If you are gearing up to take the SAT, you may have spent days or weeks reviewing your English and math notes, combing through your SAT study guides, and taking multiple practice tests. Yes, this is good. It is important to get a good score on the SAT. Although most of your attention should be focused on knowing your stuff, don’t forget to focus on what you should or should not bring. So, what do you need for the SAT test day?
What You Need You Need to Bring
Your SAT admission ticket. This ticket is to show that you registered and paid for the SAT in advance. Some students fail to register on time. Some hope they can get into the test at the last minute, but preference goes to those with valid SAT tickets. Whether you registered for the test by mail or online, your ticket should be available for printing online via the College Board’s SAT website.
A valid form photo identification. This is used to ensure you are who you say you are. State issued driver’s licenses, state issued photo identification cards, school identification cards, and valid passports are all acceptable forms of proof. Since your photograph is required, your social security card, birth certificate, and a credit card are not acceptable documents. Some test centers will still let students inside to take the test without a valid photo id, but your test scores may not legally count.
A scientific or graphing calculator. These calculators are only allowed for the math portion of the test. Test centers do not have extra tools on hand. To prevent problems, make sure your calculator is working and has fresh batteries. At the very least, pack an extra set of batteries or an extra calculator for you to use. For the SAT Math Subject Tests, any type of calculator can be used, but the College Board recommends a graphing calculator, as opposed to a scientific calculator.
Two number two pencils and an eraser. Your test is machine graded. A number two pencil is required. Bring an extra pencil and a separate eraser.
A watch. Not all SAT test centers have clocks in the rooms. Since the SAT is a timed test, you can benefit from brining a watch. Your watch, however, must be alarm free or the alarm must be disabled. A watch is recommended because it allows you to see if you are moving on pace. You do not want to rush the SAT, but you don’t want to go too slow either.
A small snack and drink. You will be at the test center for at least four hours. Eat a small breakfast beforehand, but you will still get hungry. It is best to opt for a drink that tastes good slightly warm and dry snacks. You get short breaks where you can consume these items. Hunger pains can throw off your mindset, so have something to eat and drink on hand, even if you never use them.
What You Should Not Bring to the SAT
Your cell phone. Most high school students have their cell phones attached at the hip. If you are one of those students, detach yours when going into the test. At the very least, you should shutoff your cell phone and store in a bag. Most recommended just leaving the cell phone at home, but if you are driving you should have it for emergency purposes. Put your cell phone in the glove box of your car and lock the doors; it should be safe inside.
Scratch paper. Most high school students are accustomed to using scratch or scarp paper for tests. You cannot do this with the SAT. The good news is that you can write in your test book. You just cannot use your own scarp sheets of paper.
Mathematics tools other than a calculator. A working and approved calculator is the only mathematics tool you can use on the test. You cannot bring rulers, compasses, protractors, and so forth. Leave these items at home.