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Articles / Preparing for College / Where To Take SAT's?

Where To Take SAT's?

Sally Rubenstone
Written by Sally Rubenstone | Feb. 8, 2021

Question: Can I take the SAT at a different school than the one I attend?

Yes, students commonly take the SAT or ACT at high schools other than their own and for many reasons. For instance, a high school may serve as a test center on some test dates but not others, or a test center may be full when students don't register promptly. Geography can be a factor, too. If you don't live close to the school you attend, you don’t necessarily want to get up before dawn on a Saturday to get to the test on time.  (Of course, what teenager wants to go to ANY test ANYwhere on a Saturday?)  ;-)


The big advantage of taking a test at your own school is familiarity. You won't worry about getting lost on your way there, and you'll certainly be able to find the cafeteria or library or wherever the test is being administered. You'll also see friends and teachers you know. For most students, this is reassuring ... but it can also be distracting.  (I've even had students tell me that they intentionally avoided their own high school because they didn't trust the level of supervision and predicted that there would be erasers soaring through the air and test answers exchanged in the bathrooms, so they opted for a more "sedate" school in another district.)

Regardless of where you take the SAT, you will have to meet the College Board’s identification requirements. But at a high school where no one knows you, it’s possible that your identification may be scrutinized more closely than it might be at your own school. So just make sure to read instructions carefully and show up at the test center with a clear I.D. that leaves no doubt that you are the student you claim to be.

(posted 9/12/2014)

 

Written by

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone

Sally Rubenstone knows the competitive and often convoluted college admission process inside out: From the first time the topic of college comes up at the dinner table until the last duffel bag is unloaded on a dorm room floor. She is the co-author of Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions; The Transfer Student's Guide to Changing Colleges and The International Student's Guide to Going to College in America. Sally has appeared on NBC's Today program and has been quoted in countless publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Weekend, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, People and Seventeen. Sally has viewed the admissions world from many angles: As a Smith College admission counselor for 15 years, an independent college counselor serving students from a wide range of backgrounds and the author of College Confidential's "Ask the Dean" column. She also taught language arts, social studies, study skills and test preparation in 10 schools, including American international schools in London, Paris, Geneva, Athens and Tel Aviv. As senior advisor to College Confidential since 2002, Sally has helped hundreds of students and parents navigate the college admissions maze. In 2008, she co-founded College Karma, a private college consulting firm, with her College Confidential colleague Dave Berry, and she continues to serve as a College Confidential advisor. Sally and her husband, Chris Petrides, became first-time parents in 1997 at the ripe-old age of 45. So Sally was nearly an official senior citizen when her son Jack began the college selection process, and when she was finally able to practice what she had preached for more than three decades.

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