Avoid These Common SAT Registration MistakesNovember 21, 2017, 02:41 PM
Registering for the SAT might seem a breeze compared to studying for the test, but don’t rush the registration process! To score well, students want to test under the best conditions possible. Here are common mistakes to avoid when registering for the SAT.
Mistake #1: Signing Up Too Late
If you miss the late SAT registration deadline, remember that the SAT registration will allow students to be added to an on-line waitlist. Stand-by testing is no longer permitted (so you cannot just show up on the test date without prior registration or adding name to the wait list). There are several rules surrounding adding your name to a waitlist, so if you did miss the deadline, please read details about Waitlist Status and the SAT Test.
Earlier this year, we wrote a great blog, “Oops…I Forgot to Register for the SAT” that goes into detail about what you can do if you are in this situation.
Mistake #2: Paying Too Much For Test Reports
When registering for the SAT test, a student can send up to four test reports to colleges for FREE. If you are a senior and you know for sure that you will be sending those results, it is not a problem. If, however, you are taking the SAT test for the first time, you may not want to automatically send SAT scores, especially to the more selective colleges on your list.
Insider Tip: If you want to take advantage of the free test reports, students should submit the names of "safety" schools (or the ones with the lowest testing averages). That way, if you later perform better on the test, you have not automatically sent the previous (and lower) test scores to the more selective colleges.
Mistake #3: Not Paying For the Extended Test Report Option
Although the College Board charges an extra fee for this service, it is REALLY a great tool for analyzing the test results. It is the only way to find out which questions were actually missed on the exam. The College Board gives two options: "Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) and "Student Answer Service" (SAS).
QAS is not available for every SAT exam, but if you have the option, always choose QAS (which is typically offered for the October, January and May exams). The fee for this service is approximately $13-$18 per SAT test but well worth the extra expense.
Insider Tip: The only time a student does not need to order these reports is if the student has run out of dates to re-take the SAT, typically seniors testing in the late fall.
Mistake #4: Taking the SAT to “See What Happens”
Before taking the SAT, every student should be properly prepared. In other words, do not use a "real" SAT as a diagnostic test. Why? Because there are some colleges will require ALL "real" SAT scores to be sent with the application. If you are planning to apply to some highly selective schools, only take the "real" SAT after you have been preparing and studying for the exam.
The same logic applies to re-testing. One of the reasons Kranse offers 18-months of access to our SAT program is that we want our students to keep studying! While many of our competitors offer 90-days access to online content, we know that the entire testing process often takes much longer.
Mistake #5: Always Selecting the Closest Testing Location
Although most students pick the testing location closest to home, this may not always be the best option. Why? Some students actually prefer to take the exam where they don’t know anyone. Sometime taking the test away from peers can be less stressful and offer fewer distractions.
With that said, other students prefer familiarity (like taking it at the high school they attend). So don’t rush this decision. Pick whichever spot will be the best option for you.
Mistake #6: Taking the Test at the Same Location Every Time
This is a similar to Mistake #6 but with a twist. Since many students take the SAT several times, if you had a bad experience at a certain location, for whatever reason, pick a different spot next time. Sometimes the desk size is too small or the rooms felt too crowded, or it just didn’t feel “right” for some reason. If you are not really happy with a previous testing location, consider changing next time.
Be careful: Noise complaints and mishaps tend to be more are more common at community colleges and universities due to competing events (like Homecoming, Alumni weekends, etc) and desk sizes can be smaller, especially in auditorium-style classrooms. Just be aware that even though everyone takes the same test, the settings for taking the test can vary widely.
Relax and Go For It
The best advice heading into any exam is to relax and adopt a positive attitude toward the entire testing experience can make all of the difference in the world. So get those pencils sharpened, and go for it!
Get 30% off digital SAT® PSAT/NMSQT® prep course enrollment with code COACH30 when ordering online at Kranse.com.