Photo Requirements

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You must provide a photo when you sign up for the SAT. The photo will be part of your Admission Ticket and will be checked against your photo ID on test day to ensure security.

You Really Need to Know This

  • If the photo you upload doesn’t meet the requirements listed below, you will not be allowed to test.
  • Getting a message that your upload was successful does not mean that your photo meets all requirements. It only means that it’s the correct file type and size.

If you have any concerns about the photo requirements, contact Customer Service.

Don’t Get Turned Away on Test Day

You won’t be allowed to take the test if your Admission Ticket photo has any of these problems:

  • One or both of your eyes are not visible or blocked (for example, if you are wearing sunglasses).
  • Photos include more than one person.
  • Poor photo quality makes you unrecognizable.
  • You are wearing a hat or head covering that is not worn for religious purposes.
  • Your photo has been digitally altered or tampered with in any other way.

Acceptable Photo Checklist

You can use recent photos—like school pictures or passport photos—or take a new one. You can also link to Facebook to add a photo (you’ll be able to crop it). Just make sure they meet these requirements:

  • You’re easy to recognize.
  • 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.
  • There are no dark spots or shadows.
  • Black-and-white photos are acceptable.

By providing your photograph, you help us ensure the integrity of the test for all students. Learn more about how we may use your photo.

Acceptable Photos

These photos are acceptable.

Acceptable Photo Example 1

Acceptable Photo Example 2

Common Mistakes

Here are examples of some common mistakes that result in faces not being fully visible and recognizable:

  1. Your photo is too light or too dark.

     Too Light
    Too light

     Too Dark
    Too dark

  2. Your photo is taken from too far away or too close.

     Too Far
    Too far away

     Too Close
    Too close

  3. Only part of your face can be seen (part or all of your face is covered, part or all of your head is cut off, you are shown in profile or three-quarter view).

     Covered Face
    Face is partly covered

     Head Partially Cut Off
    Head is partly cut off

     Three-Quarter View
    Three-quarter view

  4. Other common problems include other people being present in the picture and the picture not being of you. Remember, this photo is used to identify you on test day.

     Two People
    Photo includes another person

     Not a Person
    Photo is definitely not of you


Paper Registration

If you're registering by mail, see the photo requirements for paper registration.

Uploading Your Photo

If you’re registering online, you’ll upload a digital photo. You can take a photo with a digital camera or smart phone, upload a photo from a device or from Facebook, or scan in a paper photo.

Photos must be in one of these file formats: .jpg, .gif, or .png. You’ll be able to crop and reposition your photo after uploading.

If you’re in eighth grade or below at the time of testing, you don’t have to provide a photo to register and this will be noted on your Admission Ticket and the test center roster.


Get tips on helping your students take acceptable photos.