The SAT is an assessment created and administered by the College Board and has been used as a college admissions test since the mid-1920s. Students may take the SAT for admission into a two- or four-year university, obtain scholarships, and/or assess their readiness for freshman-level college coursework. On this webpage, TEA recommends six steps for students to get ready to take the SAT in Texas and educators to help prepare and administer the SAT on a school day.
TEA supports and aligns with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in their 60x30TX goal, which states that at least 60 percent of Texans ages 25-34 will have a certificate or degree by 2030. By taking a college preparation assessment, such as the SAT, Texas students expand the number of postsecondary options available to them.
Step 1: Pick the right test!
Students and administrators/educators can check out this handy comparison chart to identify similarities and differences between the college preparation assessments (SAT, ACT, and TSIA) and determine which one(s) is the best fit.
Step 2: Schedule and Register!
There are several different ways students can register and take the assessments.
School Day Administrations
Over 400 districts in Texas have participated in SAT School Day at least once in the last five years. SAT School Day is an awesome opportunity for students to take the assessment on campus during the school day. By administering the assessment on a school day, districts/campuses increase access and reduce barriers for many students who may not be able to test on a Saturday (i.e., working students, students without transportation, etc.). Administrators can learn more about signing up for SAT School Day here. Students can learn more about taking the test during SAT School Day by speaking with their campus administrators.
Alternative Test Dates
Students can register individually and choose a date and testing site. Students can also take the assessment on the weekend, especially if their school does not offer SAT School Day.
Payment & Waivers
House Bill 3 (HB 3) in the 86th legislative session permitted the state to reimburse districts for the amount of fees paid by the district for the administration of a college preparation assessment. This means that eligible students may take one SAT, ACT, or TSIA in the spring of their junior year or during their senior year for free (at state cost)! Click here for more information. Additionally, eligible students may use fee waivers to pay for national testing on the weekend.
Step 3: Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!
Both the student and the teacher have an active role in exam preparation. Fortunately, the College Board has created several resources for both parties.
- Free SAT Daily Practice through the mobile app
- Official SAT® Practice on Khan Academy
- Setting personal goals for SAT practice
- 8 full- length practice tests
- Coach’s Playbook – Train for test day like its game day
- Teacher implementation guide – Implement SAT practice into challenging coursework and curriculum
- Professional Learning- E-modules and self-guided courses are available
It’s time to take the SAT. Students testing on the weekend can check out these links for what to expect on test day and a test day checklist. School administrators planning a school day test administration can access a myriad of resources in Educator Downloads section of the College Board website.
Step 5: Evaluate Scores!
Students and administrators can expect to receive scores within 3-4 weeks after administration. Scores are accessed by educators online in a score reporting portal, and by students when they sign in to their College Board account.
- What do the scores mean? Find resources for educators and students on how to interpret scores.
- Retake if needed! If students are unhappy with their scores, they can return to Step 3 and retake the assessment if needed.
Step 6: Apply to College!
Taking the exam is the hardest part. Once done, students should apply to universities and scholarships and discover endless possibilities.
- ApplyTexas – Universal application platform for all Texas public institutions of higher education.
- Common App – Application platform for array of public and private colleges and universities across all 50 U.S. states and 20 countries.
- Scholarships – After using ApplyTexas and Common App, students can apply to more scholarships at a variety of different places. Millions of dollars go unclaimed every year, so students, parents, educators, and administrators should extensively research and remember to check out local scholarships!
- College Scorecard -- What scoring requirements do colleges have? This tool, created by the US Department of Education, allows students to search for college matches based on a variety of factors, including SAT score admission requirements.
- Send scores – If not done already, students should send scores to colleges. Students can send four free score reports when they test or an unlimited amount if using a fee waiver.
- College Board Opportunity Scholarships - Complete key steps along the path to college for a chance to earn scholarships. The steps include building a college list, completing the FAFSA, practicing for the SAT on Khan Academy, and identifying a safety, match, and reach school.
- September 23 – Registration Deadline: August 7
- October 14 – Registration Deadline: August 12
- March 3 – Registration Deadline: January 8
- March 24 – Registration Deadline: January 29
- April 13 – Registration Deadline: February 12
- April 27 – Registration Deadline: February 26
- September 26 – Registration Deadline: August 26
- October 3 – Registration Deadline: September 4
- November 7 – Registration Deadline: October 7
- December 5 – Registration Deadline: November 5
- March 13 – Registration Deadline: February 12
- May 8 – Registration Deadline: April 8
- June 5 –Registration Deadline: May 6
See College Board's website for more information on dates for test center closures, accommodations, makeup testing, and late registrations.