SAT Testing Waitlist

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.


  • 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.

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

8 Responses to SAT Testing Waitlist

  1. Shahzeb Akhter June 3, 2016 at 2:44 pm #

    Hey Emily… Thanks for the info, that was really useful. Can you do me another favor? Can you please tell me about the syllabus for Maths in SATs? You can mail it to me, if you like..thanks again.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert June 13, 2016 at 8:01 pm #

      I’m not quite sure what you mean by the syllabus for the Math Section. Do you mean an overview of Math content in the New SAT? If that’s what you’re looking for, the best place to start would be Minh’s post on our blog “New SAT Math Study Guide.” (Be sure to check out the links int he post too, as this post ties in with a few other tutorials on the Magoosh HS Blog.)

  2. Mohammed March 9, 2017 at 3:35 am #

    Hello, I would like to know the total of the SAT waitlist fee, is it just 46$? Or 46$ and 45$ (Test price) so in total 91$? Please respond.

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert March 9, 2017 at 6:46 am #

      Excellent question, Mohammed! If you sign up for the waitlist, you must pay the regular SAT fee ($45 without essays or $57 with essays) plus the waitlist fee. However, the waitlist fee is only charged if you are able to take the exam that day. If the test center is not able to accommodate you and you are not able to take the exam, then you will not be charged the waitlist fee. In that case, you would only pay the regular registration fee. Does that make sense?

      Again, if you sign up for the waitlist and do take the exam that day, you will be charged $91 ($45 test registration fee plus $46 waitlist fee) if you take the exam without essays. If you take the exam with essays, you will be charged $103 ($57 test registration fee plus $46 waitlist fee).

      Hope this clears up your doubts! 🙂

  3. Tomer Bitan November 15, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

    if you sign up for the waitlist and don’t show up and
    therefore don’t get in do you still get a refund?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert November 25, 2018 at 7:25 pm #

      Hi Tomer,

      That’s an interesting question! I’ve never run across this situation before, so I’m not quite sure how to answer your question. I couldn’t find any information outlining this policy on the College Board website. I recommend that you contact the College Board directly to ask about this policy. Let us know what you find 🙂

  4. Hailey November 11, 2019 at 1:06 am #

    I’ve registered for the waitlist but the country I’m living, Myanmar, has only three test centers and the reason why I’m wait listing is not because I registered late, but because there were no seats available.
    1. Eventhough I’ve wait listed and have chosen an ideal test center in Myanmar, I think the chance is very low to get to take the test (according to what the test centers have told me after I contacted them)
    So can I change my ideal test center to another country? I’ve already done the payment process and CB has told me that they’ll refund me if they can’t find me a seat. I’m thinking of changing it to another country, Thailand. But is it possible? If so, how do I do that?

    2. Can I choose more than one ideal test centers?

    • Magoosh Test Prep Expert
      Magoosh Test Prep Expert February 7, 2020 at 11:24 am #

      Hi Hailey,

      That sounds like a stressful situation! I hope you’re able to get it sorted out and take your test. Here is some information I found from the College Board’s website that might help:

      According to the page that talks about waitlists, waitlist request can only be made online through a student’s College Board account, and you can only choose one test center and test type per test date. That doesn’t make it clear whether you can change your test location request once it has been made, so first I would login to your College Board account and see if you can find that option. If you can’t find a way to change your test there, then it would be best to contact the College Board directly and ask your question.

      I hope you are able to find the answers you need, and I wish you success on your SAT! 🙂

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