Cancelling SAT Scores

Voluntary Cancellation of Scores

The College Board allows test-takers to voluntarily cancel their SAT scores for any of three reasons. Students may cancel their scores if they lack confidence in their performance, if their testing equipment malfunctioned during the administration of the test (such as loss of battery power for a calculator), or if they experienced sudden illness during the testing period. The latter two causes of score cancellation must be verified by the testing supervisor. Fees paid to the College Board for individual test administrations, including registration, extra score reports, and any additional services purchased, are not refundable if a student cancels his or her scores.

Involuntary Cancellation of Scores

Scores will be cancelled involuntarily for instances of academic dishonesty, such as sharing information with another student, removing testing materials from the test room, or using prohibited materials such as cell phones, textbooks, or notes of any type. Involuntary cancellation of scores can also occur as a result of fraud, such as taking the test on behalf of someone else. Involuntary score cancellation includes forfeiture of all applicable fees.

Procedure for Voluntary Cancellation of Scores

Scores may be voluntarily cancelled on test day at the testing center. Students who wish to pursue this option should obtain a Request to Cancel Test Scores form from the test supervisor. The form must be completed, signed, and returned on-site. Students may also cancel their scores in the days following the test. If students wish to cancel their scores after leaving the test location, they are required to download, print, complete, and sign the cancellation form, which must be sent to the College Board in hard copy by fax or delivery service. Requests to cancel scores must be received by 11:59 pm EST on the Wednesday following the test date. The only exception is for disabled students, who are given until one week after the Monday following the test. Cancellation of scores is permanent and cannot be reconsidered at a later date. Cancelled scores are not calculated by the College Board, and neither students nor institutions will receive score reports for those administrations of the test. Cancellation policies and procedures for the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests are identical.

When to Consider Cancelling Scores

First and foremost, students should approach the issue of score cancellation cautiously. Testing anxiety can cause impulsive action, and anxiety alone is not a legitimate reason to throw away nearly four hours of concentrated effort (not to mention the costs associated with each test attempt, which include test and registration fees, transportation expenses, and other financial obligations). Students should consider how a given test administration fits into their larger plans. Since taking the SAT twice is common, a first test attempt may not carry the importance of a third or a fourth, and college application deadlines are not as imminent for high school juniors as they are for high school seniors. Score cancellation may be warranted for reasons of health, which can adversely affect performance, or if a student is quite certain that he or she did not do his or her best. Even in these cases, however, it is best to postpone the decision on score cancellation until a day or two has passed. There is absolutely no advantage to on-site cancellation on the day of the test, and as long the deadline is met, the result of later cancellation is exactly the same. Time spent reflecting on one's performance may produce different feelings than those experienced during the test's immediate aftermath.

Cancellation or Change of Registration

Students who decide not to take the SAT before the test date may cancel their registration outright, or they may request a different test date and/or test location. Cancelled registrations result in a partial refund of $10, which is processed up to six weeks after the test date. Partial refunds will not be given to students who cancel five days or less before the test date. Students who wish to change their registration date or testing site after signing up for a specific test administration will be charged a change fee of $28. With an initial registration fee of $43 for the SAT and $54.50 for the SAT with Essay (in the US), this is still less expensive than simply registering for the SAT again. Students are not charged a change fee if they wish to revise their registration to include the SAT with Essay. A waitlist fee of $46 is only charged if the waitlisted student is given a seat in the testing center.