How much is the SAT? | Costs, Fees, and Waiver Availability

If you are wondering how much the SAT is, you are not alone. Many students wonder about this when about to sit for their SAT exams.

SAT prices vary. SAT costs $49. It's $64 if you include an optional essay. The fees are set annually by the College Board. $49 is the price for 2 main sections: Math and Evidence-Based Reading and writing.

It is worth noting that there are additional fees if you change an existing registration, book your test late or sign up by phone. Also, there are regional fees if you are taking the SAT exam outside the USA.

We go over the top study resources in this article about our favorite prep books and classes which can help.

How much does it cost to take the SAT?

As a high school student, you might not be familiar with college entrance tests such as the SAT. This is a test required by many colleges to make admissions decisions. It’s a multiple-choice exam that includes Math and Reading section.

There is an essay, which is optional. You can choose to take it or not. SAT will cost you $49.50 and $64.50 with an essay. To avoid incurring extra costs, book your exam early.

The late registration fee is $30 so sign up for your exam early to avoid the extra fees. Register for the test by mail or online with the College Board.

Are you an international student? There are specific fees for taking the test outside the US.

SAT Costs, Fees, and Waiver Availability

The SAT exam comes with additional service fees and waivers. Additional fees will bump up your costs while waivers will help you save money.  Additional costs include registering by phone is $15, the late fee is $30, the waitlist fee is $53, taking the test outside the USA is $43-$53.

Here is a table with more SAT fees



 Fee waiver available?

SAT subject test registration



Each SAT subject test



Language Test with Listening



First 4 SAT score reports



Additional SAT score reports



Rush service for score reports



Retrieving old SAT scores



Question and answer service



Student answer service



Multiple choice score verification



Essay score verification




As you can see from this table, costs can add up if you want detailed score reports, register for the exam late, register exam by phone or apply to a lot of schools. Minimize these exam costs by planning ahead. Consider taking PSAT first: Is the SAT Harder Than the PST?

Register for your exams early, take advantage of free score reports, apply for a fee waiver and take the test early.

SAT fee waiver will allow you to take 2 free SATs, student answer service reports (SAS), get 2 questions and answer service (QAS) or 6 free SAT subject tests.

International Fees by Region (Added to the Above Costs) 

There is an additional registration fee for international students. The fee varies depending on where they live.

  • East Asia/Pacific-$53
  • Middle East/North Africa-$47
  • Africa sub-Saharan-$38
  • South and Central Asia-$49
  • Americas-$38
  • Europe and Euroasia-$40

Total Costs of the SAT 

Your total SAT cost will vary depending on:

  • How many colleges you want to apply
  • If you are a USA citizen or not. International students pay more
  • Type of tests that you want. SAT exam with essay costs more
  • If you are eligible for a waiver or not. You will pay less if you will qualify for a waiver
  • If you will have extra charges such as registering your exam by phone, changing your test center, if you ordered more than 4 score reports, register your exam late or are in the waitlist.
  • Number of times you will take the test.

The tests are open for all USA and non-USA students. Register through the College Board website.

Test Fees

Test fees will differ if you are taking a normal SAT or an SAT subject test. Like I mentioned before, the normal test is $46 without the optional essay. With the optional test, the cost is $60.

You can retake the tests as many times as you want. For SAT subject tests, you can only take a maximum of 3 on 1 testing date. It will cost you $26 to register for your SAT subject test plus an additional $22 for each test. Language Test with Listening is $26.

Use PayPal, check, credit card or money order to pay for your test.

Other cards supported include Mastercard, American Express, JCB, Diners Club, and Visa.

You cannot send cash as it will not be accepted.

SAT Subject Tests

These tests are given alongside the SAT. Some colleges may ask students to submit subject tests and SAT scores. Check the requirements of the college you wish to apply before taking the subject tests.

Keep in mind that SAT subject tests focus mainly on each subject. They are also multiple-choice tests and last for 1 hour. They include the following:

  • Biology E/M
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Literature
  • Math level 1
  • Math Level 2
  • French
  • World history
  • U.S History
  • Spanish
  • Spanish with listening
  • Modern Hebrew
  • Chinese with listening
  • Korean with listening
  • Latin
  • Italian
  • Japanese with listening
various books

Like I mentioned before, subject tests have a registration fee of $26 plus test fee for each subject which is $22. Language tests with listening will cost you $26 each.

If this is your first time taking the SAT tests, it is paramount to know what to bring on test day, when to arrive, rules to follow, which approved calculator to use and ID requirements.

Additional Fees

The SAT fee is $49.50. SAT with an essay is $64.50. Additional fees to pay include:

  • Registering your test by phone: $15. You need to register online for the first time or use mail. Include a recent photo, know test dates and deadlines, find where SAT is offered (test center) and rules so you don’t get turned away.
  • There are additional fees for international students which range from $43-$53
  • Changing the test center will cost you $30
  • Registering your exam late will cost you $30
  • You will be charged waitlist fee of $53 for being added to a test date waitlist
  • Receiving scores by phone cost $15
  • Receiving the first 4 score reports will not cost you anything. Extra score report costs $12 each

Total Costs of Applying to College 

Expect the cost of applying to college to add up if you are planning to take the SAT more than once.  Also, you will pay more if you will take both the SAT and ACT. All these plus score reporting fees and travel expenses can make you spend more than $500 for college applications

College application fees

Almost all colleges have application fees. Fees from colleges vary, from $30 to $80. Very selective colleges charge more compared to other colleges.


Expect to pay for the SAT or ACT if you are applying to college.  The SAT fee is $49.50. SAT with an essay is $64.50. All these fees are part of the cost of applying to your college.

Cost of Travel

You need to visit the college that you are applying to determine if it’s a good match for you or not. This will cost you money.

How to Get SAT Fees Waived

You can get SAT fees waived if you come from a low-income family, are in foster care, are homeless, are in a reduced-price lunch program in your school and your family receives public assistance. The free waiver comes with the following:

  • 6 free SAT subject tests
  • 2 free SAT
  • 2 free questions and answer service (QAS)

Talk to your school counselor and if eligible for a waiver, he or she will give you a code that you can use when registering for your test.

Colin Ma

As the first hire of Study Prep Lounge I primarily help with growth strategy, but also assisted with managing our small team of writers and designers. Another aspect of work I've taken up is writing and I thoroughly enjoy it! I grew up in Arcadia, CA, and went to school at University of California, Santa Barbara before transferring to University of California, Irvine where I got my BS in Computer Science. I am currently working full time in software and am also fulfilling my prerequisites so I can apply to Medical School.

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