Congratulations! If you’re here, wondering how to register for your SAT, you’ve already taken the first step towards college applications success, and that shows you’re thinking ahead. There are many factors that will be weighed when you submit a college application, but none of them can be considered without your own forethought. You’ll need to think ahead to plan your course load, consider extracurriculars, and schedule important standardized tests. And the SAT, if you choose to take it, is perhaps the most heavily weighted test you’ll take.

The good news is, registering for the SAT is a relatively simple process. Unlike AP exams, SATs are offered throughout the year, and you can register online or through the mail. You do not need to navigate the process of registering through a specific school and the registration process is exactly the same, no matter where you take the test.

Before you begin the registration process, familiarize yourself with the College Board’s SAT Test Dates and Deadlines. This chart will provide you with a handy calendar of regular and late registration deadlines for each test date. You will be able to register for any test online or through the mail.

To Register For SATs Online:

First, create a free account with the College Board if you don’t have one already.

Once you have a College Board account, log in to access online registration. You can only do this through your personal account. Parents or counselors cannot register for you.

During online registration, you will need to provide your full, legal name. Be sure to enter it exactly as it appears on your government or school-issued photo ID. You will also be required to provide some personal information, like your address, birthdate, gender, and high school.

There are other, optional questions about you that include things like anticipated graduation date, cumulative GPA, and intended college major. Although this information isn’t required, it is necessary if you want colleges and scholarship organizations to be able to find you through the Student Search Service.   

Finally, you will need to upload a digital photo that meets a set of very strict photo requirements. Keep in mind that successfully uploading your photo to the College Board site does not necessarily indicate that your photo meets every requirement. It only means that your photo was the correct file type and size. Be sure to carefully review the criteria to ensure that you won’t be turned away on test day.

Online registration is the recommended method, as it provides easy and continuous access to your score reports, admissions ticket, and Score Choice services for sending scores to colleges, universities, and scholarship organizations.   

Some students, however, may choose to register by mail. In other cases, you are required to register by mail. Register by mail if you are:

  • Paying by check or money order.
  • Younger than 13.
  • Requesting Sunday testing for the first time. (Repeat Sunday test-takers can register online or by phone. Phone registration is subject to an additional fee.)
  • Requesting the opening of a new test center closer to your home.
  • Unable to upload a digital photo of yourself as part of the online registration process.
  • Registering through an international SAT representative.

To Register For SATs By Mail:

Obtain an SAT Student Registration Booklet from your school counselor. This booklet includes a paper registration form and an addressed envelope. Fill out each section of the form carefully. Some important details include: 

Name: Be sure to fill in your full, legal name exactly as it appears on the photo ID that you’ll use on testing day. Middle initials are optional but if included, should match the middle initial on your photo ID.

High School Code: Your counselor can provide you with your high school code, or you can search for it online. If you are homeschooled, enter code 970000. If you have no high school code, enter 000003.

Photo: Include a photo that meets all of the photo requirements. Passport style photos are a simple way to ensure that your submitted photo is up to the task.

Fees: For the SAT, enter the fee into field 19a. For the SAT with Essay, enter the fee into field 19b. Additional fees for SAT II subject tests can be added into fields 20a, 20b, and 20c. The total of SAT II subject test fees should be filled out in field 20d.   

Test Center Code: You can ask your counselor for your test center code, or search for it online here.

Total: Calculate the total exam fee by adding fields 19a or 19b with field 20d. This total goes into field 26a. Additional fees may be indicated in fields 26b, 26c, and 26d. Add together all fields from section 26 to calculate the total fee. Follow payment instructions closely.

Although it’s optional, it is highly recommended that you enter an email address on your registration form. This will allow you to receive updates on any test center cancellations, and to receive your admissions ticket by email.

If you’re applying by mail and have been approved by the College Board to test with accommodations, you should include a copy of your SSD Eligibility Letter in the envelope with your SAT Registration Form. Your SSD Coordinator can print your letter for you. If you do not have your letter, include a note with your name, SSD Number, school name, and school code. Your SSD Coordinator can look up your SSD Number online, or you can call the SSD office to obtain it.

If you’re using a fee waiver, enter the identification number on your fee waiver card.

Read the SAT Paper Registration Tips for more information.

To learn more about requesting a Sunday test date for religious reasons, requesting a test center closer to your home, waitlist requests, and international registrations, be sure to carefully review the College Board’s Student Registration Booklet.

Registering for the SAT is a relatively simple process, but it’s one that is critical to get right. Follow the advice above to set yourself up for success and have one less thing to worry about as you prepare for your SATs.

For more information about preparing for the SAT, check out CollegeVine’s SAT Tutoring Program, where the brightest and most qualified tutors in the industry guide students to an average score increase of 140 points.

Kate Sundquist

Kate Sundquist

Senior Blogger at CollegeVine
Kate Koch-Sundquist is a graduate of Pomona College where she studied sociology, psychology, and writing before going on to receive an M.Ed. from Lesley University. After a few forays into living abroad and afloat (sometimes at the same time), she now makes her home north of Boston where she works as a content writer and, with her husband, raises two young sons who both inspire her and challenge her on a daily basis.
Kate Sundquist