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 out your GPA and determine college readiness. In this guide, we will discuss the SAT international registration dates, policies, accommodations, fee waivers, and more.

The College Board® has announced that the International SAT will be administered digitally, effective 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 SAT can become the highlight of your application when applying to U.S. colleges. Here are just a few reasons why the SAT is important for international students:

To get into four-year US colleges

Taking the SAT comes as a prerequisite for many four-year colleges. Your application may not be accepted without submitting your SAT test scores.

To demonstrate college readiness

The SAT is considered to be a strong predictor of college readiness and college success. A good SAT score can make you a more competitive candidate for your prospective college.

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 SAT score may even cover for a low GPA.

Is the SAT hard for International students?

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

  • Command on English Language: As all sections on the 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 come as a challenge.
  • Broad Syllabus: The SAT mainly focuses on topics that 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 SAT study guide 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.

After you start studying with us, you can say goodbye to guessing.
Showing a written passage for the SAT along with the correct answer for the question

SAT International Registration, Fees, and Dates

If you have decided to take the SAT, the next question usually is, “How do international students apply for the SAT?” The answer is simple. You can apply for the international SAT directly through the College Board 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 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 11, 2023 (Digital) Feb 24, 2023
May 6, 2023 (Digital) Apr 21, 2023
June 3, 2023 (Digital) May 19, 2023
Note: All deadlines expire at 11:59 p.m. ET, U.S.

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 SAT international testing fee is $60 plus a regional fee. The regional fee is based on your specific region, so be sure to check out the College Board’s page on SAT International Fees. Here are a few additional SAT international registration fees:

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.
Cancel registration $25 To cancel your registration by the change deadline.
Cancel registration late $35 To cancel your registration after the change deadline.

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 $12 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 an 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.

SAT International Policies and Accommodations

First, before taking your 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 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 while taking the Math Test only.

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

You also have the provision to request accommodations for your 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 getting 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 SAT, read our page on SAT Test Policies and Accommodations.

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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.
Both 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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