Are you considering cancelling your SAT test? If so, you should carefully consider if cancelling is your best option. (After all, you’ve probably already spent a lot of time studying.)
The College Board, the organization behind the SAT, understands that unexpected things happen. With large numbers of students converging upon testing centers throughout the testing season, it is expected that there will be some problems or conflicts. The College Board has made things pretty simple for students to cancel or reschedule their SAT.
Maybe you have learned that your prospective college requires the ACT instead. Maybe you’ve already taken the SAT slot paten and have decided your first set of scores are high enough to reach your goals. Or perhaps your target school doesn’t require the SAT at all. If you have decided that you will not be taking the SAT on another date, you need to know how to cancel the SAT test.
Cancelling an SAT Test
The simplest way to cancel the SAT test is not to show up on test day. But, if you’re like me, the thought of not showing up leaves you cringing inside. I hate not following through with a commitment. And at the very least, I want to let someone know that I won’t be attending.
Well, the College Board is a massive organization dealing with millions of students and their scores each year—1.8 million students at their last reporting in 2017. Because of this, they have to make things simple for everyone—for you, and for their organization. In their words, “You don’t have to notify us of your absence; we won’t send any score reports for that day.” Simply put, they just don’t want to deal with an absence, nor are they likely equipped for the call volume they would have to handle.
So as “cringy” as it might feel, if you know you will definitely not need another test date, just sleep in.
But What About My Money?
There is one exception to this “just don’t show up” policy. If you would like a partial refund on your SAT, you will need to call ahead. Notice that I said partial refund. You can be refunded $10 of your SAT registration fee. It doesn’t matter whether you registered for the general SAT or if you added the SAT Essay component—the refund is only $10. And of course there is a condition—you must cancel at least five days before your SAT test date.
To cancel your SAT test and receive a refund, contact customer service. You will need to have your registration information ready. The College Board states that they will begin processing refunds about six weeks after your test date—so expect to wait on your $10 for a while. And once you cancel, it’s done. If you decide you need to take the test after all, you will have to register again—and pay full price.
Should You Cancel the SAT Test?
Before you cancel your SAT test and request your $10 refund, make sure that it is your best course of action. The only reason you should cancel your test, is if you know without a doubt that you will not be taking the test at a later date.
If you think you will probably take the SAT again in the future, your best, and most cost-effective option is to reschedule.
Here’s the price breakdown if you choose to cancel:
- The cost of the SAT is $49.50
- If you choose to add the Essay portion, you will pay $64.50
- If you cancel and accept a refund of $10, you are out either $39.50 or $54.50 respectively
- If you then find a need to re-register, you will have paid a total of $89 for the SAT or $119 for the SAT with Essay—and that includes your refund.
Here’s the price breakdown if you reschedule:
- Cost of the SAT—$49.50
- Cost of SAT with Essay—$64.50
- Cost of rescheduling your test date—$29
- You will have paid a total of $78.50 for the SAT or $93.50 for the SAT with Essay
It actually saves you money to reschedule—even if you request a refund. So think twice before cancelling. Be sure you will not need to take the SAT again at a later date.
Will My Absence Automatically Cancel the SAT Test?
If you miss your SAT test date and do nothing—yes, your absence will automatically cancel the SAT test. No scores will be sent. College Board will not ask for an explanation. It will not go on your record. But you are out the money you paid for your registration fees.
However, the College Board does understand that mishaps are bound to happen. Alarms don’t always go off. Traffic doesn’t always move. Inclement weather happens. People get sick. You name it—they’ve probably heard it.
So if you have already missed your SAT test date and need to reschedule, you are in luck.
You may reschedule your SAT test, even if your test date has passed.
You merely need to sign in to your College Board account. You will find the tests you have registered for listed on this landing page. Find the test date you missed and select “Change Registration.” From there, follow the prompts to change your date. You will need to have a debit or credit card ready to pay the $29 fee.
How To Cancel SAT Test Essay Portion
You may decide after you have registered that you don’t need to take the essay portion of the SAT. This is not a problem. You can easily make the change. If you know ahead of time, contact customer service. But you can even change on test day if materials and staff are available. And—good news—you will get a refund on the difference between the Essay portion and General Essay after the test.
How To Cancel SAT Test Score Reports
If you miss your SAT test date for any reason, your score reports do not need to be cancelled. If you weren’t present, no scores will be sent. And if you paid for extra score reports—beyond the four free reports—these are refundable with your absence.
If you took the SAT and need to cancel your test scores, you have a couple options. Before you leave the test center on test day, talk to your test coordinator. He or she will have a form for you to sign and complete, requesting cancellation of your scores. You must turn that in before leaving the center.
Your second option is to download a request form and submit by mail or fax. It must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET, no later than the Thursday after your test.
To Cancel or Not To Cancel
Before you cancel your SAT test, make sure you are absolutely certain it’s the best option for you. If you eliminate the SAT test altogether, you may eliminate some of your college options. If you just need to delay the test—don’t cancel. Reschedule instead. It will save you time and save you money. Plus, you tend to lose momentum when you don’t have a specific date to aim for. So pick a new date, reschedule, and start studying.