SAT and SAT Subject Tests
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The SAT and SAT Subject Tests are globally recognized college admission exams. They’re just one factor among many in the university admission review process. They can also connect you to university planning resources, scholarships, and financial support.
The SAT tests your knowledge of reading, writing and math — subjects that are taught every day in high school classrooms. It’s offered in more than 175 countries outside the U.S. at over 1,000 international test centers. It takes 3 hours and 45 minutes, and it requires you to write an essay in English. The registration process, testing schedule and test fees in some countries may differ from those for tests taken in the U.S.
Learn more about the SAT:
- About the SAT
- SAT Program Student Brochure, International edition (.pdf/795KB)
- International SAT test dates
- Get help registering from an international representative
- Five Things International Students Need to Know About the Redesigned SAT
- View an SAT webinar featuring an admissions professional from Columbia University.
SAT Subject Tests
SAT Subject Tests are hour-long, content-based tests that allow you to showcase achievement in specific subject areas where you excel. They are the only U.S. university admission tests where you choose the tests that best showcase your achievements and interests. There are 20 SAT Subject Tests in five general subject areas: English, history, languages, mathematics and science.
Many of the leading universities in the U.S. require or recommend SAT Subject Tests. For international students, SAT Subject Tests may be particularly meaningful because results from these tests help put your secondary grades in context.
Some universities also use Subject Tests to place students into the appropriate courses. Based on your performance on the test(s), you could potentially fulfill basic requirements or receive credit for introductory-level courses.
Learn more about SAT Subject Tests:
When to take the SAT and SAT Subject Tests
For international students, it’s important to take the exams within two years before you expect to enter college. They’re offered to international students six times throughout the year in October, November, December, January, May and June. If your chosen colleges ask for SAT Subject Tests, you will need to register for these in a separate transaction from your SAT registration. Also, be aware that SAT Subject Tests cannot be taken on the same day as the longer SAT.
If you are one year away from when you expect to enter college, make sure to register for the SAT no later than the November before you plan to start university and also give yourself enough time to prepare for the test. Most students take the SAT once or twice; taking the SAT more than twice is not recommended because it does not commonly affect scores significantly.
Registering for the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests
International students can register for the SAT and SAT Subject Tests in three ways: online, by mail using the SAT paper registration form, or through an SAT representative. To register online, you’ll need to create a College Board account if you haven’t already signed up.
Online registration is not available to students in Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria or Togo. In addition, there are specific identification requirements on the day of testing in the following countries: Ghana, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. For more details on international requirements, go to SAT International Test Dates and select “International exceptions and notices.”
Fees and Waivers
There is a single cost to take the SAT in the U.S., while students outside the U.S. are charged the testing fee plus an international processing fee for extra services that ensure the same standards of quality, service, shipping, and security for the international administrations as for those in the United States. Additionally, there may be additional surcharges for students in certain countries. For a list of costs and additional fees, see SAT Services and Fees.
SAT fee waivers are offered to help students pay for the SAT. These are available to U.S. citizens and permanent residents whose families meet the income guidelines, and to non-U.S. citizens who test within the United States, U.S. territories or Puerto Rico. Fee waivers cover the testing fee, the international processing fee and, if applicable, the additional surcharge for testing in certain countries.
SAT in Mainland China
Per guidelines set forth by China’s Ministry of Education (MOE), the SAT is currently only administered within schools authorized by the Ministry of Education to offer international admissions tests to their enrolled students. These are primarily international schools that typically enroll students who hold passports from countries outside of the People’s Republic of China. Chinese national students who do not attend one of these schools and are interested in taking the SAT are welcome to take it in SAT testing centers in Hong Kong, Macao or any country outside of mainland China.