Can You Take The SAT After High School?

The SAT is a standardized test that is commonly used by colleges and universities in the United States as part of their admissions process. It is taken by millions of high school students each year in the hopes of achieving a high score that will increase their chances of being accepted to their preferred college. But what about those who have already graduated from high school? Can they still take the SAT?

The answer is yes! Even if you have already graduated from high school, you can still take the SAT. In fact, there are a number of reasons why you might want to consider taking the test after high school. Whether you’re looking to improve your college admissions chances or seeking scholarship opportunities, the SAT is a valuable asset to have in your academic arsenal.

Key Takeaways:

  • It is possible to take the SAT after graduating from high school.
  • The SAT is an important factor in college admissions and scholarship opportunities.
  • There are many reasons why you might want to consider taking the SAT after high school.

SAT Options After High School

If you’ve graduated from high school but still want to take the SAT, there are several options available to you. Here’s what you need to know:

SAT Test Dates

The SAT is offered several times throughout the year, so you can choose a test date that works best for you. You can register for the SAT online or by mail. Be sure to check the registration deadlines so that you don’t miss out on your preferred test date.

Additional Requirements

Generally, there are no additional requirements for taking the SAT after high school. However, if you’re a non-native English speaker, you may need to provide proof of English proficiency with a TOEFL or IELTS score. Additionally, students with disabilities may request accommodations for the test.

Score Reporting

When registering for the test, you can choose up to four colleges or universities to receive your SAT scores. If you decide to take the SAT after applying to colleges, you can still send your scores to those schools at a later date.

Keep in mind that some colleges may have specific policies regarding SAT scores for post-high school students. Check with the schools you’re interested in to learn more.

SAT Exam Availability for High School Graduates

High school graduates who plan to take the SAT have several opportunities throughout the year to do so. The College Board, which administers the SAT, offers seven test dates per year in the United States: August, October, November, December, March, May, and June.

It’s important to note that not all test centers offer the exam on every test date. Students should check the College Board’s website to find a test center and test date that works best for them. Additionally, students should plan to register for the test well in advance to ensure they get a spot and to avoid any late fees.

One important consideration for high school graduates is that they may be competing with current high school students for test spots, particularly on popular test dates such as October and May. It’s essential to register early and to be flexible on test center locations and dates to ensure a spot on the desired test date.

SAT Eligibility Post High School

Students who have completed high school are generally eligible to take the SAT. There is actually no maximum age limit for taking the test, meaning that even adults can take the SAT if they wish to. However, some restrictions may apply based on the individual’s circumstances.

Firstly, it’s important to note that the SAT is primarily designed for high school students who plan to pursue higher education in the United States. Therefore, it may not be the best option for someone who is not planning to attend college or university.

In terms of age restrictions, the College Board, which administers the SAT, does not impose any age restrictions on test-takers. However, students who are under 13 years old are required to provide additional documentation before they can register for the test.

Moreover, some colleges or universities may have their own eligibility criteria for the SAT, which may include a certain age range or other requirements. Therefore, it’s important to check with the relevant institution before registering for the test.

Preparing for the SAT After High School

Preparing for the SAT after high school can be a daunting task. However, with the right strategies and resources, you can improve your chances of success and achieve the score you need for college admission. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Get familiar with the SAT format: The SAT consists of four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math (with Calculator), and Math (without Calculator). Each section has a time limit ranging from 35 to 55 minutes. By understanding the format of the test, you can develop a study plan that focuses on your weaker areas.
  2. Use official study materials: The College Board, which administers the SAT, offers free online resources, including practice tests, study guides, and sample questions. These materials are designed to help you familiarize yourself with the test and the types of questions you’ll encounter.
  3. Consider a prep course: A preparation course can provide you with personalized instruction and feedback. You can choose between in-person or online courses, depending on your learning preference and schedule.
  4. Practice, practice, practice: Consistent practice is essential for improving your SAT score. Set aside time every day to work on practice questions and take practice tests. This will help you build endurance and improve your speed and accuracy.
  5. Find a study group: Studying with a group can help you stay motivated and on track. You can share study materials, discuss difficult concepts, and learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
  6. Stay focused: It’s important to stay focused and avoid distractions during your study sessions. Find a quiet, comfortable place to study and turn off your phone and other devices. Take breaks when you need them, but avoid procrastination.

By following these tips, you can increase your chances of success on the SAT and improve your college admission prospects.

Advantages of Taking the SAT After High School

While most students take the SAT during their high school years, there are advantages to taking the test after graduation. Here are a few reasons why:

  • More preparation time: Unlike high school students who may have limited time to dedicate to SAT preparation, post-high school students often have more flexibility in their schedules. This can allow for more time to study and review, potentially resulting in a higher score.
  • Motivation: For some students, the motivation to perform well on the SAT may be higher after high school. Perhaps they didn’t take the test seriously during high school, or they are looking to improve their chances of admission to a more competitive college program.
  • Score improvement: With more time to prepare and a higher level of motivation, post-high school students may see a significant improvement in their SAT scores. This can lead to better college admission chances and potentially scholarship opportunities.

Of course, it’s important to weigh these advantages against any potential drawbacks, such as the time and cost associated with SAT preparation and testing. However, for many students, taking the SAT after high school can be a smart choice.

SAT vs. Other College Admission Tests

When it comes to college admission tests, the SAT and the ACT are the two most popular options. Both tests assess a student’s readiness for college-level work and provide colleges with a standardized measure of academic achievement. However, there are several differences between the SAT and the ACT that students should consider when deciding which test to take.

The Main Differences Between the SAT and the ACT

The SAT is a test of reasoning and problem-solving skills, while the ACT is a curriculum-based test that measures what students have learned in school. The SAT has a stronger focus on vocabulary, while the ACT places more emphasis on math and science. The SAT has a penalty for guessing, while the ACT does not. The SAT offers an optional essay section, while the ACT includes an essay as part of the main test.

Choosing the Right Test for You

It’s important to consider your strengths and weaknesses when choosing between the SAT and the ACT. If you excel in math and science, you may want to consider taking the ACT. If you’re strong in critical reading and writing, the SAT may be a better fit for you. Additionally, some colleges prefer one test over the other, so be sure to check the requirements of the schools you’re interested in.

Preparing for Both Tests

Regardless of which test you choose, preparation is key to success. Both the SAT and the ACT offer official practice materials, and there are many test prep books and courses available as well. It’s important to take practice tests, identify areas of weakness, and develop strategies for improving your performance on test day.

Ultimately, the decision of whether to take the SAT or the ACT depends on your individual strengths and the requirements of the colleges you’re interested in. With proper preparation and a clear understanding of the differences between the two tests, you can feel confident and prepared when it’s time to sit down and take the exam.

How to Register for the SAT After High School

Registering for the SAT after high school is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Sign up for an account on the College Board website. This is the organization that administers the SAT. You’ll need to create an account in order to register for the exam.
  2. Select your test date and location. Once you’ve created an account, you can browse available test dates and locations in your area. Choose the one that works best for you.
  3. Pay the registration fee. The cost of the SAT varies depending on your location and other factors. You can pay for the exam using a credit card, debit card, or e-check.
  4. Print your admission ticket. Once you’ve registered and paid for the exam, you’ll need to print your admission ticket. This ticket contains important information about your test date, location, and other details.
  5. Prepare for test day. Be sure to review the test format and practice using official SAT study materials.

If you have any questions or concerns about registering for the SAT after high school, don’t hesitate to contact the College Board directly for assistance.

Tips for Success on the SAT After High School

Preparing for the SAT after high school can be a daunting task, but with the right approach, you can achieve success. Here are some tips to help you:

  1. Set realistic goals: It’s important to set achievable goals for your SAT score. Don’t aim for a perfect score right away. Instead, set a realistic target and work towards it.
  2. Create a study plan: Develop a study plan that allows you to dedicate ample time to each subject area. A well-structured study plan will help you stay on track and avoid cramming.
  3. Use practice tests: Practice tests are a great way to familiarize yourself with the test format and types of questions. Take as many practice tests as possible to build your confidence.
  4. Focus on your weaknesses: Identify your weakest areas and focus on improving them. This may require more time and effort, but it will pay off in the end.
  5. Manage your time: Time management is crucial when taking the SAT. Practice pacing yourself during practice tests and develop a strategy for answering questions efficiently.
  6. Reduce stress: Stress can negatively impact your performance on the SAT. Take breaks when needed, practice relaxation techniques, and maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce stress levels.

Remember, success on the SAT is not just about intelligence, it’s also about preparing effectively. With the right mindset, study plan, and preparation techniques, you can achieve a score that will help you reach your academic goals.


In conclusion, taking the SAT after high school is a viable option for students who want to improve their college admission chances or explore scholarship opportunities. While eligibility criteria and test availability may vary, there are several options available for post-high school SAT takers.

Preparing for the SAT after high school requires dedication and focus. Utilizing study resources and test-taking strategies can improve overall performance. Additionally, taking the time to properly register for the exam and adhere to deadlines is critical for success.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, the decision to take the SAT after high school is a personal one. However, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of the SAT in comparison to other college admission tests can help students make an informed decision. With the right preparation and mindset, students can achieve success on the SAT and open doors to their desired academic and professional paths.

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