While the SAT itself has been redesigned, most policies and procedures remain the same.
Hot Topic: The SAT Essay Is Optional
When students register for the new SAT, they decide if they want to sign up for the SAT Essay. To make an informed choice, they should know two things:
- Taking the SAT with Essay keeps the door open to colleges that require or recommend it. Go to College SAT Essay Policies.
- The SAT's essay component has had a total makeover. It's now a lot like a typical college writing assignment. Learn more about the SAT Essay.
Students can switch between the SAT and the SAT with Essay online up until the registration deadline. And they might be able to switch on test day — at the discretion of the test center supervisor — if materials, seats, and staff are available.
Students who take the SAT with Essay sit together and have 50 minutes to write their response.
Additional Important Changes
- The structure, timing, and scoring have all changed. Compare SAT specifications.
- On the new SAT, students can use a calculator on one part of the Math Test, but not the other.
- Changes to accommodations for students with disabilities include the replacement of cassettes with MP3 audio and the provision of extra breaks to students approved for extended time. Get the complete list of SSD changes.
The Registration Process
Except for choosing between the SAT with Essay and the SAT, registration is the same as it always was. Point students to this step-by-step online registration guide.
The accommodations request process remains the same. Students with disabilities need to have approval from the College Board before testing with accommodations. Kick off the request process at least seven weeks before test day. Find out how on the Services for Students with Disabilities website.
Getting Ready for Test Day
Students should still arrive at the test center by 7:45 a.m. — with these all-important items:
- Admission Ticket
- Acceptable photo ID
- Two No. 2 pencils with erasers
- An approved calculator