How Long Are SAT Scores Valid?

How long do SAT scores last?
April 26, 2024
2 min read
Expert Reviewed


Reviewed by:

Former Admissions Committee Member, Columbia University

Reviewed: 2/15/24

If you’re wondering how long your digital SAT score lasts, this article will provide a comprehensive overview of the lifespan of your standardized test score.

SAT scores are a critical component of any college application to show college readiness and academic aptitude. The SAT underwent major changes in 2024, so scores from the "old" SAT format may need to be updated. Checking a specific college's SAT score requirements is important before applying or deciding whether to retake the exam.

This article covers how long SAT scores last overall, common college expiration policies, and factors to consider regarding older test dates. By understanding these validity periods, students can submit their best applications and avoid score rejections.

How Long Is the SAT Good For?

Your SAT scores are good forever. Your score does not expire, but that doesn’t mean that all schools will accept old SAT scores. It is advisable to verify the SAT score acceptance policy of your intended college by contacting them directly or checking their website.

student filling out multiple choice test

Some Schools Set an SAT Score Expiration Date 

While your score may never expire, different schools have their own rules about SAT scores and expiration dates. Keep in mind that the SAT’s structure changed in 2024, moving it towards a digital format, and some colleges may require an updated score to the new format. 

Do Older Scores Look Bad to Colleges? 

Older scores don't inherently look "bad," but colleges want applicants to stay engaged academically in the years after high school. Highly selective colleges often want SAT scores from the past 1-2 years. 

So while they may not outright reject 5-year-old scores, more recent scores are preferred for admissions decisions. If you’re worried the college you want to apply to won’t accept your old SAT scores, be sure to double-check the college’s admissions requirements. 

multiple choice test


SAT scores are valid forever as they never expire. However, many colleges have policies limiting score validity periods to 1-5 years. 

Highly selective schools often prefer scores from the past 1-2 years, while less selective colleges may accept 5-year-old scores. Students should thoroughly research the digital SAT requirements at their specific colleges of interest. Calling admissions offices directly also provides clarity on score validity policies. If old SAT scores risk rejection or are deemed poor predictors of college readiness, retaking the current SAT is recommended. 

By understanding individual college score validity rules, students can submit their strongest applications and avoid disappointing score rejections after working hard on their standardized tests.

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