College SAT Essay Policies

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The SAT Essay is a lot like writing assignments you’ll see in college. It asks you to read a passage and analyze how the author constructs a persuasive argument. You’ll have 50 minutes to complete your response.

Quick Facts

  • You aren’t required to take the SAT Essay—it’s optional—but many colleges require or recommend it.
  • If you don’t register for the SAT with Essay at first, you can add it later.
  • You can use an SAT fee waiver to take the SAT or the SAT with Essay.

Who Should Take the SAT with Essay

You don’t have to take the SAT with Essay, but if you do, you’ll be able to apply to colleges that recommend or require it.

The list below includes our essay policy information for U.S. and international colleges, as well as scholarship providers. If you don’t see a college you’re looking for, or if you want to make sure a college’s essay policy hasn’t changed, contact them directly. Higher education professionals, learn more about setting essay policy for your institution.

Important:

New Score Release Policies

Starting in October, you’ll get your SAT scores faster. Learn more about the changes.

SAT Essay Policies of Colleges and Scholarship Providers