How Long Are SAT Scores Valid?

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May 19, 2022
How Long Is the SAT Good For? Some Schools Set an SAT Score Expiration DateDo Older Scores Look Bad to Colleges?

”Mary

Reviewed by:

Mary Banks

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 4/14/22

SAT scores are a crucial component of any college application to show college readiness and academic aptitude. But how long are your SAT scores valid? How long SAT scores last depends on the schools you want to attend. We’ll walk you through how long your SAT scores are good for, exploration dates, and how colleges view older scores.

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How Long Is the SAT Good For? Technically Forever

Yes, you read that correctly: your SAT scores are technically good forever. Your score does not expire. After you’ve graduated high school and haven’t tested for a year, the College Board archives your SAT scores and answers to the SAT Questionnaire. However, your scores can “be retrieved for reporting to you and to the colleges, universities, and scholarship programs you choose.”

Some Schools Set an SAT Score Expiration Date 

While your score may never technically expire, different schools have their own rules about SAT scores and expiration dates. Keep in mind, the SAT’s structure changed in 2016, and many colleges today may not accept scores from the “old” SAT format anymore. 

Some colleges may not accept scores that are five years old or older. If you’re worried the college you want to apply to won’t accept your old SAT scores, be sure to double-check the admissions requirements. 

Do Older Scores Look Bad to Colleges? 

While older SAT scores may not necessarily look “bad” to colleges, this depends on their age. According to the College Board, “Official score reports sent to colleges five or more years after a test date are accompanied by a message explaining that they may be less valid predictors of college academic performance than more recent scores.” 

The reasoning for this stems from the SAT’s overhaul in 2016 and that test questions and curriculum requirements can change over the years. If your SAT scores are older than five years, you may want to consider retaking the test. 

Final Thoughts

Your SAT scores are technically valid forever. However, that doesn’t mean all colleges will accept SAT scores five years old or older. If a school accepts scores from any year, you can submit your scores no matter how old they are. Know that these older scores will be marked accordingly as perhaps not the best predictor of college performance. If you took the SAT less than five years ago, chances are they will be valid at whatever institution you want to attend.

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