I know waiting is rough. You put a lot into studying for the SAT subject tests. You might even have the school of your dreams riding on them. You’re anxious to know if you need to retake them. You have a college application deadline coming soon. Or maybe you just made a bet with a friend about who would score the highest and you can’t wait to collect. Whatever the reason, you need to know how long this waiting game is going to go on. When do the SAT Subject Test scores come out?
When Do SAT Subject Scores Come Out?
Your SAT Subject score release date is determined by when you took your test. You may find out the dates by checking this College Board web page and finding your test date. Each date has a menu listing the projected test score release date. But in case you don’t want to click away just yet, I’ve created a handy-dandy chart using College Board’s most recent scoring season:
SAT Subject Score Release Dates for 2018-2019
|SAT Subject Test Date||Score Release Date|
|August 25, 2018||September 7, 2018|
|October 6, 2018||October 19, 2018|
|November 3, 2018||November 16, 2018|
|December 1, 2018||December 14, 2018|
|May 4, 2019||May 17, 2019|
|June 1, 2019||June 10, 2019|
On these dates, your scores will be available online or by paper.
How to Access Your SAT Subject Scores
SAT Subject Test scores are released around 8 am Eastern Time. But some students have been able to access scores up to 3 hours earlier. On your test score release date, you will receive an email informing you that your scores are ready.
To access your SAT Subject Scores, you will need the username and password created when you registered. Log into your account on the College Board site. Then select “My Test Scores.” Your scores from the most recent test taken will appear first. Any SAT Subject Tests you sat for will be available here.
How SAT Subject Tests Are Scored
While you’re waiting for those SAT Subject scores to come out, you probably wonder how they are scored. The College Board works very hard to make sure that each student score is as fair and accurate as possible. The SAT Subject Tests are multiple choice. So your answer sheet is carefully scanned, then analyzed by a computer system.
Your answer sheet is scanned at least twice to check for accuracy. They will also double check for alignment and, according to the College Board website, perform “several quality assurance checks.” This all helps to make sure there are no scoring mistakes.
The computer system scans your answer sheet for filled in circles and calculates your raw score—this is the number of correct answers, minus an assigned fraction for each wrong answer.
Unlike the regular SAT test, the SAT Subject Tests do have a penalty for wrong answers. This is important for you to note if you have not yet taken the subject tests. There is no penalty for leaving an answer blank on the Subject Tests. But there is a fractional penalty for incorrect answers. It may be a better strategy to leave an answer blank if you are unsure.
The penalties for wrong answers are as follows:
- five-choice questions—1/4 point penalty
- four-choice questions—1/3 point penalty
- three-choice questions—1/2 point penalty
There are no penalties for unanswered questions. If penalties cause your final raw score figure to be a fraction, it is rounded to the nearest whole number. Just like you learned in elementary school math—.5 or more is rounded up, and less than .5 is rounded down.
How to Understand the SAT Subject Scores
Once the computer system arrives at a raw score for your SAT Subject Test, it is changed into a score scaled between 200 and 800. Because there are so many different versions of each subject test, a conversion scale is created to adjust for differences in difficulty. It is impossible to create versions that are perfectly equal. So this makes sure that there is no advantage in taking a particular version of the test.
The highest possible score for the SAT Subjects is 800. Language and Listening tests include subscores in reading and listening between the 20 and 80 points. These subscores are helpful in seeing your strengths and weaknesses in these two areas.
When your SAT Subject score comes out you will also find the following three categories:
- Score Range—If you were to take the same SAT Subject test several times in a row, you would not get the exact same score each time. A score range uses statistics to show the average range your scores might fall in if you took the test repeatedly. This will be a range of around 30 – 40 points on either side of your actual score. It is helpful to colleges to see the possible range in your academic abilities.
- Percentile Ranks—This number shows how your score compares to other students who took the same test. If your percentile rank is 52, you did better than 52 percent of the students who took the test.
- Average Scores—This is the average of all students who took the test in your year of graduation.
How to Send Scores to Colleges
After your SAT Subject scores come out, you need to send them to your prospective colleges. When you register you have the option to select up to four schools to receive free score reports. If you did this your scores will automatically be sent to those schools within 10 days of the score release date. If you were waiting until after you took the test, you may select your four free score recipients up to nine days after your test date.
Some students wait until their SAT Subject Test scores come out to decide whether to send them to colleges. If you are wondering if your Subject Test scores are high enough to submit, the best thing to do is to check the average Subject Test scores for students accepted to that college.
To do this do a Google search for your target school name and add the keywords “average SAT Subject Test scores.” This should provide links that show average scores for students accepted to that college. Your test scores should be in the average range, or even a little above to make sure you are a competitive applicant.
Once your scores are in your target range, log into your College Board account and make your score requests. There is a $12 fee per score report sent online. You may also choose to order your scores by phone for $15. Rushing your score reports so they are sent within two to four business days will run an additional $31.
Your SAT Subject Scores Will Come Out
I know it feels as though you are waiting forever. Your scores will come out. Remember to check your test date. Then mark the score release date on your calendar. Occasionally there will be a delay, but most scores are released on the projected date. That day will come. You’ve worked hard. Relax, and enjoy the process.