Registering for the SAT Online
- First, you have to sign up for a College Board account with your full, legal name and information shown on your photo ID.
- When registering, you can answer other questions about yourself that might help you find useful information about the colleges you are applying.
- You’ll need to upload a photo that meets the College Board requirements. The photo will be part of your Admission Ticket and will be checked against your photo ID on test day to ensure security. The photo requirements are as follows:
- You’re the only one in the picture.
- There’s a head-and-shoulders view, with the entire face, both eyes, and hair clearly visible; head coverings worn for religious purposes are allowed.
- You’re in focus and easy to recognize.
- There are no dark spots or shadows.
- Black-and-white photos are acceptable.
Keep in mind that when you sign up for the SAT online, you might also need to provide the following information:
- If you’re using a fee waiver, you need to enter the identification number on your fee waiver card.
- If you’ve been approved by the College Board to test with accommodations, you need to enter the SSD number on your eligibility letter.
- If you’re home-schooled, you need to enter 970000 when asked for a high school code.
You need to sign up for the SAT by mail (paper registration) if you are:
- Requesting testing closer to home.
- Requesting Sunday testing for the first time.
- Paying by check or money order (payable to “The College Board”).
- Younger than 13 years old.
- Unable to upload a digital photo as part of the online registration process.
- Taking the test in Ghana.
- Registering through an SAT international representative.
You’ll need to ask your counselor for the Student Registration Booklet for the SAT if you are planning to register by mail. When you fill out the mail-in form, you’ll need a College Board code for your high school (or the home-school code, 970000) and your test center. You might also need codes for the colleges you want to send scores to, your intended college major, and your country. You can find the codes on the College Board Website or ask your school counselor for the code list.
If registering by mail, all of your materials must be postmarked by the deadlines.
When Should I Start Studying for the SAT?
You’ll want to choose a test date that gives you ample time to prepare. To make sure that you have enough time to review content, learn SAT-specific strategies, and get enough practice with the test, you should start studying a few months in advance. Most students spent 10 to 20 hours a week preparing for the SAT, but that amount can vary depending on your score goals.
You’ll want to consider your schedule in the months leading up to the test date when deciding when to take the test. Think ahead to the months preceding the test date you are eyeing. Will you be taking classes that have a lot of homework or require a lot of studying? What extracurricular activities will you be involved in? Will you have any additional personal or family commitments that may put a strain on your time? Are there any school breaks scheduled during those months when you might have extra time to prepare?
Be realistic and honest with yourself—you won’t want to cram. The best way to set yourself up for success on Test Day is to walk into that room feeling confident in your preparation.