What to Bring to the SAT? (7 Essential Items For Test Day)

Jordan Coleman
Published by Jordan Coleman
Last Updated On: December 18, 2021

Have you been studying non-stop for the SAT? Now that you have put in all the hard work, it is time to make your way to the test center and ace the test. But, what are you allowed to bring to the testing center? Take a look at our guide to make sure you only get the items you can bring to the test center.

7 Essential Items to Bring to the SAT Test Center

1. Admission Ticket

holding a blank piece of paper

You will not be allowed entry without your admission ticket to the SAT test center. You must print the paper version from the College Board website.

The name on your admission ticket must match the name on your photo ID. You can log in to your College Board account and print a copy for test day.

You should be sure of the exam center address before leaving. [1]

2. Acceptable ID

The photo ID you bring to the test center should resemble the photo you uploaded to the College Board website. This will ensure there is no confusion about who is coming to sit for the test. The name on your ticket should also match your admission ticket to avoid confusion.

Some acceptable photo ID forms include a government-issued ID such as a driver’s license or military ID. You can also use your passport or a current school ID.

Some forms of ID that are not accepted include a credit or debit card, social security card, birth certificate, or an employee ID card.

3. Pencils

What to bring to SAT

You need to bring two # 2 pencils with you to the testing room. They should be the standard pencils with erasers that you need to sharpen. The test center will not allow mechanical pencils, ink pens, or any other writing tools.

We recommend you bring at least two pencils, but you might want to bring a few more. You might also want to consider getting a small handheld sharpener.

If you are taking the paper-based essay portion of the SAT or ACT, you should consider bringing more than 2 pencils. We also recommend checking the erasers before test day to make sure they work well.

Related Article: ACT vs SAT (Biggest Differences)

4. Acceptable Calculator

You are allowed to bring one calculator for the math section of the SAT. You can only bring an approved calculator on your SAT test day. A basic four-function one is permitted but not recommended.

We recommend you bring a graphing or scientific calculator with you to the test. Some items that do not count as an approved calculator include cell phones, tablets, laptops, or any other advanced electronic device that can transmit communication.

Calculators are only permitted to be used during the math section of the SAT. Some students tend to spend too much time working with calculators during the exam, so remember to pace yourself correctly.


5. Snacks

eating using a lunchbox

While this is not required for entrance, we recommend bringing a couple of snacks and water with you to your SAT test day.

You will be permitted entry into the test room without these items, but they can greatly improve your focus and fatigue during a long SAT test. We recommend bringing at least one snack for the lunch break.

Check with the exam center before you go to see if they have a snack machine. You should bring a healthy snack that is high in protein and carbs.

You will not be able to bring them into the test room, but you can eat them on your breaks. It will keep you energized and focused for the second half of the test. You should bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. Get plenty of sleep the night before your exam.

6. Extra Batteries

It might seem unlikely that you’ll need batteries, but it is better to be prepared on your SAT test day. We recommend bringing extra calculator batteries in case your calculator stops working during the test.

7. Watch

man wearing a watch

While you cannot wear a smartwatch during the exam, you can wear a regular watch without an audible alarm. As long as your watch does not transmit data or make any noise, you can wear it during the test.

If it makes noise, it is best to leave it at home to ensure the other test takers are not disturbed.

A watch is useful to help you keep track of time during the SAT. Time will go by quicker than you think, so it is critical you understand how to pace yourself to answer all of the questions.

You need to get used to good pacing and not spend too long on each question.

What Not to Bring to the SAT Test Center

Technology Devices

This is a big no-go for the testing centers. No communication devices of any kind are permitted when taking SAT or ACT. You will not be allowed to enter the test center with a cell phone or other electronic devices. The College Board administration wants to maintain the integrity of the exam.

If they were to allow students to keep their electronic devices during the exam, they may transmit it to other people. Check with the test center before you go if they have lockers for you to keep your things.


You will not be permitted to enter if you have any additional stationery items with you. This includes pens, paper, highlighters, or other notes.

You cannot make a cheat sheet or use any other form of notes for the SAT and ACT as you can in high school classes. College admissions councils will not look too highly at your application if you get banned from taking the SAT.


Now that you have done the hard part of preparing for an intense standardized test like the SAT, it is time you reap the benefits by sitting for the exam. In this guide, we have given you a quick overview of what you can and cannot take into the exam room. Remember to leave most of your devices at home.

Check with your designated exam center the morning of the test if you have any additional questions or concerns.


  1. https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat

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