How To Register For The SAT Online
Given the important role that the SAT and SAT scores play in college application and college and university admissions decisions, as well as scholarship/merit-based financial aid award decisions, and other such factors, it is important for many high school students to prepare for the test as well as possible in order to get good news on score release dates. Naturally, one aspect of preparing for the SAT is ensuring you know when and how to register for the SAT. Of course, you can’t do well on the SAT test if you don’t register for it on time in the first place!
In this article, we’ll discuss what the best way to register for the SAT is, and discuss the answers to questions such as “How much does it cost to register for the SAT?” and “How do you register for the SAT?” as well as “How do you unregister for the SAT?” Note that this only applies to the main SAT, since the SAT with optional essay and SAT subject tests are no longer offered as of the writing of this article.
Registration for the SAT can take place online or via mail. There are benefits and drawbacks to both methods of SAT registration which we will discuss in this article.
To “unregister” for the SAT or cancel your SAT registration prior to taking the test, you can call College Board customer service no later than 5 days prior to the SAT test date and potentially receive up to a $10 refund, which is less than your total registration fee. You can also change your SAT test date online via your College Board account. Neither of those options may be optimal, however, so you should strongly consider your choices before deciding to cancel or postpone your SAT.
Now, we will move on to discussing SAT registration, along with SAT test dates and SAT registration deadlines, in more detail.
SAT Test Dates And SAT Registration Deadlines
Naturally, before we can discuss how to register for the SAT, we have to discuss when the SAT is offered, as well as when the registration deadlines for each SAT test date are.
The SAT is administered usually around 7 times per academic year. For example, the SAT test dates, which can be found on the College Board’s website, for the 2023-24 academic were/are as follows:
- August 23, 2023
- October 7, 2023
- November 4, 2023
- December 2, 2023
- March 9, 2024
- May 4, 2024
- June 1, 2024
Please note that, as of the time of the writing of this article, several of the aforementioned SAT test dates have already passed, and more may or may not have passed by the time you are reading this article. SAT Score reports/test scores are received some time after the test date, usually a couple of weeks.
In addition to having different test dates, each SAT administration has its own registration deadline and late registration deadline, which can also be found on the College Board website. These deadlines are usual a few weeks to a month prior to the test itself, and can be seen for the aforementioned SAT dates as follows:
- For the August 26, 2023 SAT: Registration deadline of July 28, 2023, and late registration deadline of August 15, 2023.
- For the October 7, 2023 SAT: Registration deadline of September 8, 2023, and late registration deadline of September 26, 2023.
- For the November 4, 2023 SAT: Registration deadline of October 6, 2023 and late registration deadline of October 24, 2023.
- For the December 2, 2023 SAT: Registration deadline of November 3, 2023 and late registration deadline of November 21, 2023.
- For the March 9, 2024 SAT: Registration deadline of February 23, 2024, and late registration deadline of February 27, 2024.
- For the May 4, 2024 SAT: Registration deadline of April 19, 2024, and late registration deadline of April 23, 2024.
- For the June 1, 2024 SAT: Registration deadline of May 17, 2024, and late registration deadline of May 21, 2024.
Again, please note that these SAT test dates and SAT registration deadlines may or may not have already passed for the 2023-24 academic year at the time you are reading this article, depending on when that is.
How To Register For The SAT?
Now that we have established the general structure of SAT test dates and SAT registration deadlines, we can discuss the variety of ways in which you as a student are able to register for a given SAT test date/administration.
Online SAT Registration
The most common and what is generally considered to be the easiest method of registration for the SAT is online, via the College Board website.
The first step to registering for the SAT online via the College Board website is deciding which SAT test date you want to take the SAT on, and at what test center you want to take the SAT.
You can generally see what test centers are available for a given SAT test date via the College Board website. If a familiar site, such as your own school, is available as a test center for the date you’d like to take, that may be ideal.
You should decide when to take the SAT based on how prepared you feel, what year in school you are in, if and when you may want to retake the SAT, practice test scores, PSAT results, and what your college and application and college and university admissions/enrollment or career goals are, among other factors. Make sure you register before the deadline if possible to avoid late registration fees and give yourself ample time to plan.
Once you have decided on an SAT test center and an SAT test date, you can go to the College Board website again and sign up for a College Board account. Your College Board account must include your full, legal name and information as it is listed on the photo ID you will be using for the test. You will also be asked a series of optional personal questions that may help with your college search during the account registration process.
You also will be required to upload a photo that will be checked with your photo ID on test day via your admissions ticket. When choosing a photo to upload during online SAT registration, ensure that you select a photo in which you are the only person pictured, your head, shoulders, eyes, face, and hair are visible (religious head coverings are allowed), you are in focus, and there are no dark spots or shadows.
Some other information you may need to keep in mind during online SAT registration is that you may need to enter information from your fee waiver card if you have a fee waiver, you may need to enter the SSD number on your special accommodations letter if you have one, and that if you are homeschooled, your school code is 970000.
Paper (Mail-In) SAT Registration
While registering for the SAT online is the more common and often preferred/easier method of registering for the SAT, some students may prefer or only be able to register via paper/by mail for one reason or another.
Additionally, students who fit into one of several specific groups are required to register for the SAT via mail no matter what. Those groups are: requesting testing at a center closer to your home, requesting testing on Sunday (for the first time you are making such a request), paying via check or money order, students younger than 13, students testing in Ghana, students unable to upload a photo online, and students signing up through an SAT international representative.
Regardless of why you may have to register by mail, if you are doing so, you will need to ask an SAT counselor or guidance counselor at your school for the Student Registration Booklet for the SAT and fill it out accordingly. You must make sure your mail in registration is postmarked by the appropriate registration deadline.
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About the Author
William Grossman is a student at the University of Florida studying Economics. He scored a 1500 on his SAT and a 32 on his ACT. While it may seem unorthodox, William always reads the last chapter of a new book before going back to read it from the beginning — that way, he can see if the book will be any good before deciding to read the whole thing!