How do I register for the SAT?

  1. To register for the SAT, you first need to create a CollegeBoard account for yourself, as neither your parents nor your guidance counselor can register for you. 
  2. Once you’ve created an account and signed in, you’ll need to provide your full, legal name and other identifying information. This information should match what is shown on your photo ID. 
  3. You’ll have the option of answering additional questions about yourself, which you should do if you want colleges and scholarship organizations to find and contact you.
  4. You can then decide whether to register for the essay portion of the SAT. We strongly recommend all students write the optional essay, as some schools require it, and doing well on the essay could strengthen your application for all schools.
  5. You’ll then upload a photo of yourself that meets CollegeBoard’s photo requirements.
  6. As you go through the process of signing up for the SAT, you might also need to follow a few more steps. For example, if you’re using a fee waiver, you’ll have to enter the identification number on a fee waiver card. If you’ve been approved by CollegeBoard to test with accommodations, you’ll have to enter the SSD number on your eligibility letter. If you’re homeschooled, you should enter 970000 when asked for a high school code.
  7. Finally, you can check out, pay for your exam and print your Admission Ticket. 

 

How do I register for the ACT?

  1. To register for the ACT, you first need to create a MyACT account. As is the case with the SAT, your parents and guidance counselor cannot register for you.
  2. Once you’ve created an account and signed in, you’ll need to provide your full, legal name and other identifying information. This information should match what is shown on your photo ID. 
  3. As you go through the registration process, you’ll need to provide your high school course details and a headshot photo.
  4. Similar to the SAT, you’ll also need to decide whether you want to take the ACT with the optional essay. Whether you take the SAT or ACT, we strongly recommend all students write the optional essay.
  5. You might also follow a few more steps, which will be indicated on your MyACT account, if you requested accommodations or a fee waiver.
  6. After filling everything out on your MyACT account, you can check out, pay for your exam and print your Admission Ticket.

 

How do I request accommodations for the SAT and ACT?

For the SAT, you can submit a request with or without your school; however, CollegeBoard encourages students to submit a request through their school for a variety of reasons.

For the ACT, you can only submit a request with the help of a school official. Additional information about requesting accommodations for the ACT is available here.

 

How do I request a fee waiver for the SAT and ACT?

You can find out if you’re eligible for a fee waiver here (SAT) and here (ACT). If you think you’re eligible, your guidance counselor or a representative of an authorized community-based organization can help you obtain a fee waiver. If you’re homeschooled, you can request a fee waiver by contacting a local high school guidance counselor and providing proof of eligibility.

 

Should I sign up for both the SAT and ACT?

We recommend sitting for the exam with which you feel most comfortable rather than sitting for both exams. Prior to signing up for either exam, you should take one SAT diagnostic test (available for free here) and one ACT diagnostic test (available for free here). After grading the tests and considering the differences between the exams, you should choose and prepare for the test that you feel best suits your strengths.

 

When and how many times should I take the SAT/ACT?

You can take the SAT/ACT as many times as you need to reach your goal score — keep in mind, though, that some colleges will ask you to send them all of your scores, so a good rule of thumb is to only sit for the exam if you feel prepared. We generally advise students sit for either the SAT or the ACT two to three times following a few months of focused preparation either their sophomore or junior year; however, we recommend creating an individualized testing timeline based on your skillset, goals, and schedule. If you are having trouble making or following a testing timeline, we can help — our tutors are trained to guide you through every step of the standardized testing process.

 

What is considered a good SAT/ACT score?

All colleges post their 25th to 75th percentile SAT and ACT score ranges on their websites, and you should aim to score above the 50th percentile scores posted by your top choice colleges. While there is not a single minimum score you need to achieve to be competitive for all highly-ranked schools, we recommend aiming for a 750+ on each section of the SAT (the equivalent of roughly a 34+ on the ACT) if you are planning to apply to some of the most competitive schools in the country. Keep in mind that colleges aren’t looking for perfect scores; they want to see how proficient you are as compared to other students. If you score a 750 and not an 800, that doesn’t mean your application isn’t strong. Your scores are an important aspect of your application, but they do not dictate the quality of your whole application. 

 

If I don’t feel prepared for a test date I signed up for, how can I cancel my registration for that date?

For the SAT, if you want to cancel your registration without requesting a refund, you can just not show up to the test center on your test date. If you want to cancel your registration and request a partial refund, you can contact CollegeBoard’s customer service. Instead of canceling your registration, you can also opt to change your test type, test center, or test date, which can be done online through your CollegeBoard account or by phone through CollegeBoard’s customer service.

For the ACT, you can also either not show up to the exam or change your test date through your MyACT portal. If you decide you do not want to sit for a test, you cannot receive a full or partial refund on your basic registration fee or any additional service fees. You can request a refund on optional service fees, including score reports for 5th and 6th college codes, test information release, and the ACT writing test. To request a refund, you can email [email protected] with “REFUND” in the subject line.

 

If I don’t feel confident in my performance on the SAT/ACT, how can I cancel my score?

For the SAT, cancellation includes scores on all tests you take on one day, unless your equipment malfunctions. You can cancel your SAT and SAT Subject Test score(s) up until 11:59pm ET on the Thursday (sometimes Wednesday) after you sat for the exam. You can cancel your scores at the test center or after you leave the test center. CollegeBoard provides additional information on how to cancel your scores here.

You can only cancel your ACT score at the test center on the day of the exam. To cancel your score, you have to tell your exam proctor to void your score.

 

What’s the difference between Score Choice and superscore?

Score Choice, which is now available for both the SAT and ACT, refers to your ability to decide which test scores  to send to colleges by test date. For example, if you scored high on the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section of the SAT on the March test date, scored high on the Math section of the SAT on the May test date, and received lower scores on both sections on the June test date, you can choose to only send your scores from the March and May test dates. While you cannot only send one score from one SAT section on a particular test date, you can send an individual SAT Subject Test score from a test date on which you took multiple Subject Tests.

Superscoring refers to many colleges’ policies of only considering your highest score on each section of the SAT or ACT across all test dates. 

Note that not all colleges honor Score Choice or practice superscoring, so be sure to check the websites of the colleges to which you’re applying for school-specific testing policies.

 

How do I use Score Choice?

You can use Score Choice for any SAT score reports you send online or by phone, but you can only select tests that have already been scored. CollegeBoard offers a video explanation of how to use Score Choice here.

For ACT score reports, you choose the test date(s) you want reported to each school on your MyACT account. The ACT has recently started superscoring, or averaging your four best subject scores from all of your ACT test attempts. The ACT will now send your superscore, along with at least one full composite score and all the scores from the tests that are part of the superscore, to colleges.

 

How many SAT II Subject Tests should I take? Which subjects should I choose?

We recommend all students take three SAT II Subject Tests across their freshman, sophomore, and junior years of high school, as top schools require two to three subject tests. You should take the SAT II Subject Tests that align with your academic strengths and interests.

 

Do I have to take Subject Tests that relate to my potential major?

If you choose subjects that align with your academic interests and strengths, it’s likely that your Subject Tests will naturally reflect your potential major. You do not have to deliberately choose Subject Tests that relate to your potential major, but doing so could result in a more cohesive college application. STEM programs are the only exception to this rule: certain STEM programs may require you to take at least one science test and the Math IIC test.

 

If I get a 700 on a Subject Test, should I send it to colleges?

Whether you should send your score of 700 on a Subject Test will always depend on the school to which you’re applying and the percentile of your score amongst the sample of students with which you took the test. We recommend students discuss their score with their tutor or their school guidance counselor to ensure they make the most beneficial decisions.

 

What should I bring to the test center on the test date?

Both CollegeBoard and the ACT have published test day checklists of items that you should and should not bring to the test center. The SAT checklist is available here, and the ACT checklist is available here.

 

What kind of calculator should I use on the SAT/ACT?

The SAT calculator policy is available here, and the ACT calculator policy is available here. The SAT and ACT have different policies on calculators, so please make sure to double check that your calculator model is allowed for the exam you are taking. We also recommend students bring extra batteries on the day of the test, as some of the older calculators don’t display  the battery percentage. 

 

Should I buy the ACT watch?

We generally do not recommend students buy the ACT watch; however, we suggest bringing a watch to these exams. It’s important to note that the watch you bring cannot have an audible alarm or make any noises — if it goes off during the exam, your test will be canceled.

 

Is it safe to take these tests during the COVID-19 pandemic?

All test centers must adhere to local public health guidelines and follow CollegeBoard or ACT requirements in order for tests to be administered. CollegeBoard and the ACT have canceled tests at many test centers due to the pandemic. If your test is not cancelled, CollegeBoard or the ACT considers it safe to take the exam; however, if you are not comfortable taking the test or are not feeling well on test day, you should stay home. CollegeBoard cannot cancel a test within two weeks of the test date; however, test centers can cancel until the date of the test, so be sure to check your Admission Ticket and the closed testing center list, both of which are available on CollegeBoard’s website.

 

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