SAT School Day Pre-Survey Questions

Know what questions are asked in the pre-survey

Parents and guardians are invited to preview pre-survey question content and instructions to aid in their decision on whether to opt out. When choosing to opt out, it is important to communicate this decision to the student so he or she knows not to answer the pre-survey questions shown below.

Pre-Survey Questions and Instructions

For the SAT School Day exam, questions 16-39 represent the optional pre-survey.Text in italics below represents instructions and question language.  

Student Search and Contact Information 

Question 16: Student Search Service

Student Search Service is a free, voluntary program that connects students with information about educational and financial aid opportunities from eligible colleges, universities, scholarships, and other educational programs. These organizations pay to participate in the service, but it’s free to you. When you opt in to Student Search Service, the information that you have provided on your answer sheet, score ranges from your College Board exams, and information you provide on the College Board website may be shared with colleges, universities, and scholarships that are interested in students like you. This includes your responses on the answer sheet to Questions 17, 19, 23, 25–34, and 38. Participating organizations may use this information to contact you via email and postal mail about their educational and scholarship opportunities. College Board does not share your telephone number or actual test score as part of this service. To opt in to Student Search Service, please mark “Yes” on your answer sheet. Would you like us to supply your information for these purposes? If you leave Question 16 blank and have previously opted to participate in Student Search Service, we will continue providing your information until you opt out.

  • Yes 
  • No

Question 17: Email Address

Email address is optional. If you decide to provide an email address, fill in the bubble to indicate whether the email address is yours or a parent’s/guardian’s. If provided, the email address will be used to deliver reminders about test programs, test preparation strategies, and score availability. If you opted in to Student Search Service, the email address you provided will be added to your Student Search Service record.

Question 18: Mobile Number

This field is optional. If provided, you agree to receive text messages from College Board about test programs for which you are registered, about participating in research surveys, and/or about receiving free college planning services.

College Board Mobile Policies

Demographic Information 

Question 19: Racial/Ethnic Group

If you have a personalized label on your answer sheet that includes this information, please review and confirm that the information is correct. If you believe there is an error, you can update your answer sheet with the correct information. Answer both questions about Hispanic origin and about race. For these questions, Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origins are separate from race.

A. Are you of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin? (You may mark all that apply.)

  • No, not of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin
  • Yes, Cuban
  • Yes, Mexican
  • Yes, Puerto Rican
  • Yes, another Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin

B. What is your race? (You may mark all that apply.)

  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Asian (including Indian subcontinent and Philippines origin)
  • Black or African American (including African and Afro-Caribbean origin)
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
  • White (including Middle Eastern origin)

Question 20: Language Background

Answer both questions about your language background. 

A. What language did you learn to speak first? (Mark only one.)

  • English 
  • English and another language
  • Another language

B. What language do you know best? (Mark only one.)

  • English 
  • English and another language
  • Another language

Special Questions

Question 21: Parents'/Guardians' Level of Education

Indicate the highest level of education of your parent/guardian. If you have two parents/guardians, indicate the level of education for your other parent/guardian in the bubbles that correspond with "B."

A. Parent/Guardian 1

  • Grade school
  • Some high school
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Vocational or trade school
  • Some college
  • Associate or 2-year degree
  • Bachelor's of 4-year degree
  • Some graduate or professional school
  • Graduate or professional degree

B. Parent/Guardian 2

  • Grade school
  • Some high school
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Vocational or trade school
  • Some college
  • Associate or 2-year degree
  • Bachelor's of 4-year degree
  • Some graduate or professional school
  • Graduate or professional degree

Question 22: Military Relation

Please indicate if you have a parent or guardian in the military. Mark all that apply.   

  • I have a parent/guardian who is on active duty in the U.S. military.
  • I have a parent/guardian who is in the National Guard or the Reserves.
  • I have a parent/guardian who was in the U.S. military but is not serving now. 
  • Neither of my parents/guardians has a current military connection. 

Coursework and High School Activities

These questions ask about activities that reflect your abilities and interests and your best estimate of your academic progress. In the coursework question (#27), indicate planned or completed areas of study.

Question 23: High School Activities

Mark up to 10 activities under the grade(s) in which you participated or plan to participate. Include both school-sponsored and extracurricular activities. Fill in the “Officer/Award” column if you’ve been a leader or won special recognition (examples: team captain, prize for writing, state orchestra). Or, fill in “I have not participated in any of the above activities.”

  • Academic honor society 
  • Athletics: Intramural 
  • Athletics: Varsity 
  • Career-oriented activity 
  • Community or service activity 
  • Dance activity or club 
  • Debating or public speaking 
  • Ethnic or cross-cultural activity 
  • Foreign exchange or study abroad 
  • Foreign language activity 
  • Government or political activity 
  • Journalism or literary activity 
  • Junior ROTC 
  • Religious activity 
  • Science or math activity 
  • School spirit activity 
  • Theater activity 
  • Work: co-op program 
  • Other activity 
  • I have not participated in any of the above activities.

Question 24: Self-Rating

How do you think you compare with other people your own age in the following three areas of ability? For each area, fill in 1 of the 4 ratings. Your answers to this question won’t be included on score reports sent to colleges. 

  • Mathematics 
  • Science 
  • Writing

Question 25: Grade Point Average

Indicate your cumulative grade point average for all academic subjects in high school. If you don't know your exact grade point average, give your best estimate.  

  • A+ (97-100)
  • A (93-96)
  • A- (90-92)
  • B+ (87-89)
  • B (83-86)
  • B- (80-82)
  • C+ (77-79)
  • C (73-76)
  • C- (70-72)
  • D+ (67-69)
  • D (65-66)
  • E or F (below 65)

Question 26: Expected High School Graduation Date

Fill in the appropriate bubble for the month when you expect to graduate from high school. Then enter the last two digits of the year, and fill in the appropriate bubbles.

Question 27: Coursework

For the courses listed under Math, Science, Languages, English/Language Arts, and Social Studies, do the following. 

  • For each year of school, go down the list of courses and fill in the ones you took in that year. If you took an honors, Advanced Placement® (AP® ), or dual enrollment course in a subject, fill in the bubble in that column, too. (Dual enrollment courses offer both high school and postsecondary credits for the same course.) 
  • Next, if applicable, fill in courses you plan to take. 
  • Finally, go down the list and mark the bubble in the “None” column for courses you haven’t taken and don’t plan to take in high school.

College Plans

If you have any plans for what kind of college you’d like to go to, let us know by answering these questions on the back page of your answer sheet (or next page if you are using a large-block answer sheet).

Question 28: College Setting

You may mark more than one answer to each question.

A. What college setting(s) do you prefer?

  • Large city or metropolitan area 
  • Medium-size city 
  • Small city or town 
  • Suburban community 
  • Rural 
  • Undecided

B. Where would you like to go to college? 

  • Close to home 
  • In my home state 
  • In a state bordering mine 
  • Beyond states bordering mine 
  • Outside the United States
  • Undecided

Question 29: College Size

What size college(s) are you thinking of attending? (You may mark more than one answer.) 

  • Fewer than 2,000 students 
  • About 2,000 to 5,000 students 
  • About 5,000 to 10,000 students 
  • About 10,000 to 15,000 students 
  • About 15,000 to 20,000 students 
  • More than 20,000 students 
  • Undecided

Question 30: College Type

Fill in the appropriate bubble(s) to indicate the type of college or university you’re considering. You may mark more than one answer to each question.

A. What type(s) of institution are you interested in attending? 

  • 4-year college or university 
  • 2-year community or junior college 
  • Vocational/technical school 
  • Undecided 
  • None

B. Which of the following are you considering? 

  • Public university, state college, or community college 
  • Private university, college, or junior college (not religiously affiliated) 
  • Private religiously affiliated university, college, or junior college 
  • Undecided

C. Which type(s) of college are you considering? 

  • All women or all men 
  • Coeducational 
  • Undecided

Question 31: College Housing

Where do you plan to live during your first year in college? 

  • At home 
  • Off-campus housing 
  • On-campus housing 
  • I don’t know

Question 32: College Program and Activities

Which activities are you interested in pursuing in college? You may mark more than one.

  • A. Art 
  • B. Athletics: Intramural or club sports 
  • C. Athletics: Varsity sports 
  • D. Community or service organization 
  • E. Cooperative work or internship program 
  • F. Dance 
  • G. Debating or public speaking 
  • H. Departmental organization (club within my major) 
  • I. Drama or theater 
  • J. Environmental or ecology activity 
  • K. Ethnic activity or club 
  • L. Foreign study or study-abroad program 
  • M. Fraternity, sorority, or social club 
  • N. Honors program or independent study 
  • O. Journalism or literary activity 
  • P. Music: Instrumental performance 
  • Q. Music: Vocal performance 
  • R. Religious activity 
  • S. Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (Army ROTC, Air Force ROTC, or Navy ROTC) 
  • T. Student government 
  • U. None of the above

Question 33: College Majors

You don’t need to know what your college major will be—just indicate three majors or areas of study that interest you. Use the College Majors by Academic Area of Study list found on pages 5-7 of the College Board SAT School Day Student Answer Sheet Instructions to fill in the code number and corresponding bubbles. If you’re not sure, please fill in number 999 (Undecided).

Question 34: Degree Goal

What is the highest level of education you plan to complete? Mark only one answer.

  • Specialized training or certificate program 
  • 2-year Associate of Arts or Associate of Science degree (such as AA, AAS, or AS) 
  • Bachelor’s degree (such as BA or BS) 
  • Master’s degree (such as MA, MBA, or MS) 
  • Doctoral or related degree (such as PhD, JD, MD, or DVM) 
  • Other 
  • Undecided

Question 35: Advanced Placement

Fill in “Yes” if you plan to apply for AP credit  Otherwise, fill in “No.” 

 

  • Yes 
  • No

Question 36: Sports

Select up to six sports you have participated in or plan to participate in, or fill in “I have not participated in any of the above sports.” 

  • Baseball 
  • Basketball 
  • Bowling 
  • Cheerleading 
  • Cross-country 
  • Field hockey 
  • Football 
  • Golf 
  • Gymnastics 
  • Lacrosse 
  • Soccer 
  • Softball 
  • Swimming 
  • Tennis 
  • Track and field 
  • Volleyball 
  • Wrestling 
  • Other 
  • I have not participated in any of the above sports. 

Question 37: Part-Time Job

Do you plan to look for a part-time job while in college? 

  • Yes 
  • No 
  • I don’t know 

Question 38: Financial Aid

Do you plan to apply for financial aid? 

  • Yes 
  • No 
  • I don’t know

Question 39: Art and Music

Select the art and music subjects and/or courses you have taken or plan to take, plus related activities. (You may mark more than one.) 

  • No coursework or experience in this area 
  • Acting or the production of a play 
  • Art history or art appreciation 
  • Dance 
  • Drama or theater appreciation 
  • Music history, theory, or appreciation 
  • Music: Instrumental, or vocal performance 
  • Photography or filmmaking 
  • Studio art and design

The SAT pre-survey questions and description of purpose are copyright of the College Board and are used here with permission.