The Ultimate Guide on What to Expect on SAT Test Day

girl answering sat test

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is a standardized test conducted by the College Board. Juniors and seniors usually take this test for college admissions, scholarship awards, and school assessments. It is divided into four sections:

This guide will go through everything that happens on the day of the SAT so that nothing can catch you off guard.

Check-in & Arrival

Most applicants have no idea what to anticipate between the time they arrive at the testing center and the commencement of the test. First and foremost, you should appear at your test location, most likely your high school, between 7:30 and 7:45 a.m. The doors will open at 7:45 a.m. and close at 8:00 a.m. unless your entry ticket specifies otherwise. Arriving late is not an option since a closed-door means no further entrance.

When you arrive at the school or testing center, you’ll most likely be met by a few volunteers who will sign you in and take you to your testing room. You’ll need to present your entry ticket and photo ID before heading to your testing room. Some testing centers entail you to keep your bag or jacket in a locker or other designated place; others just allow you to put your belongings underneath your desk.

Your test proctor will hand out the testing materials, such as your SAT booklet and answer sheet, and begin giving instructions once everyone has checked in and taken their seats. Next, you will be given some time to fill out identifying information such as your name and contact information and listen to instructions on timing and how to bubble in your answers.

These preliminary steps will take around 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how long everyone takes to settle in.

While Taking the Test

Now you’re ready for the major event; the SAT itself. The test has no specific start time; instead, it is determined by how long it takes for everyone to settle down and your proctor to go over the instructions. This implies that between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m., participants will begin their first parts.

 Your proctor should instruct you on everything, from opening your test booklet to putting down your pencils. Most proctors will offer you a five- or ten-minute warning when your section is about to end, generally by writing on the board. Once you start the test, you will be entirely concentrated for the next three hours, or four hours in case you are writing an essay, with just a few brief breaks between the portions.

The following is the precise pattern of the test to anticipate:

By the time you end your test, you are sitting in the examination hall for almost three hours, and the time will be around 11:40 and 12:10 p.m. If you’re not writing an essay, the SAT is over for you. Wait for the proctor to collect your answer sheet, and then you’ll be free to depart when directed.

After the Test

When the timer goes off for your test, your supervisor will take your test book and answer sheet. You’re free to leave when the test supervisor dismisses the group; make sure you have something exciting planned for the afternoon to celebrate taking the SAT.

If you’re doing the 50-minute essay, you’ll take a brief break after Math and finish about 1:00 p.m. You’ll close your exam booklet and wait for your proctor to collect everything, just like the other students who have already departed. You can leave the center, switch your phone back on, and go home to enjoy a few days off once you’ve been given the green light.

Exam Scores

Your results will be available after a few weeks of the test date, and you will be notified by email. You can see your results online and can request to send score reports to various colleges.

When you register for the SAT, the organizers provide you an option to claim four free score reports within nine days following the exam. Make sure you choose the four colleges at the time of registration; otherwise, you have to mention these colleges in the next nine days after taking the test to avail this offer. You have to pay for the score report once the said period is over (On the tenth day after you take the test).

SAT Tips to Ace the Test

To perform well in SAT, you should use one of the College Board’s free practice exams to imitate an actual testing environment. This will equip you with a clearer picture of what to expect from the official SAT, as well as the sorts of questions you’ll encounter.

Examine your result and consider how you felt during the test. Did you have any doubts about yourself? Is it necessary to rush through the exam? Develop ways to avoid lousy test habits and brush up on any academic abilities you might require.

Depending on how much you want to raise your score, you should give yourself adequate time to practice and study before taking the actual test. Through practice tests, you can also measure the success of your tactics. It is favorable to make a study timetable depending on your learning habits and adhere to it consistently.

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