How to register for the SAT exam - Step by step instructions
Updated: May 18
During SAT exam season, I am fully prepared for my phone to be bombarded by urgent text messages from my freaked out students who have started registering for their exam. Hearing “What do I do next?”, “I don’t know my postal code, is that okay?” and “When is the right time to register?” are just some of the many questions I am asked. Don’t worry, I’ll walk you through all the steps so your life is made easier and I find peace in mine too! :p
Before I start with the step-by-step process, let me give you a few pointers and important reminders as to what you require for the SAT exam.
Next SAT Session with Talal starts from 18th June '2023. Register Now!
Get your passport made pronto! If you already have one, make sure to check if it’s expired or not. Without your passport you won't be allowed to sit in for exam. I have had students who had to go back home from the test center just because their passport was expired and the authorities didn’t let them take their text.
Register at least 8-10 weeks before the actual test day so you have ample options of test centers to choose from and also so you actually have a chance to show up for the test.
It is important that you choose a test center near your residence so you’re familiar with the route and chances of being late are close to negligible. If the test centre is near your house it would also take you less time to reach there. No one wants to go on a long drive before a nerve wrecking exam!
Most importantly you'll be needing a credit card to pay your exam fee.
Now let’s get on with the instructions on how to register for the SAT.
Create your own account on Collegeboard.org
Next, it is going to ask you what kind of account you want to create. Click on ‘I am a Student’.
This opens up a page for you to plug-in your general student information. Now this part is super-critical and where most students face trouble – so listen closely. For Pakistan, students taking the SAT exam need a valid passport. So, all your information in your SAT registration page here needs to be exactly the same as that on your passport. Let’s begin with the name. Your first name should match with the “given name” on your passport e.g. my given name on the passport is Talal Ali so I will put that in the First Name field. The “surname” on your passport corresponds to the Last Name field on the collegeboard, e.g. my surname on the passport is Jan so I will put that in the last name field. Pakistani passports don’t have a middle initial field; thus, I also don’t have a middle initial on my passport, so I will leave that field blank.
Select date of birth – and it should be exactly the one stated on your passport. Mine is June, 5th, 1991.
Every time you create an account on college board, you will be asked to use a new or different email address. You cannot make multiple college board accounts using the same email address. After that, put your high school graduation date, that is when you complete you’re A level, High School or Intermediate. Mine was June 2009 so I will write that.
After that you will be asked to put zip/postal code. You don’t have to put anything here; simply tick the box which states “outside US” and you are good to move onto the next step.
You are required to write your school name and branch in the field which states “where do you go to school”. If your school name is listed, well and good and if it is not don’t worry. Leave this field blank and move forward.
Now you are required to create your username and password. It’s preferred that your username should contain your first name and/or last name.
Choose a security phrase and remember it. It will help in case you forget your username or password.
Do not subscribe to anything, you will keep getting unnecessary emails.
Parent Information is not required so skip that
Agree with terms and conditions and with data transfer policy and click next.
You will now be directed to a new page to confirm the information you have entered. Please check your information thoroughly; it should match the information on the passport.
Visit the page and click “Register Now” or “Register for the SAT”
After signing in to your account you’ll be taken to “MY SAT” page. On the bottom right you’ll find a blue button that would read “Register for the SAT” or “Register for another SAT” (If you’ve taken the exam before). Click that button
Another page will open where you’ll be told that it’ll take 30-40 minutes for the registration. Click Continue
The next step is to solve the long questionnaires. Some of them are very important while others are not. I’ll mention along the way the ones you’ll need to focus on.
Personal Information (VERY IMPORTANT): Make sure every information you put in this part of the questionnaire is correct because they’ll associate your exam to this information and track it as well. You will be asked to verify your name. Make sure you check your name again to confirm whether it matches with the name on your passport or not. You won’t be allowed to change your name after this because this field will get locked. SSN is not required so please skip this.
You will provide your expected date of graduation (May or June followed by your graduation year) and the grade level. You will select 12th grade or higher if you are in A1, A2, Fsc student or senior year of high school. You might get an error saying your grade level and graduation date are inconsistent. Do not worry about this and tick the small box which states “No, I do not wish to make any changes, accept my response.”
And then write your mailing address. You might have to try couple of iterations of your mailing address so please don’t panic if your address is not selected.
Postal code is optional but you can put 54000 which is the postal code of Lahore.
After that you don’t have to answer each and every question. For most of the questions you can simply tick “I do not wish to respond”. For example if it is asked “Tell us about your parents” simply tick “I do not wish to respond” and move on.
Demographics (NOT IMPORTANT): The College Board uses this information to do statistics on its test takers. All of this is optional and has zero impact on your score or college admissions.
Create Student Profile (NOT IMPORTANT): None of this is important to your score. The College Board shares this information with colleges so they can send you spam mail. If you want mails from colleges or want to learn about schools you might not have known about, then fill this out accurately. Say “No” to student search service if you do not wish to hear from Collegeboard or other colleges who are looking for students like you.
To Reiterate (Each of the subsections are NOT worth your time): This all includes College Board course work, Activities and college plans that you don’t need to get into.
Select Test and Centre (THIS IS WHAT MATTERS THE MOST): The terms and conditions you’ll come across summarizes two main points which are basically that you promise not to cheat and discussing the answers with someone else.
Choose Your Test and Date: Next, you’ll choose your test date. If you have testing accommodations or a fee waiver, this is where you enter that information. Select SAT with essay for SAT 1 and SAT subject tests if you are giving SAT 2. Sat essay is compulsory for us as it is required by almost all the universities even LUMS so please select the essay. You will be charged extra for it but that’s okay.
Choose Your Test Center: Look for the centers that are close to you
Upload Photo (IMPORTANT): Follow the instructions the website offers and choose a clear picture of yourself.
Make the Payment: Make sure you have a valid credit card at hand. Payment is made through a credit card or debit card. Please note that local debit cards do not allow international transactions, so you will first have to call your bank and get your debit card opened for international transaction. Once that is done, you can use your debit card.
SAT Registration Fee: The SAT registration fee is $60 plus a $43 regional fee. The total amount you'll be required to pay is $103.
So this is the entire process of registering for the SAT exam. If you skip the pages that I’ve told you, you’ll register in hardly 10 minutes.