If you wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night because you completely forgot to register for the SAT, take a deep breath! You might still be able to squeeze in on the waitlist.
Do I need to sign up for the standby waitlist?
First of all, you don’t actually need to start panicking! You might feel freaked out if you realize that you missed the deadline to register for this important test, but chances are, you might be able to get in. For students who forgot to sign up for the SAT on time, or might not have realized they needed to take the SAT on a particular date, College Board offers a waitlist status.
Especially with the summer approaching, when fewer test dates are offered, this might be your last chance to retake the SAT unless you can wait until fall. Or, if you really need to take the SATright now to stay on track with college applications, then requesting waitlist status is exactly what you need!
Basically, being on the waitlist for the SAT means you have a special ticket that doesn’t automatically guarantee you a seat and test. After all other students are checked in, if there is extra room and materials, you might be able to take the SAT.
But, keep in mind that you cannot request waitlist status if you are making up a rescheduled test, and you probably won’t be able to get special testing formats or extra time. You may be able to get the 50% time extension, if you have your Eligibility Approval Letter, but even with your Letter, time accommodations may not be available as a waitlist test taker. Unfortunately, if you need special testing accommodations, requesting waitlist status isn’t the best idea.
How do I request waitlist status?
If you’ve decided that you really need to take an upcoming SAT instead of waiting for a later SAT, you can request to be waitlisted for the next SAT testing date. However, even the waitlist for the SAT has a deadline. You can only request the waitlist for the SAT up to five days before the test.
To request waitlist status, create a College Board student account or log in. Fill out all the required information online, including a current photo of yourself, and make sure to submit payment. You’ll have to pay for both the SAT and the current $46.00 waitlist fee. Since the combined SAT registration and waitlist fees are pretty hefty, only go for the waitlist option if it is really necessary!
Do waitlisted students actually get in?
On the day of the SAT, you’ll bring your photo ID and other necessary items (pencils, water bottle…) just like you would with a regular registration. But, you’ll bring the waitlist ticket instead of a normal admission ticket, of course. You have to print out your waitlist ticket, and you have to go to the testing center you registered for! If you show up on the wrong date or with a ticket for the wrong location, you won’t be able to take the SAT.
Since waitlist test takers are allowed inside on a first-come, first-serve basis, you still might not get in. It’s up to the testing center supervisor whether or not you’ll be admitted, and there are no guarantees with a waitlist ticket. Even if there are extra seats and tests, if there are more waitlisted students than tests, someone else might get in ahead of you. If you don’t get in, your waitlist ticket won’t apply to any other test dates. Luckily, the $46 waitlist fee is only charged if you are able to get in on test day.
Other Waitlist Tips
- Don’t request waitlist status if you can easily take the SAT on the next available date.
- You won’t be able to get the waitlist fee waived.
- If you’re older than 21, you won’t be able to get waitlist status.
- If you need to take the SAT Language with Listening Subject Tests, you won’t be able to use the waitlist option.
- If you need to take the SAT on a Sunday, you can request waitlist status only if you have already taken the SAT on a Sunday and you are retaking the SAT.
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About Emily Faison
An avid reader and art enthusiast, Emily has degrees in English from Florida State University and Southeastern University. When she's not editing web content for a local magazine, you’ll probably find her catching up on her Netflix queue or reading a novel with a fresh cup of coffee at a local cafe.
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