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What’s the Cost of Taking the SAT Exam?

How much does the SAT cost

The SAT, administered by College Board, is a standardized test taken up by high school juniors and seniors and is broadly recognized for admissions in the United States.

However, since most schools, including ivy league universities, have made the SAT optional during the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been rumours saying that the SAT might permanently discontinue in the future. 

So, is it worth taking up the SAT? Let’s take a detailed view of how much the SAT costs. The general SAT consists of two major sections, math, and evidence-based writing and reading.

As of 2021-22, the general SAT costs $55 for students residing in the United States.

However, this fee can vary based on whether you register by phone, make alterations to an existing registration, if you are admitted to administration through the waitlist or if you register during the late registration period. Students taking up the SAT outside the United States must pay additional regional fees.

Also Read: Integration by Parts Examples: Solving Complex Calculus Problems

This fee depends on which region you live in, as seen in the table below:

Additional fees by region 
Region Fee
Sub-Saharan Africa $43
Americas $43
East Asia/Pacific  $53
Europe and Eurasia $49
Middle East/North Africa $47
South and Central Asia $49


Other registration-linked fees
Item Fee
Test center (some require an additional fee) $24
Changing registration $25
Cancellation of registration $25
Late cancellation of registration $35
Waitlist fee $53

Furthermore, the SAT registration also includes free score reports to four schools.

This expires nine days after you take the test, so make sure you use them! If you would like additional score reports, you will have to pay an extra fee. 

After having a detailed look at how much the SAT costs, I think we can come to a general consensus that the SAT is slightly expensive.

Luckily, fee waivers exist for a reason.

Considering that College Board is a nonprofit organisation, they believe in providing all students with access to an affordable cost by offering a fee waiver programme to low-income students. 

This fee waiver covers the testing fee, additional score reports and could even possibly extend to college application costs to ensure that these students have an affordable college experience. 

Let’s take a detailed look at what the fee waiver covers: 

  • The SAT fee waiver covers two SAT registration costs.
  • A single waiver code covers two SAT registration costs. 
  • The SAT fee waiver covers late registration fees if you are in the United States or its territories. 
  • The SAT fee waiver covers more than four score reports.
  • The SAT fee waiver may also cover the college application cost and CSS profile applications for financial aid. 
  • The SAT fee waiver provides fee reductions for score verification reports.
  • The SAT fee waiver covers two question-and-answer service reports.
  • Lastly, the SAT fee waiver covers regional fees if you are a student from the United States living abroad. 

So what does the fee waiver not cover?

  • Waitlist fees
  • Scores by phone
  • Rushed score reports
  • Registering by phone charges
  • Changing fees- if you decide to take a different test or change your test date after registration has been done. 

In order to qualify for a fee waiver, you will have to check these factors with your school counsellor: household income and size, whether you’re in foster care or are qualified for the free and reduced-price lunch program at your school.

If you qualify, you will receive a code from your school counselor which you can then use to receive the fee waiver. So, if you haven’t caught up on or gotten the chance to read the updates made by College Board, you must be wondering about the optional SAT essay and the SAT subject tests.

Lucky for you, the college Board has decided to discontinue both.The main reason for the termination of the SAT subject tests is to reduce demands on students.

The extensive availability and accessibility of the Advanced Placement (AP) tests allow students to demonstrate similar results to that of the SAT subject tests, hence the repetition is unnecessary. In other words, students’ performance on AP tests is more than sufficient to show what the student knows.

Whereas,  the SAT essay is an optional component that already establishes the fact that it is not a necessity to take it up. With college requirements and the needs of students constantly fluctuating, the college Board decided that in order to adapt to the changes, discontinuing the optional SAT essay would be a good option.

Overall, the discontinuation of the SAT subject tests and the optional SAT essay benefits the student as there is no additional academic or financial pressure for them to prepare for these components now. 

To conclude, there is no simple answer to the question ‘How much does the SAT cost?’. There are various factors as discussed above, such as registering after the deadline or requiring a fee waiver.

Or if you would require more than four score reports among other additional services. Or if you are an international student and have to pay an extra-regional fee.

Now that you are aware of the costs and what the SAT provides, it is up to you to make a decision to register for the SAT. 

Also Read: Should I stop taking the SAT because UCs and CSUs don’t accept them?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: What is the current cost of taking the SAT exam?

A: The current cost of taking the SAT exam in the United States is $60.

Q2: Are there any additional fees associated with taking the SAT exam?

A: Yes, there may be additional fees for things such as changing the test date or test center, sending score reports, or taking subject tests.

Q3: Can I get a fee waiver for the SAT exam if I can’t afford it?

A: Yes, students from low-income families may be eligible for a fee waiver that covers the cost of the exam as well as other additional fees.

Q4: Is there a deadline for registering for the SAT exam?

A: Yes, there are deadlines for registering for the SAT exam, and late registration fees may apply if you register after the regular registration deadline has passed.

Q5: What happens if I have to cancel my SAT exam registration?

A: If you have to cancel your SAT exam registration, you may be eligible for a partial refund of the exam fee, depending on when you cancel and the circumstances surrounding the cancellation.

Further Reading: 


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