What to Bring to the SAT: SAT Test Day Checklist

sat day checklist

When it comes to SAT test day, you don’t want to forget (or bring) anything that would bar your entry to the test. Below, find a checklist of what to bring to the SAT test and what NOT to bring on test day. 

Remember, the doors to the test center close at 8 AM sharp on test day. We recommend you review this list well in advance of the Saturday morning that you’re taking the SAT!

What to Expect on the SAT

What to Bring to the SAT

Your Admission Ticket

You can print your ticket from your College Board account. This is very important to bring; you can’t get into the test center without it!

School ID or Government-Issued ID

You need an official, hard-copy photo ID to be let into the testing center. If you forget to bring an ID, you will be turned away! The ID must be the original document, not a printed copy or digital image on your phone. Some acceptable ID types are your current, hard-copy school ID, your passport, or your driver’s license (must be the hard copy, not a temporary paper license). 

The test proctors will compare the information on your Admission Ticket and your ID with the test-center roster to confirm your identity. Make sure the name on your ticket and ID match. If you go by a nickname, your name must be consistent on both documents. 

See the College Board’s official ID rules here

2-3 Number 2 Pencils and a Sharpener

Bring 2-3 sharpened Number 2 pencils and a little sharpener. These are the standard yellow pencils you’ll find in any classroom, but check for a little “2” on the wood near the eraser to confirm that your pencil is a Number 2. Make sure your pencils have good erasers, too, or bring a separate eraser. Mechanical pencils, ink pens, highlighters, or any other writing instruments are not allowed. 

A Watch

If you’d like to pace yourself, bring a watch without an alarm (including all smartwatches /fitness bands). If the alarm sounds during the test, you’d be removed from the testing room and your test will not be scored. If you don’t have a watch, that’s ok! The test proctor will announce when you have five minutes remaining for each section of the test. 

An SAT-Approved Calculator (and extra batteries!)

Bring an SAT-approved calculator for the math test. You are not required to use a calculator; all of the math questions can be completed without one. However, it can be a helpful tool to speed up some questions or to check your work.

Be sure to test your calculator before test day so you know it works, is not low on battery, or having any technical issues. If you’re concerned about it dying mid-test, consider bringing some batteries for peace of mind. 


Bring a healthy snack to eat outside the testing room during the 10 minute or 5 minute break. When you pick a snack, choose a food that will keep you full and not cause a sugar crash! 

Some examples of healthy snacks are nuts, which contain healthy fats and proteins; granola bars with less than 10g of sugar, a good source of fiber and healthy carbs; or a fiber-filled fruit like an apple. A boiled egg is also a healthy snack but if you bring one, you run the risk of making a few scent-sensitive enemies. 

Mints also make many people feel more alert, so consider packing your favorite mints or mint gum. 

A Jacket or Sweater

Testing rooms are notoriously chilly, and made even more so since you’ll be sitting for a few hours. Dress in layers so you are prepared for any temperature. You don’t want anything distracting you from the task at hand!

A Mask

You may need a mask in the testing room. Check your testing center’s COVID-19 guidelines before heading to the test center.

sat test day checklist

What NOT to Bring

Electronic Devices

You can’t bring any electronic devices, including digital watches, smartwatches, and fitness bands. We recommend leaving your cell phone with your parent or guardian if you can. If you do need to bring your cellphone to the testing center, turn it completely OFF and ask the proctor what to do with it. Most of the time, the proctor will have a system for collecting cell phones, but you want to make sure it is not on your person and does not make any noise during the test. If this happens, you will be dismissed and your test will not be scored.  

Cameras or Any Other Photographic Equipment

College Board felt the need to specify this…so, no cameras. 

Separate Timers of Any Type

You may think bringing a separate timer is a way to get around the dreaded “beeping watch,” but that’s not the case. You’ll need to rely on a trustworthy, non-noisy watch or the proctor’s timekeeping to keep you on pace. 

Other Writing or Math Tools

Don’t bring any writing materials or objects besides your #2 pencils, eraser, and approved calculator. The College Board specified that you can’t bring: protractors, compasses, rulers, highlighters, colored pens, or colored pencils.

Dictionaries, Books, Pamphlets or Papers of any Kind

There are no exceptions, even if English is not your first language. You will not be able to use any outside resources on this test. Any attempt to do so will be cheating and cause your dismissal from the test, and your test will not be scored. Yikes!

There you have it! You can find the College Board’s official checklist for SAT test day here.

Further reading:
3 Study Guides for the SAT
What to Study the Week of the SAT
How to Ace the SAT Reading Section

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