SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

Changing SAT II Subject Tests on Test Day: Can It Be Done?

Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Jun 13, 2014 3:13:00 PM

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You registered for the SAT II Math IIC and Chemistry test.  Last minute you catch wind that your preferred college wants Writing instead of Chemistry, and also Physics!  Can you change your SAT II subject tests?  Add or subtract tests?  How about doing it the day of?  Find your answers here!


The Simple Answer

The simple answer is that YES — you can change your SAT II subject tests on the day of.  You are allowed to add, subtract, and change subjects.  For example: you are allowed to make the following moves ON test day:

Change Type  Is it allowed?    From Example     To Example  
Addition YES Math IIC Math IIC AND Physics
Subtraction YES World History, American History   World History only
Switch YES Literature, Writing, Physics Literature, Writing, Chemistry 


That's great news for you! However, there are a couple of caveats you should be aware of.


Some Important Caveats


Adders and subtractors: If you're adding a test, you will be billed the additional amount (didn't think the College Board leave a loophole for free testing, did you?) . If you're subtracting a test, you may not get your testing fee back for the test you're subtracting.  But reality is, if you've spent hours prepping for the test, the cost is often not the most important issue.


Not Guaranteed

Adders and switchers:  if they don't have the materials for your new tests, you may not be able to add it!  Most tests are in the same big booklet, so most of the time you don't need to worry. However, note here that the College Board is technically reserving the right, if it so chooses for resource reasons, to deny the switch.  This means that it is NOT wise to depend 100% on a last-minute add or switch.  If you're planning way beforehand, it is much safer on the SAT II to subtract than to add.  This leads to a principle:

If you're unsure of whether you'll take a test, register for it anyway.  It is better to over-register than under-register on the SAT!  This goes doubly if cost is not an issue.


No Language with Listening!

Adders and switchers: you cannot add Language with Listening.  Ostensibly, this is because that test requires audio equipment that they need to assign beforehand.  So if you're not sure if you're taking SAT II Chinese, just register for it anyway and you can drop (with cost), because you sure can't add it last minute.


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Dr. Fred Zhang
About the Author

Fred is co-founder of PrepScholar. He scored a perfect score on the SAT and is passionate about sharing information with aspiring students. Fred graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelor's in Mathematics and a PhD in Economics.

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