While test centers are open in many locations for the August test, many students are starting to get the disappointing news that their testing center is closed for the August test date.
As the confusion over SAT testing sites continues, we at MEK Review are dedicated to informing you of your choices.
In this blog, I’m going to share tips for navigating these frustrating test cancellations.
Tip #1. Seniors, know ALL your rescheduling options
Here are some common questions we hear from students:
Can I still register for the September SAT?
In theory, yes. You can register up until September 15. However, because of the tremendously high volume of students who are also trying to register for official test dates, spots are slim. We recommend you call College Board’s customer service line as you are more likely to get a spot if you actually speak to a representative.
Will I get priority since I’m a senior and my August SAT was cancelled?
College Board has stated they are prioritizing seniors and/or those whose test date has been cancelled. However, because of the volume, it has little direct effect on your ability to find a spot.
College Board has resorted to putting the majority of the responsibility on individual testing centers. They have stated that “while College Board cannot directly control capacity and test center availability, we are working to ensure that as many students as possible are able to test safely.”
If I’m taking SAT Subject, can I register for October? Will I get priority as a senior?
Yes and yes. You can register for the October SAT Subject test up until September 22, but you should register right away.
Should I try to register at a specific testing center?
Obviously, no one can predict the future.
However, College Board has started listing the testing centers that have cancelled their tests here. We recommend you try to find a testing center that was not cancelled in August. This shows, at the very least, that they have the capacity and ability to safely administer the test.
College Board has stated that any testing center can cancel their tests right up until the morning of the test. So make sure to stay in contact with your individual testing center.
Tip #2. Consider School Day Testing options
An option that you might not know about is the SAT school day testing.
College Board has been working together with schools to allow them to administer the SATs. Schools can take advantage of multiple test administration dates and even provide SAT proctoring twice in one day to allow for smaller numbers of students to more safely social distance.
Schools can order for September 23, October 14, or both, and split their students across two test dates.
They can also use the October 27 make-up date as an additional test day.
Talk to your school to find out if they plan to take advantage of these school test date options. If your school system is not taking advantage of these opportunities, you have the power to let them know their options. This may be your best shot at ensuring you can complete an official test this fall.
Tip #3. Seniors, check your colleges’ requirements
Colleges are very aware of the unique frustrations seniors are facing this year in regards to testing. So make sure to check the admissions page for your prospective colleges and locate the specific information on their testing requirements this year, especially in light of COVID-19.
You may discover:
#1. They are NOT requiring SAT or ACT scores this year
Many schools are “test-optional” this year, meaning they do not require SAT, SAT Subject, or ACT scores. And you will not be considered at a disadvantage if you do not submit scores. For example, check out Rutgers University’s testing policy this year.
#2. They have extended their application deadline
Some schools are extending their application deadline or the deadline in which you must submit scores. For example, Princeton University has a test-optional policy this year, but for those students who wish to submit test scores, they have only one application deadline this year: January 1, 2021.
#3. They are NOT considering certain test scores this year
Some schools are not going to even consider test scores. For example, Carnegie Mellon and Yale University, while adopting a test-optional policy for the SAT or ACT, will not take into consideration SAT Subject tests for the 2020-2021 admission cycle.
Read closely when you read the testing requirements for colleges. Some parents and students make the mistake of thinking that “test-optional” is the same as “will not consider.” It is not.
Most schools are adopting a “test-optional” policy, which means that if you can take the test, you should! If you perform well on the test, you should submit those scores! No matter what the college’s official policy states, those high scores will be an advantage to you.
Some colleges may even have a “test-flexible” policy which means that although not required, the school would prefer your submit test scores and will consider them highly in the admissions process.
However, if a college explicitly states that they will not take specific tests into consideration, then there is no reason for you to take the test or submit your scores. They will be ignored.
Let’s do this!
No matter what “plot twists” or “cliffhangers” the COVID-19 experience brings, MEK Review will continue to be here every step of the way to guide you.
We also have SAT and SAT II Maintenance courses going on this fall, specifically tailored to students who have fully prepared for the test, but need to maintain their momentum and progress while awaiting the next available test date.
Can’t wait to hear from you!