Most college-bound high school students take a standardized test like the SAT® at some point in their academic careers. Their performance on these tests provides insight into a college applicant’s current academic level and potential performance in more advanced academic settings. It’s important students are aware of upcoming SAT dates so they can plan and prepare.
Deciding when and how many times to take the SAT can impact a student’s final scores. Taking the exam more than once allows students to manage their expectations and adapt to the testing environment. These are only a few reasons why The College Board encourages students to make the most of their testing experience by taking the exam around two to three times.
With so many opportunities offered throughout the year, students can take time to prepare between exams to improve their scores. Remember, students interested in applying to college during regular decision have until December of their senior year to finalize their scores. Students interested in applying to college through early decision or early action only have until October of their senior year to finalize their scores.
Knowing when the exam is offered can allow students to plan their test prep accordingly, so they are better prepared for their next attempt. Here are the upcoming SAT dates.
SAT® Test Dates for 2024
Each year, there are approximately eight dates for international and U.S. students to take the SAT. Generally, they’re in March, June, August, October, November, and December. As of November 2023, upcoming SAT dates include:
|SAT Test Date
|Deadline for Changes, Regular Cancellation, and Late Registration
|March 9, 2024
|Feb 23, 2024
|February 27, 2024
|May 4, 2024
|April 19, 2024
|April 23, 2024
|June 1, 2024
|May 16, 2024
|May 21, 2024
Anticipated dates for the rest of are August 24, October 5, November 2, and December 7. It’s important to note these dates do not include the dates for students planning to participate in SAT School Day.
What is SAT School Day?
Schools that participate in the SAT School Day program allow students to take the SAT at their school on a weekday. The current testing window for SAT School Day is March 4 through April 26.
Districts that participate in this program often use the SAT as a state-wide required test or a graduation requirement regardless of a student’s college plans. Registration is completed by school counselors, and each school decides if students pay fees. Regardless of the fees charged by the district, fee waivers are still available to low-income individuals through The College Board’s website.
Beginning in March 2024, administrators will only offer the digital format unless students have certain accommodations in place.
How Far in Advance Can You Register for the SAT?
Generally, students can register six months before their chosen SAT test date. Late registration gives students a two-week grace period after the regular deadline. While this comes with an additional fee, it allows students to sit for the SAT on their chosen test date.
If a student’s preferred date is fully booked at their high school or the testing center closest to them, it could be worth looking for other test centers nearby. A short drive is preferable to postponing the exam altogether.
When Should You Start Preparing for the SAT
While some schools begin preparing students as early as elementary school, most students begin test prep six months to a year before their chosen test date. Since most students will want to apply to at least one school during fall of their senior year, most students should plan to finalize their test prep in junior year. This means SAT test prep should begin no later than the summer between their sophomore and junior year.
This gives students time to prepare for their first SAT attempt during December of their junior year.
We recommend students work with a tutor for a customized approach to SAT test prep. This provides ample opportunities for students to ask questions, adjust to testing environments, learn test-taking strategies, and more.
What to Do Before Test Day
In the weeks leading up to your student’s SAT test day, there are some crucial steps to take.
Two Weeks Before the Exam
Students should also spend time working with the official testing application, Bluebook, ahead of their testing date. Students can take practice tests within the application to familiarize themselves with its features prior to test day.
Three Days Before the Test Date
Students will need to log in to the homepage for Bluebook and access the “Your Tests” menu. There, they can complete the exam setup and get their admission ticket. This will need to be finished three days before their exam date to update any information on this form.
Night Before the Test Date
Students should pack what they need the night before the test to ensure they’re prepared for the exam. On test day, students will need to bring their:
- Approved device and charger – Windows laptop or tablet, Mac laptop, iPad, or school-managed Chromebook. Having access to an outlet is not guaranteed. We strongly encourage students to ensure their device is charged prior to their exam and that it can hold a charge for 3 hours.
- Admission ticket – found on the Bluebook homepage. The College Board reserves the right to change a student’s testing location. We encourage students to check the homepage prior to heading to their designated testing site.
- Photo ID – this can include a driver’s license, learner’s permit, passport, or school ID
- #2 Pencils – even on a digital exam, students have access to scratch paper
- Graphing calculator – students have access to a DESMOS in Bluebook, but should bring a personal calculator for easier use during the math section
For comfort, students may want to bring a:
- Watch – smartwatches and fitness trackers aren’t allowed in the testing room, but a simple digital or analog watch helps keep track of time
- Jacket – comfort is essential for student success, and layers help moderate temperatures
- Snack and water – students get a ten-minute and a five-minute break during administration
On test day, give your student at least two hours to wake up and eat breakfast before their exam. Most test sites open their doors at 7:45 a.m. and close them at 8. The exam typically starts between 8:30 and 9, so we recommend students arrive early to get situated. Students will need to have a physical copy or a digital copy of their admissions ticket to sit for the exam.
Since mobile phones are prohibited after check-in, they will be collected and held by the staff until the exam is complete. We encourage students who are uncomfortable with having their devices held by a third party to bring a physical copy of their ticket. This allows them to leave their phone with a parent or in a safe location until the exam is complete.
After testing, students should expect their results around two weeks later.
Take Advantage of SAT Testing Dates to Maximize Scores
The College Board encourages students to take the SAT at least two to three times for the best results. Their studies show that the second attempt is usually the higher of two scores, and preparation makes a difference.
Choosing to go to college is one of the most important choices a student can make in their high school career. Most institutions use the SAT as a measure of future success, so it pays to do well. Students with strong scores have access to more scholarship and grant opportunities.
Plan for your student’s test dates by contacting C2 Education for an assessment. We provide programs tailored to your student’s particular strengths and areas for growth. As the digital SAT comes online, our tutors can help students navigate the new testing landscape and perform on test day with confidence.
Set your student up for a bright future with personalized testing from C2 Education.