Registering for the SAT and ACT

Posted on 13th December 2022

Registering for the SAT and ACT

How do I register to take the SAT or ACT? This is one of the most common questions we get asked. As a test preparation provider, we prepare students to take the official tests and can advise on testing; we also offer mock SAT and ACT tests.

However, we are separate from the official SAT and ACT test providers, and therefore cannot register students for the official tests from our end, or change or cancel test bookings once students are registered.

The registration process can be daunting, as it requires a bit of admin and forward planning, and can seem geared toward students in American schools. So, in this blog, we will lay out the steps of registering for the test to make it easier for you!

**Please note that registering for the SAT and ACT requires a different process if you receive extra time or other accommodations. If this pertains to you, please read our separate blog on the topic here.

Where do I register for the test?

You need to register for the SAT or ACT on the official test providers’ websites (called the College Board for the SAT, and for the ACT!). Your school cannot register you for the official test, and neither can our company unfortunately. Even if you are taking one of our courses at a school or with us directly, you must register independently through the College Board or ACT website.

Registration for the ACT is available here; registration for the SAT is available here.

When can I take the test?

You can view the upcoming ACT and SAT dates here:

Ideally, you will want to take the test for the first time in December of Year 12 (grade 11). That way, you can re-take it in the spring if needed, and have it out of the way by the time you begin year 13 (the autumn term of that year is very busy with making your US applications!). If you’re coming to the process late don’t worry: you can start the process later if necessary, but you will need to devote lots of time and energy to test prep.

The registration process

When you register, you will create an account and be asked various questions about things like your school and your grades. Those questions are mostly optional - you either don't have to fill them in (leave them blank) or just fill in best guesses. They are for market research and don't go to colleges!

To leave them blank, try clicking on 'Skip' or 'Continue' at the bottom of the screen. If the online form insists on some answers, just put basic answers in--no one will see them.

You must also pay a fee to register for the SAT or ACT. Please note that this fee is separate from any other fees you may be paying for private tuition, or a test prep course at your school or with UES. For the ACT, the exam fees are $171.50 (equivalent to around £140). For the SAT, they are around $110 (around £95). The fees are paid at the time of registration.

When registering for the ACT, you will have the option to register for the test with writing, or without. You should take the test without writing, as it is not needed anywhere. If you’ve already registered for the test with writing, don’t worry: you can choose not to write the essay on the day, and it won't show up in the score reports.

Where can I take the test?

The official SAT and ACT tests are administered in dedicated test centres throughout the UK. When you go to register, you can see the available test centres there. Please do not assume that your school is a test centre (even if you have a US applications counsellor at your school, or are taking an SAT or ACT preparation course at your school!) Some UK schools are, but many are not. Even if a school has a lot of US applicants, they may take the test at different test centres, due to availability and personal preference. So, you should choose the test centre most convenient to you.

Please note that ACT test centres are external computer centres, whereas SAT test centres are normally schools.

Test centres book up quickly, so if your local test centres are fully booked when you register, you may have to travel to sit the test. By registering for the test as early as possible, you can give yourself the best chance to get a place at a test centre convenient to you.

If you have questions about registering for a SAT or ACT test, these are often best addressed by contacting the SAT or ACT themselves; their contact information can be found on their websites. If you would like advice on the registration process, you can contact our office or, if you have questions about the overall US applications process, book a free call with one of our Founders here.

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