SAT: What to Expect on Test Day 

What to Bring

  •  Your Admission Ticket
  • Acceptable photo ID: Driver’s License or School ID (no photo copies)
  • Two No. 2 pencils with erasers (no mechanical pencils)
  • An approved calculator (TI-89 ok; no TI-92)
  • A watch (without an audible alarm)
  • Extra batteries and/or backup calculator (you’ll have to ask for permission to access them. They cannot be on your desk during the test.)
  • A bag or backpack
  • Snacks and Drinks (for your break)
  • Recommended: sweater or sweatshirt


Arriving at the test center

Plan to arrive at 7:50am

All test centers open at 7:45 a.m. and doors close at 8 a.m. (unless otherwise noted on your Admission Ticket.)

You cannot be admitted once testing has started. (If you’re late or absent on test day, you can reschedule. We recommend rescheduling as opposed to re-registering — it will cost less.)


Testing Starts Between 8:30 and 9 a.m.

 Your seat is assigned, not chosen by you. Wait to be seated. Here’s what will happen next:

  • The test supervisor will read all instructions verbatim from a manual and can answer questions only about procedure, not about test questions or content.
  • The test supervisor will tell you when to start and stop working on each section.
  • You must work within each section of the test only for the time allotted.
  • You may not go back to a section once that section has ended.
  • You may not go ahead to a new section if you finish a section early.
  • After the test is finished, the test supervisor will collect and count the test books to make sure all materials have been turned in before dismissing you from the testing room.



For most students, there is one 10-minute and one five-minute break during the test, the only times you can eat and drink.

Keep your ID and Admission Ticket with you at all times. They’ll be checked every time you enter the testing room.

Test books, answer sheets, and calculators must remain on your desk during breaks.

You cannot use this time to power up devices, like cell phones — if you do, your scores will be canceled.

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