If you come out of the SAT knowing you did poorly, you have 2 options to “cover up” your bad score. 1) You can cancel your SAT score or 2) You can use Score Choice when sending colleges your SAT scores.
In this post, I will cover canceling your scores, but check out our other posts from this series to better understand score choice and rescheduling test dates.
- Canceling Scores & Utilizing Score Choice: Part 2 – How Do I Use Score Choice to Show Universities My Best Scores (coming soon!)
- Canceling Scores & Utilizing Score Choice: Part 3 – What if I sign up for the SAT, and decide I am not ready? (coming soon!)
- Changing Your SAT Test Type and Changing SAT Subject Tests (coming soon!)
CANCELING YOUR SAT SCORES
According to College Board, after you take the SAT, you may cancel your score before leaving the test center and up until 11:59 ET on the Wednesday after you took the exam.
Once a request to cancel scores is submitted, those scores cannot be reinstated and cannot be reported to the test take or any universities. The scores essentially disappear and will not be on your SAT record in any way.
- Should I Cancel My SAT Scores?
- How Do I Cancel My SAT Scores?
- What Happens If My Equipment Malfunctions On Test Day?
- Can I Cancel Scores For Just One Sat Subject Test?
This is the most important question to ask yourself, as we rarely recommend canceling your SAT scores. Unless your equipment malfunctions (more about this later in the post), do not cancel your score immediately after the test.
After the SAT, most students are mentally exhausted (if not totally brain dead) and feel the pressure of the test. Questions like, “I wonder if I missed all of the grid-ins problems? What the heck does dilettante mean? Is 1 a prime number?,” run though everyone’s head. So this is definitely not the time to make big decisions!
Before choosing to cancel your scores just because the SAT sucked up all your confidence, sleep on it. This may be cliché advice, but it is sound advice. Allow time for your brain power to restore and your stress level to decrease.
Often times, students perform better than they think. Joan Zhang, who made a perfect score, was just hoping she did better than her 7th grade brother. She proves that there is an obvious gap in one’s judgment of his or her own performance and reality.
Also, compare the consequences of canceling versus waiting for your scores to come out. If you cancel your score, you risk eliminating a potential good score, and you will have to retake the SAT. If you keep your score and are unhappy with the results, you will retake the SAT. (Using Score Choice, you could even prevent universities from seeing the so-so score.) Either way, you will be retaking the SAT.
For all of these reasons, we generally don’t recommend canceling your SAT scores. Of course with every rule there are a few exceptions:
- An emergency during testing caused you to leave the exam early.
- You are 100% sure you misbubbled an entire section or more.
- During an SAT Subject Test, your calculator or listening test equipment malfunctioned.
If you have read all of our above advice, and are still positive that you would like to cancel your scores, read on.
There are 2 Ways to Cancel Scores:
1) At the Test Center
After your test:
- Ask the test supervisor for a Request to Cancel Test Scores form.
- Complete and sign the form.
- Return the form to the test supervisor before leaving the center.
2) After Leaving the Test Center
- If you choose to cancel your scores after leaving the test center, your written request must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. ET on the Wednesday after the test date. (Students with disabilities who test in school-based testing have until the Monday one week after the published test date to cancel their scores, due to the extended school-testing window.) You cannot submit cancellation requests by phone or e-mail because your signature is required.
- Download and print the SAT Request to Cancel Test Scores form.
- Send the SAT Request to Cancel Test Scores to College Board.
There are 3 Ways to Send your SAT Request to Cancel Test Scores Form:
1) Fax to 610-290-8978
2) Overnight delivery via U.S. Postal Service Express Mail (U.S. only)
SAT Score Cancellation
P.O. Box 6228
Princeton, NJ 08541-6228
3) Other overnight mail service or courier (U.S. or international)
SAT Score Cancellation
1425 Lower Ferry Road
Ewing, NJ 08618
The mailing or fax label should read: “Attention: SAT Score Cancellation.
Don’t forget to follow up.
If you fax the form make sure you get a fax confirmation. For fax and mail delivery, call College Board to follow up and confirm receipt of the form. Don’t leave room for error!
If your calculator malfunctions or if you forget your calculator during the SAT Reasoning Test (the standard SAT that is required for college admissions), you can cancel your scores using the procedures above. Even if your calculator malfunctions, we recommend proceeding using your super duper brain power! While a calculator is helpful, most SAT math can be completed without one. Also, forgetting your calculator doesn’t mean that you need to cancel your scores. It’s possible to score well with out one!
If your equipment fails during a SAT Subject Test that requires equipment (like the Mathematics Level 1 or Mathematics Level 2 test or during a Language Test with Listening), you can request to cancel just the scores on the affected test and still have the other SAT Subject Tests scored.
If your equipment malfunctions, you must:
- Report the equipment failure during the test.
- Fill out and sign a Request to Cancel Test Scores form, checking off “Single Subject Test Equipment Failure.”
- Return the completed form to the room supervisor before leaving.
In all other cases, scores from all the tests you took on the same date will be canceled.
Student can take up to 3 SAT Subject tests on each SAT test day. If you take more than one SAT Subject test on a given day, then you cannot cancel just one test UNLESS your equipment malfunctions.
(If you are taking a SAT subject test and something goes wrong with your equipment, read the section above on how to cancel just the scores from the affected test.)
Let’s say you take the Math Level 2, U.S. History, and Chemistry SAT Subject tests on the same day. After the tests are over, you feel confident about the Math and History exams, but you are sure you bombed the Chemistry test, because you never set aside to study. In a situation like this, you CANNOT cancel just the Chemistry scores. This is an all or nothing situation. You must either cancel the scores from the entire test day or keep all of the scores from that day.