How Do You Cancel Your ACT Score?

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Did you just take the ACT and think you royally messed it up? Wondering how to stop it in its tracks so no one will ever have to see your woeful Saturday (or Sunday) morning’s work? Well, first things first: pause and ask yourself this important question (and read the post about it!):

Should I cancel my ACT score?

Read that post CAREFULLY. Are you sure you read it carefully (and that you’re not just panicking)?

When and ONLY when you’re SURE that you should cancel…then comes another question:

HOW Do You Cancel Your ACT Score?

Never fear, that’s why I’m here: to walk you through it step by pragmatic step. With the ACT, you have some options! Specifically, you may

  1. Cancel your scores;

  2. Change or delete which colleges will be automatically sent your scores; or even

  3. Permanently delete your scores from the ACT’s record!

This post will teach you what each of those options mean—AND how to actually do it.

Canceling Your ACT Score

This option means that you prevent your ACT from even being graded, so that no score gets recorded in the first place! If you wake up feeling truly, physically sick (not just nervous!) or have an emergency that morning, you can:

A) Not show up to the test center at all. You can go online to and pay a $30 test date change fee (cheaper than losing the $50.50-$97 registration fee entirely). You won’t even have a test to grade, so you’re in the clear as far as cancelling scores go.

B) Show up to the test center but realize you’re too sick/other to take the test. DON’T BREAK THE TEST BOOKLET SEAL. Instead, tell the proctor immediately, and you’ll be able to move your registration to a different test date, again for a small fee (still cheaper than forfeiting your registration fee).

C) You show up to the test, break the seal, but sickness/emergency prevents you from finishing the test. TELL THE PROCTOR IMMEDIATELY TO VOID YOUR SCORE. This must happen BEFORE you leave the testing center, on the day of the test. You will lose your registration fee, but this is better than getting a score report back for a half-completed test.

Editing or Deleting Which Colleges Receive Your ACT Scores

If you show up to the testing center, break the seal of your test, and leave without actually asking the proctor to void your scores, your ACT will be graded. However, if you believe you may have performed poorly the test, there’s still intermediate action you can take. You see, part of your registration fee includes sending that test date’s scores not only to YOU, but also to up to four colleges for free. Luckily for YOU, you can change or even get rid of your list of college score recipients up until the Thursday after your ACT test date!

All you have to do is log onto your account and edit or delete those colleges you wish NOT to see your scores.

If you get your scores back and are pleasantly surprised with higher-than-hoped-for scores, you may send score reports to as many colleges as you wish for $13 per score report per school. (In other words, if you have 10 colleges and want them all to see both June AND September scores, you’d send a total of 20 score reports: June scores for all 10 colleges and September scores for all 10 colleges. 10 + 10 = 20)


Deleting your ACT Score Records

This is a little-known fact, but did you know you can actually DELETE your ACT score from a particular test date entirely? This is the option you might consider only if you got a truly horrendous score AND you have a college (or colleges) on your list that “require all scores” to be submitted to them. (Otherwise, don’t bother: just don’t send the low score to your college list.)

All you’d have to do is submit a written request to the ACT. Specifically, you’d send a letter with your name and address and say you want to delete a test date record. Here’s where you’d mail this letter:

ACT Institutional Services

PO. Box 168

Iowa City, IA 52243-0168


The ACT will respond to you with a form that you can fill out to delete the test record.

While this can permanently and irrevocably delete a horrendous ACT score from your record, please note that you can only do this to ACT test dates that you paid for yourself. In other words, if you took the ACT as part of state or district testing—and the state or district paid for it—you can’t delete that test date’s score.

Also, if you already sent that score to a college, deleting the score cannot undo it—that score’s out of the bag!

A Final Caution About Canceling Your ACT Score

You do not want to cancel your ACT score unless you really, really have to. If a TRUE medical or otherwise emergency prevents you from taking the test, simply be a no-show or tell the proctor, and change your test date for a small fee online.

If you begin to take the ACT and start passing a kidney stone or end up hurling for half an hour in the bathroom and miss out on completing substantial sections of the ACT (yes, this really happened!), tell the proctor immediately to void your test score—before you leave the building.

If there’s no emergency, and you merely feel (or claim to “know”) that you performed poorly, do NOT cancel your scores. Maybe you log onto your account and edit/delete your college score recipients by the following Thursday. You might be pleasantly surprised.

And finally, if you truly DID perform terribly—and ONLY IF you have colleges that require sending all test scores—you may follow the process to have that test date’s scores permanently deleted from your ACT test records.

If you are still unclear which choice of action to take, take another look at last week’s post. And if you still have questions, feel free to contact me.