It can be overwhelming to prepare to go to college (university) in a different country—and US college admissions can be a long and stressful process. Still, the reward of attending the college of your dreams is a great goal to strive for! One part of this process will involve standardized tests; for many international students, including those in India, this will include the SAT. There are a few logistical things that you’ll want to keep in mind as you prepare to take the exam.
SAT Test Registration in India
You definitely want to register early to take the SAT in India. Even though the SAT is offered internationally six times a year (in October, November, December, January, May, and June), you should register for the exam as soon as you know when you want to take it. Why? Well, first of all, why wait? It’s just one more thing to do later on—it doesn’t take long to register, so get it out of the way.
Second of all, this will make sure that you get a spot at the test center you want. The SAT is offered at several dozen different test sites around India—but not all sites will be available for each test date. For example, as of the writing of this post, there are 42 centers that still have spots to offer the May exam, but only 40 centers that have spots for the June exam. Register early, and you’ll have your pick of the centers, as well as one less thing to take care of later.
Which SAT to take?
Ah, that’s a trick question! As of March 2016 (i.e. now), only the redesigned SAT will be offered around the world. You can read all about the redesigned SAT on the Magoosh blog—just know that nobody in the world (literally, nobody) has the option of taking the old exam. Whether that’s good or bad news will depend on you (so make it good news!)
Note that the first international administration of the Redesigned SAT will be in May; there is no March test at non-U.S. centers.
SAT Fees in India
The fee for taking the SAT varies slightly by country. Now, it will also vary depending on whether or not you take the exam with the essay or without it (it used to be mandatory! Although be careful—some schools will still require that you take the exam with essay, even if the exam itself doesn’t require it).
The first part of the registration fee for the SAT is $43, while the SAT with essay is $54.50. Note that this does not include the “Non-U.S. Regional Fee.” In India, this is $49. Therefore, the test will cost $92 without the essay and $103.50 with the essay.
Like students everywhere, there are optional services you can add to the test, mostly to do with registration or score delivery, that will make it more expensive—registering by phone, changing your test date, requesting an additional score report later, rush ordering your scores—but $92 (or $103.50) is the least you’ll pay to take the exam and get your initial SAT score report.
Special Considerations for Indian Students Taking the SAT
Note that India has some specific restrictions on test registration and test-day procedures. The only ID that the College Board will accept in India is a passport (still valid) that has your photo, name, and signature. Services that are available in some other countries, such as Sunday testing or “testing closer to home,” are not available in India.
A Final Word
Don’t be discouraged by the regulations! Although it may seem like a complex process, remember that it’s just one step in a process that will put you one step closer to your dreams. So don’t give up!