SAT Registration (2020 Guide)

The SAT is a standardized test that thousands of high school students across the US take every year. The test is used by college admissions to determine if students will get offered a place at the college. Your SAT score will be reviewed in line with your whole application and makes up an important part of your admissions.

In order to take the SAT in your last year at high school, you need to register for the exam. We’ve broken down each of these steps to help you go through the SAT registration process.

How do I register?

College online application

The College Board runs the SAT, and it’s their website that you need to navigate to in order to register. You’ll start by filling in some simple details, who you are, and where you study. You can either register online or by post, but online is the quickest option. You’ll also need a photo ID to complete this process.

As an optional extra, you can complete some more information about yourself as part of the Student Search Service. This enables organizations and colleges to find you and can give you a boost to be accepted at college.

Once you’ve completed registration, you can choose the time, date, and location to complete your SAT. Be sure to keep or print your admissions ticket!

When can I take the SAT?

Most students take the SAT during their junior year at high school so that they can either re-take it during their senior year if they need to. There are several opportunities to take the SAT. Usually, one test date is set for every other month, so there are around 6 opportunities per year.

You can take the SAT multiple times through your junior and senior years at high school, but it’s best to only aim for one re-take or none at all. When you’re choosing a test date, be sure to select one where you know you will have enough time to study for the test. Try to avoid taking the SAT around a busy high school or family time, if possible.

The College SATs Board releases SAT dates up to a year in advance so that you can be organized and registered for the following year. Make sure you save or print your admissions ticket, as this is an important document you will need on test day.

Where can I complete the SAT?

Students taking exam

The SAT exam is hosted at a certified SAT center that has been approved by the college board. For most students, this is the high school they attend or a local high school. Your school will likely promote the dates of the SAT exams that they are hosting so that students are well aware that the exam will be taking place.

By using high schools and college preparatory schools as the certified center, most students won’t have to travel far to complete their SAT exam and can complete the test in a familiar environment. Both of these factors help to contribute to a lower anxiety level and higher scores.

Use the search option on the College Board website to find out if your local school hosts SAT exams. If not, there should be a local school or community center where you can complete the test.

When is the SAT registration deadline?

Registration deadlines differ for every exam date and are generally a month before the exam date. For example, on June 5, 2021, the SAT test has a registration deadline of May 6, 2021. This gives you plenty of time to choose an upcoming date and make sure your registration has completed correctly.

If you are late in registering for some reason, you can complete a separate SAT registration process that has a later deadline, usually only a week or two before the test. You should only use the late registration process if you have special circumstances. There is no SAT registration fee, but once you’ve booked into a test, you’ll need to pay the SAT fee.

How much does the SAT cost?

Exam sheet and money

As with all standardized testing, there is a small cost that comes with taking the exam. The fees for taking the standard SAT are $52, which rises to $68 if you’re choosing to complete the SAT with the essay section.

This fee goes back to the college board organization and helps fund future tests, research, and student-college networking schemes. There are also some additional costs relating to the late registration fee, additional score reports, or rushed score reports. These are all listed on the board college website, should you need them.

Some students will be eligible for a fee waiver if they meet the criteria set. This is generally for students that are from low-income families or receive state support. If you think this could apply to you, have a look at the eligibility criteria on the website.

You may also be eligible for a college merit scholarship or support from the national merit scholarship corporation. The national merit scholarship corporation is a United States academic scholarship competition for recognition and university scholarships.

What happens after I register?

Once you have completed registration and selected date and time to complete your SAT college test, you can start your SAT prep! The exam is pretty difficult and demands a fast pace of working. To get a good a great score of 1300 or above, you need to work hard on both your knowledge and strategy.

Take a look at our Best SAT Prep Courses article to discover more about the available prep courses.

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