Should I cancel my SAT score?
Good luck to all of the students taking the SAT today! To commemorate, I would like to answer the most common question I am asked on test day: should I cancel my SAT score?
The answer is easy: probably not.
You should definitely not cancel your score immediately after the test. Though you do have the option to request a score cancelation form from your proctor, never do this unless the reason you want to cancel your scores is that you threw up on the test. Otherwise, wait to see how you feel tomorrow. You have until the following Wednesday at midnight to request that your scores be canceled, so you should wait until the pressure of the test is off before trying to make this important decision. The exact procedure to follow is outlined on the College Board website.
So now it's Sunday or Monday and the initial stress after the test has passed and you still want to know if you should cancel your score. The answer is unsurprisingly still: probably not.
You likely did better on the test than you think. We tend to be an awful judge of our own success, and you may end up pleasantly surprised with your score. And even if you did do poorly, who cares? Universities now expect that students will take the SAT 2 or 3 times. One bad score on your record will probably not hurt you, especially since most colleges are happy to consider only your highest composite score. And if you canceled your scores, you would have to take the SAT again anyway, so there's no real incentive to even do so. You may as well take a chance and see what you got.
Plus, starting for the class of 2010, students can report only their highest score to colleges without needing to submit all of their other scores. The admissions officers will not even know about this bad test.
But now lets say you have read all this and you still want to cancel your scores. Sometimes cancelation is appropriate. Go through the following checklist and, if all the conditions apply, you may be a good candidate for score cancelation:
- You are not a student of 2010 or beyond (i.e. you are a senior and will graduate before 2010).
- You have some objective reason for knowing that your score suffered in some way (e.g. your calculator died in the middle of the math, you realized too late that you mis-bubbled an entire section, or you had some emergency during the test that prevented you from completing one or more sections). "I just don't think I did good" is not a valid reason.
- You have contacted the colleges you are most interested in and confirmed that they consider all of your scores in their admissions decisions (e.g. they do not consider just your highest score and instead average all of your scores).
Only if all three of these situations apply should you consider canceling your score. Otherwise, wait it out and keep your fingers crossed.
Want to know if you're a good candidate for score cancelation? Leave a comment below.Have any insight on this topic? Want to ask a question or make a suggestion? Click here to leave a comment.
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