Testing Basics

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Get ready to give the SAT as part of an SAT School Day administration.

Testing Time

All students must test in school, starting at the same time in the morning, and completing before lunch is scheduled.

Test Actual Testing Time Administration Activities Time Total Time
SAT 3 hours 50 minutes (approximately) 3 hours and 50 minutes
SAT with Essay 3 hours and 50 minutes 50 minutes (approximately) 4 hours and 40 minutes

Participate in Preadministration

We strongly encourage schools to hold preadministration sessions with students. Having students complete preadministration activities before test day allows them to focus on what matters most. It also reduces the testing time for students and educators on test day.

In a preadministration session you can:

  • Distribute student guides so students can learn what to expect on test day.
  • Have students fill out their identifying information early to reduce test administration time and extra test day activities.
  • Work with students to determine where they will send their four free score reports to colleges and scholarship programs.

Visit Timeline to Test Day to learn when preadministration materials will arrive at your school.

Score Sends on Answer Sheets

Students can indicate the colleges or scholarship programs they’d like to send their four free score reports to directly on their answer sheet. Use your preadministration session to prepare them for this important decision.


Schools participating in SAT School Day are subject to the following fees:

Test Test Fee Unused Test Fee
SAT $47.50 per student $23.75 for each unused test book exceeding 20% or 10 test books (whichever is greater)
SAT with Essay $64.50 per student $32.25 for each unused test book exceeding 20% or 10 test books (whichever is greater)

Schools participating in an SAT School Day contract aren’t charged test fees or unused test fees for contract grades.

After Test Day

It's critical to return all answer sheets and test books (used and unused) to the College Board no later than the next school day after test day.