SAT Prep – Cancelling Scores
Voluntary Cancellation of Scores
The College Board allows test-takers to voluntarily cancel their SAT scores; however, this should only be done after serious consideration. Students may cancel their scores if they lack confidence in their SAT performance or if they experienced a sudden illness during the testing period (if this is the case, the test proctor’s signature confirming the illness is required on the form a student must submit in order to have their scores cancelled). Students may cancel their scores no later than 11:59pm Eastern Time on the Thursday after their test date, although those students with disabilities receiving approved accommodations who took the test during the school day have until the Monday one week after their test date to cancel scores.
It is important to note that 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 canceled at the testing center or after a student leaves the testing center. If a student is canceling his or her scores at the testing center, he or she will need to ask the test proctor for the "SAT Request to Cancel Test Scores" form. The student can complete and sign the form, returning it to the test proctor before leaving the testing center.
If a student chooses to cancel his or her scores after leaving the testing center, he or she will need to download and print out the "SAT Request to Cancel Test Scores" form from the College Board website. The student will need to provide the date they took the SAT and the testing center number, as well as their name, address, gender, birth date, and registration number. After signing the form, the student can either fax it or send it through the U.S. mail via overnight delivery. Requests to cancel SAT scores cannot be made by phone or email because a student’s signature is required.
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 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. Requesting to change testing centers costs $25 and only changes the location at which the student will take the test; to change the testing date, a student must cancel their current registration and register for a new test. When a student cancels their test registration, they will receive a full refund of their registration fee, although they are also charged a cancellation fee. If the student cancels their exam within the given deadline, they are charged a $25 cancellation fee; if they cancel their exam after the given deadline, they are charged a $35 cancellation fee. If the student received a fee waiver as part of taking the SAT, the unused fee waiver benefits will be returned to the student for future use.
When to Consider Cancelling Scores
First and foremost, students should approach the issue of score cancellation cautiously. Test-related anxiety can lead to impulsive action, and anxiety alone is not a legitimate reason to throw away 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, in addition to any fees spent on preparatory courses or private tutoring). 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 as the deadline is met, the result of a later cancellation is exactly the same. Time spent reflecting on one's performance may produce different feelings than those experienced immediately after completing the lengthy exam. This is also why it is a good idea for students to plan on taking the SAT during the spring of their junior year in high school, giving themselves more than one chance to achieve their desired score and reducing some of the pressure associated with applying to college.