SAT® Guide for International Students

Are you planning to pursue your higher education in the U.S.? If the answer is yes, taking the SAT® can be advantageous to your college application. This internationally recognized aptitude test for high school students will help balance your GPA and demonstrate college readiness. In this guide, we will discuss the SAT's international registration dates, policies, accommodations, fee waivers, and more.
International student getting ready to travel to the U.S. for college after studying with UWorld College Prep for the SAT
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The College Board® currently administers the International SAT digitally, effective from 2023. To learn about the key changes in the new test format, check out our page on the Digital SAT.

Is the SAT Important for International students?

Yes! Taking the Digital SAT® can become the highlight of your application when applying to U.S. colleges. Here are a few reasons why the Digital SAT can be a game changer for international students:

To get into competitive four-year US colleges

Submitting Digital SAT scores is a prerequisite or option at many four-year colleges. At test-mandatory schools, your application will not be accepted without including your SAT test scores. At test-optional institutions, a strong score could help your application stand out in a pool of highly qualified domestic and international candidates.

To demonstrate college readiness

The SAT is a strong predictor of college readiness and propensity for college success. A good Digital SAT score can make you a more competitive candidate for your prospective college by showing you are likely to do well in their programs and are likely to graduate.

To balance out GPA

SAT scores are considered a more effective indicator than Grade Point Average to measure student performance and academic capabilities. So, a good Digital SAT score may help improve your chances even if you have a low GPA or come from a secondary school that is unfamiliar to the admissions committee.

Is the SAT Hard for International students?

The difficulty of the SAT generally depends on how you prepare for the test. However, the following reasons may make the SAT considerably harder for international students:

  • Command of English Language: As all sections on the Digital SAT require reading passages or understanding word problems, a good command of language structure and syntax is important. For non-native English speakers, understanding tough vocabulary and interpreting data from the given text might be challenging.
  • Broad Syllabus: The SAT mainly focuses on topics students learned in high school. However, you might come across some high-level texts and concepts that go beyond your high school knowledge. Thus, preparing for the new concepts may be a tough task.

But, all these difficulties can be overcome if you prepare the right way. Read our guide on How to Study for Digital SAT for tips on studying effectively and making a study plan. In addition, regular practice is the key to understanding your strengths and working on your weaknesses.

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SAT International Registration, Fees, and Dates

If you have decided to take the Digital SAT, the next question usually is, “How do international students apply for the SAT?” The answer is simple. You can apply for the test directly through the College Board's official website by following these steps:

  1. Create your College Board account or use an existing account
  2. Fill out the application form with all the required details
  3. Pay the fees and submit your photo ID

SAT international test dates and deadlines

It’s important to keep track of all SAT international test dates and deadlines. Missing a deadline will usually result in late fees or prevent you from taking the exam. Refer to the table below for the upcoming Digital SAT international test dates and deadlines. There is no provision for late registration for international students. Make sure that you keep track of the registration deadlines and register for your SAT test before that.

SAT International Test Date Deadline for Registration, Changes, and Cancellation
Mar 9, 2024 February 27, 2024
May 4, 2024 April 23, 2024
June 1, 2024 May 21, 2024
Note: All deadlines expire at 11:59 p.m. ET, U.S.

Possible Test Dates for the SAT – August to December 2024, Cycle:

Possible Digital SAT Test Date
August 24, 2024
October 5, 2024
November 2, 2024
December 7, 2024
If you need to borrow a device from the College Board, you must request it at least 30 days before the test date to allow time for international shipping.

SAT international registration and score service fees

The Digital SAT international testing fee is $60 plus a $43 regional fee. Apart from the registration fee, there are a few additional SAT fees you might have to pay for specific services:

Service Fee Details
Test center fee $24 Some test centers charge an additional fee. Check out the list here
Change test center $25 To change the international SAT test center.
Late registration $30 To register after the regular registration deadline.
Cancel registration $25 To cancel your registration on or before the regular deadline.
$35 To cancel your registration after the regular deadline.

Note: If you want to change the test date, you need to cancel and register for a new test.

Read how to change your registration information here. The College Board charges some fees for the score related services also:

Service Fee Details
Additional score reports $14 per report The first four score reports are free. Charges may apply if you are ordering additional reports.
Rush reports $31 Additional charges are applicable.
Get scores by phone $15 per call Fees need to be paid by credit card at the time of call.
Archived scores $31 Additional charges are applicable.
SAT Question-and-Answer Service $16 To know more about these services, read our blog.
SAT Student Answer Service $16
Hand score verification $55

How to get a Digital SAT fee waiver for international students?

SAT fee waivers may be granted to eligible foreign nationals who reside and take their tests in the United States or its territories. Outside the U.S., only U.S. citizens who are residing in other countries may be eligible for fee waivers.

To receive a fee waiver, you need to meet at least one of the requirements listed below:

  • You are registered or qualified for the federal National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
  • Your family's annual income comes within the Income Eligibility Guidelines established by the Food and Nutrition Service of the USDA.
  • You are registered in a federal, state, or local program that supports children from low-income families.
  • Your family receives public assistance.
  • You are homeless, or you live in federally funded public housing or a foster care home.
  • You are an orphan or a ward of the state.

Digital SAT International Policies and Accommodations

First, before taking your Digital SAT test, read our blog on what to bring on your SAT test day. For a quick review, be sure to take a printed copy of your admission ticket and a photo ID that meets all of the requirements set by the College Board.

Now, let’s review some of the rules and guidelines. Any violation may result in the cancellation of scores and dismissal from the test center. Students are required to acknowledge the following testing policies:

  1. Asking someone to impersonate you or impersonating someone to take the test is prohibited.
  2. Using phones, consulting textbooks, electronic devices (except your digital SAT testing device), or discussing questions and answers during and after the test is not allowed.
  3. Your scores are canceled if you leave the test center before the test ends. Leaving the answer blank may also result in dismissal.
  4. Adhering to the time duration for each section on the test is important. Skipping or switching between sections is not permitted.
  5. Sharing calculators is not allowed, so you need to bring your own. Keep the calculator on your desk only while taking the Math Test.

You must note that in addition to the above policies, different policies might apply to different regions of the world. To know the registration policies for your testing location, visit the College Board’s official website.

You also have the provision to request accommodations for your Digital SAT test. Accommodations are special provisions that the College Board provides for students with documented disabilities, allowing them to take the test with some modifications. Students with disabilities like visual impairments and blindness, physical and medical impairments, learning disorders, and motor impairments may raise requests for accommodations. You can reach out to your school’s Students with Disabilities (SSD) coordinator to help you file an accommodation.

For more details about testing policies and the consequences of violating them, digital test device policies, and the types of accommodations available for taking the Digital SAT, read our page on SAT Test Policies and Accommodations.

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  1. International SAT Dates and Deadlines – SAT Suite. (n.d.).
  2. International SAT Testing Policies – SAT Suite | College Board. (n.d.).
  3. International Fees – SAT Suite | College Board. (n.d.).
  4. Does my test center charge an additional test center fee? – SAT Suite | College Board. (n.d.).
  5. Canceling an SAT Registration – SAT Suite | College Board. (n.d.).
  6. International SAT Testing Policies – SAT Suite | College Board. (n.d.).

Frequently Answered Questions (FAQs)

Scoring above average for your particular year is typically considered positive. In addition, if you receive a score that meets or exceeds the requirements for the college of your choice, that is also considered a good score.
There is no standard score for scholarships in the U.S. for international students. Each college or scholarship program will have its own requirements.
A high GPA and a good SAT score contribute toward receiving a full scholarship. If you meet all of the eligibility requirements, you may qualify for a scholarship.
Foreign-born and international students may receive fee waivers if they reside and take the test in the U.S. and meet all the fee waiver eligibility requirements.

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