

However, if you space your test administrations out too far during your senior year, you may not get the opportunity to take the test again before it’s too late. You need to strike a balance between the two so that you have adequate study time and enough time to retake the test.

Your workload

Are you playing football in the fall? Between practices, games, and homework, it will be hard for you to squeeze in SAT study time.

Do you want to be a state champion in debate this season? You will likely be working so hard to balance your research, competitions, and course-load to make time for an SAT prep course.

Consider how much time you will need to study in order to do well on the SAT, and make sure that you schedule your test for a date that will give you plenty of time to prepare. If there is a time when you are going to be too busy to devote time to studying for the SAT, don’t schedule the test during this time.

Creating a testing schedule

With the factors above in mind, you will be able to craft the SAT testing schedule that is best for you.

Here are a couple of examples to keep in mind:

Scheduling the SAT as a junior

Depending on your extracurricular activities and any important events that you cannot reschedule, here is an ideal schedule for a junior.

Test 1- October or November
Test 2- March or May

  • Because you are a junior, there’s no need for you to try to rush and take your first SAT early in August of your junior year. Take time to study and prepare first.
  • Taking your first test in the fall will give you plenty of time to review your scores and study before taking your second SAT.
  • Scheduling your second test for early spring will help you see how you’ve improved and what you still need to work on in order to meet the desirable percentile for the schools on your list.

Scheduling the SAT as a senior

Depending on your extracurricular activities and any important events that you cannot reschedule, here is an ideal schedule for a senior.

Test 1- June or August
Test 2- October or November

  • Taking your first test early will ensure that colleges are able to receive your scores before both early decision and regular decision application deadlines.
  • When you schedule your test retake for the fall, it will give you time to study in between administrations and give you a chance to improve your scores before it is too late to submit them to colleges.

Preparing for the SAT with Prep Expert

Regardless of when you decide to take the SAT, Prep Expert can help make sure you’re ready to do well and earn an impressive score. We offer SAT prep courses and private SAT tutoring with expert instructors, and we also offer a Weekend Review course that will make sure you can ask last-minute questions and get the help you need before your next test.

Learn more about how we can help you prepare for the SAT when you visit our website.

Prep Expert

Written by Prep Expert

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