Test Prep

Need to Cancel the SAT or ACT? Read This First

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Most of us have had to cancel plans from time to time, and taking the SAT and ACT is no exception. What if you've already registered for one (or both) of these tests but you later realize you won't be able to take the exam after all?

You can always cancel your registration for either test -- but before you make that decision, let's dig into details of the cancellation and test date change policies for the SAT and ACT. You may have other options available to you, depending on your reason for missing the test...


SAT: You May Qualify for Partial Refund

You can cancel your SAT registration up to five days before the test date and get a partial refund of up to $10. It's not going to cover your entire registration amount, but it's better than nothing. In order to receive the refund, you have to call the College Board customer service number (domestic calls) at 866-756-7346. You can find other numbers here.

If you try to cancel fewer than five days before the test, or on the actual test date, you won't be eligible for a refund. In this case, it's better to just change your test date (see below). If you don't care about the $10 (or possibly less), then there's no need to call – you can just be a no-show on test day. That will count as an automatic cancellation of your registration. If you ordered and paid for a score report service for the test that you are canceling, you will also need to call to get the full refund for that. Just be aware that it will take time to see that refund money – your refund will only be processed six weeks after the canceled test date.

Consider Changing SAT Date

The way the College Board has laid out its cancellation policy, it makes more sense to reschedule your test date instead of canceling your test altogether. Changing the test date costs you $29, but it can be done at any time online, even after your original test date. Just log into your College Board account, go to “Change Registration” and follow the instructions to choose a new test date.

If you need to take the SAT in a different location, you will also incur a fee of $29. Again, you will need to log into your College Board account to do that.

ACT Fees Are Non-Refundable

The ACT policies are a little more strict than College Board's and the change fees are higher, so keep this in mind when you are choosing your ACT test date and location. If you're signed up for the ACT and want to cancel your registration, you won't receive a refund, regardless of your reason for missing the test. So you should really be certain that you want to take this test before you register! If you do not show up to the test, your test will automatically be canceled.

Save by Changing ACT Date

You can opt to move your test date, but when you log into your ACT account to make these changes, you will be asked to pay a $30 test date change fee, in addition to another basic test registration fee of $50.50 without the writing portion, or $67.50 with the writing portion. However, you will get a refund of the original test registration fee. This means that you are really only paying a $30 test date change fee, unless you are signing up after the new test date's registration deadline. In that case, you will also have to pay a late registration fee of $30.

If the test center you are signed up for becomes inconvenient for whatever reason, you can request to change your test center location and keep the test date the same. The fee for this is $30.00. This modification can also be made through your ACT account.

Important note: If you end up changing the test date or test location, don't forget to print out your NEW admission ticket that has the details of the new date or test center. Without this new ticket, you won't be let into the test center to take your test.

We all know it's not easy to find the time to study for the SAT or ACT, but the earlier you put your test prep plan into effect -- and the more you prioritize it -- the lower the chance you'll want to cancel or push back your testing date.