Once you’ve paid your ACT registration fee, there’s no way to get that money back.
That said, you do have a few options if your plans change at the last minute.
If you paid for extra services when you registered, those add-ons are refundable (even though you can’t actually cancel your ACT). You’ll be reimbursed for:
For details on these refunds, swing by the ACT services website.
If you just need to update some aspect of your registration (rather than actually cancelling your whole ACT), the company lets you to do so through your online account.
Here are the allowed changes:
Note that some of those alterations entail fees.
If you can’t make it to the ACT on the day you originally picked, but you still want to take the exam at some point, your best option is to move your test date.
To do that, log into your ACT account and click “Make Changes to Your Registration.” You can sign up for a new test date by paying the $30 fee. Be sure to do this by the registration deadline for your new test date to avoid the additional $30 late fee.
If you have an emergency: If a conflict comes up that makes it impossible for you to take the ACT as planned, change your testing date.
If you don’t feel ready: Most schools don’t require you to report scores from every ACT that you take. If you’ve been prepping for today’s test, go ahead and take it. If you end up feeling disappointed in your scores, you can always choose not to send them out.
If you truly feel unprepared: If you’re wondering how to cancel your ACT because you just don’t feel ready, switch to a later testing date. Then create a study plan to make sure you learn what you need to know in the time that you have. For many students, time pressure can actually be an incentive.
If you decided to take the SAT instead: If you changed your mind late in the game and decided you prefer the SAT, take both tests. Yes, it feels like a marathon, but since the ACT is non-refundable, it makes sense to take it anyway rather than letting your registration fee go to waste. You’ll be giving admissions committees some extra information about you and a little more evidence of your smarts and self-discipline.
If you’ve already hit your target score: If this was going to be your second (or third) ACT, but you realize that the scores you’ve already achieved are competitive for the schools you’re applying to, then maybe you’ll decide not to resit the test. On the other hand, what if you were able to move from a 29 to a 31? Every point you add improves your chances of winning scholarships and other financial aid.