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Why You Should Leave Your Phone at Home During the SAT

Your phone is with you all the time. It may feel as significant as an arm or a leg, and without it you are lost. It has all of your important numbers, your calendar, email, and even apps that help you kill time. It might feel extraordinarily challenging to have to leave it behind, but it is the best thing to do on SAT exam day.


Your phone has been a faithful companion while you study. It helps you stay on task and feeds you daily practice questions. However, a single alert or notification during the exam could betray you and ruin your whole exam.

College Board Policy

The College Board allows phones in the room, but they must be under your desk and turned off during the entire exam. They cannot be used, even during breaks. Some proctors choose to collect cell phones and will hold them during the exam. The College Board states, “If your device makes noise or you are seen using it at any time, including during breaks, you may be dismissed immediately, your scores can be canceled, and the device may be confiscated and its contents inspected. The College Board is not responsible for loss or damage to personal items, including electronic devices, while you are in the test center.”  The ramifications of forgetting to turn off your phone or slipping into your pocket to send a text during your break are severe. You don’t want to be distracted by that kind of risk while you are taking the SAT.

Eliminate Worry

The best way to eliminate any worry is to leave your phone at home. Write down any emergency contact numbers and put them in your bag in case something comes up. The testing site is likely to have a phone available for emergency use. Plan for your ride to pick you up from the testing site at the allotted time. There shouldn’t be any need to contact anyone else during testing hours. With your phone secure at home you won’t risk any beeps, rings, or buzzes. You also won’t waste the mental energy it takes to worry about it.

If You Must Have a Phone

If you absolutely must bring your phone, don’t hesitate to request that the proctor hold on to it. If it is in the proctor’s care for the entirety of the exam, there will be no question about whether or not it was used at any point during the exam. It will remain in their care and you won’t chance any mishaps.

No Room for Error

Even if you are well intentioned and a mistake happens, the College Board leaves very little wiggle room in their policy. Don’t ruin all of your preparation with an unnecessary error. Leave your phone at home and send your friends a victory text after the exam!


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