If you are planning to take the SAT®, it is important to know what to expect on test day. That’s why we compiled a list of things you need to do before test day and things you need to follow once you enter the SAT testing room to have a stress-free testing experience.
What to Expect on Test Day
When your SAT test day arrives, do not feel anxious and overwhelmed. Have faith in your abilities, and you will be good to go. You can expect the following on your test day:
When you reach your test center, you’ll be asked to present your photo ID and admission ticket for identification purposes.
In the testing room
A seat will be assigned to you. As you settle into your seat, the proctor will read out all the necessary guidelines and instructions related to the test. If you are taking the paper and pencil SAT test, remember to keep your pencils and calculator on the desk. The proctor will then distribute the test booklets and answer sheets.
Taking the test
Once the proctor gives a heads-up, you can begin the test.
- You should only work on the section specifically instructed by the proctor
- You must not skip any section, and you cannot go back to a previous section
- You cannot begin working on another section even if you finish a section early
- You are not permitted to leave the test center even if you finish the test ahead of time.
Paper-and-pencil SAT – You will get a 15-minute break during the test – 10-minute break between the Reading and Writing Tests, and 5-minute break between the Math no-calculator and calculator sections.
Digital SAT – You’ll get a 10-minute break between the Reading and Writing, and Math sections. You can take another break if necessary, but you will lose testing time. Remember to keep your device open even while on break.
After the test
The proctor will collect your test booklets after the test, and you will be allowed to leave the test center.
Digital SAT Test – Do’s and Don’ts
Once you enter the test center, you will be assigned a testing room. Following that, you can expect the following dos and don’ts:
- Complete the test check-in process on your testing device. Follow the instructions provided by your proctor if you are unable to finish the setup and log in process.
- You must connect to the testing site’s Wi-Fi network. This ensures all your answers are received by the College Board®.
- If your device loses connection to the internet when the digital SAT ends, you must reconnect within 24 hours and follow the instructions in the Application.
- As you may already know, the digital SAT consists of four modules. It is important to note that once you leave a module, you will not be able to return to any of its questions.
- The timer will let you know when the time is up. The testing app will automatically save your work and submit it, and you will not be allowed to continue working on a question after the time is up.
- You cannot complete a module or submit your answers before the timer expires.
- You must stay in the testing room for the full duration of the test.
- Remember to suspend and close any other program or application while the test is running. If you are seen working on any other application, it might result in the cancellation of your score.
- All your work should be done in the bluebook testing application. Refrain from submitting any handwritten work, uploading any photos or submitting your answers through any other method.
- Refrain from using a calculator on any test section other than the Math section.
- Students who have been approved for extended testing time and are testing for more than 3 continuous hours will be able to use a power outlet at their testing location.
You must note that it is important to follow the testing policies set by the College Board on the test day, as any violation may lead to dismissal and cancellation of your scores. To read about these policies in detail, read our page on SAT test policies and accommodations.
Things to Remember Before SAT Test Day
There are a few things to keep in mind before your test day to ensure a smooth testing experience. Refer to the following points:
Be sure to sign in to your My SAT account to download and print your admission ticket. You will not be allowed to enter the test center without it.
The test duration is three hours, and you are not allowed to leave the test center before that, even if you complete your test early. The test ends somewhere around noon, after which you can leave the test center.