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If your child lives outside the United States, they can prepare for university, search for universities, and apply to university the same way U.S. residents do. However, there are differences in things like dates, deadlines, and fees.

This page contains information about the SAT and the Advanced Placement® (AP) Programs specifically for parents of international students, as well as resources to help your child find the right university. You can find details about the SAT and AP on their individual pages

For information about how international students can study in the U.S., including how to apply for a J-1 student visa, visit EducationUSA.

Fast Facts

  • Nearly 700 universities outside the U.S. consider scores on the SAT, SAT Subject Tests™, or AP Exams when making admissions decisions.
  • Most four-year universities in the U.S. require students to take an admission test like the SAT. See how your child can take the SAT outside the U.S.
  • Each year, we administer the SAT outside the U.S. four times. See international SAT dates.
  • Over 1,000 secondary schools in 116 countries outside the U.S. offer university-level AP courses that help students earn credit toward a degree.
  • Nearly all U.S. universities grant course credit to students who earn qualifying AP Exam scores and may also allow them to skip intro-level courses. Learn more about AP.
  • Your child can use BigFuture to search for U.S. universities that match their interests.

The SAT

Most students take the SAT in the spring of their 11th-grade year and again in the fall of their 12th-grade year. This gives them time to practice over the summer and earn a higher score to include on their university applications.

How to Practice for the SAT

One of the best ways to practice for the SAT is by using Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy®. It’s a free online study tool that creates a personalized study plan for your child based on their answers to a few short quizzes or their previous SAT or PSAT/NMSQT test results.

It also features thousands of sample questions, video lessons, and full-length practice tests that will familiarize your child with the types of questions they’ll see on the SAT while building their skills.

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Official SAT Practice with Khan Academy

How to Register for the SAT

The easiest way for most students to register for an international SAT administration is online. To register online, your child will need to create a free College Board online account if they don’t already have one.

Here’s where students create their College Board account.

If your child needs help registering, they can contact an SAT international representative. When students work with a representative, they’ll need to register for the SAT on paper—not online.

Learn about SAT international representatives and how to contact them.

Some countries have their own requirements for taking the SAT. These may have to do with acceptable forms of identification and registration options, among other things.

See international policies and requirements by country.

Each year, we administer the SAT and SAT Subject Tests outside the U.S. in October, December, March, and May. SAT Subject Tests also have one extra administration date in November.

See upcoming SAT and SAT Subject Test international dates and deadlines.

The AP Program

The AP Program offers university-level coursework to students in secondary school. If you think your child’s ready for a challenge, talk to them about taking an AP course.

AP courses let students know what to expect when they get to university. They also help students build the skills they need to succeed once they get there.

There’s an AP Exam that corresponds to every AP course. Many universities in and outside the U.S. grant students course credit, which can save them time and money as they work toward a degree, allow them to skip certain introductory courses, or both.

Talk to a counselor or administrator at your child’s secondary school to find out how your child can take AP courses and exams.

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Complete List of AP Courses
AP in China
AP in India

Discover Universities with BigFuture

There are thousands of universities in the U.S. and around the world that welcome international students. The university application process can take about two years, so it's important that your child start early.

No matter where your child is thinking about attending university, BigFuture™can help. It has lots of information about the application process, as well as a College Search tool that lets students filter their search by a variety of criteria, including:

  • Location
  • Average SAT score
  • Available majors
  • Diversity of students

BigFuture also lets your child create and save a list of universities, which will help them narrow down their options and keep them organized.

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College Search
Compare Colleges
Prepare to Study Abroad

Frequently Asked Questions