Due to COVID-19, College Board has cancelled the May SAT. The April ACT was cancelled as well.
If you were one of the thousands of students preparing to take these exams, what does this mean for you? How should you adjust your plan?
MEK Review is here to help guide you through these unprecedented times.
This blog will tell you:
- Current alternate testing options
- The impact on college admissions
- Your best next steps
*Note: If you want an update on AP exams, check out our blog here: AP Exams and Coronavirus: What You Need to Know
Current Testing Options
As of right now, the June 6 SAT is still scheduled. College Board is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation in the next few weeks before it makes any further decisions. The next official ACT is June 13.
Although you may need to adjust your timeline, you do still have options.
Here are currently scheduled testing options for the rest of the year:
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College Board has also stated that they may add additional testing dates to accommodate more students.
College Admission Impact
For 11th graders especially, putting off official test dates can be extremely stressful, especially considering that the fall of your senior year is usually packed with other application items already.
It’s important to keep in mind that colleges are aware of how COVID-19 is negatively impacting students’ test prep plans and options, and do not want to penalize students for these unfortunate circumstances.
Because so much is still uncertain, most colleges are more concerned right now with the class of 2020, and some colleges are pushing back candidate reply dates from May 1 to June 1.
However, other colleges have already hinted that they may extend application or testing submission deadlines for class of 2021 applications. At this time, it’s too early yet to be sure.
Some colleges may also decide to make 2021 applications testing optional, meaning that they will not require students to submit SAT or ACT scores. But again, most colleges have not announced their official plans. They are still waiting to see how the situation develops.
Best Next Steps
So what does all this uncertainty mean for you? What is the best plan you can make with the situation as it is now?
Plan on taking the SAT or ACT
The class of 2021 will have gaps in their school year, likely won’t have state standardized testing, and will most likely have gaps in their academic or extracurricular activities due to COVID-19.
So while colleges will try to be fair when coming up with procedures for evaluating 2021 applicants, it is likely that students who do take the SAT/ACT and score high will be considered competitive candidates, especially at selective schools.
Simply put, test scores give the college admissions boards an easier way to evaluate a student during a year where many applications may have gaps.
If you are an 11th grader, research you prospective colleges’ testing requirements and keep an eye out for updates, but plan on taking an official SAT or ACT.
In your junior year, it’s is critical to keep preparing during this time of flux. If you were planning to take the May SAT or April ACT, keep preparing for the June SAT/ACT test dates for now.
In fact, with many students having more available time because of school closures and stay-at-home government policies, students can use this time to focus on building test skills and boosting scores.
If you are a 11th grader who hasn’t even started test prep, plan on taking the August SAT or September ACT, and create a timeline of when you will begin preparation. Also, consider getting started on another part of your application such as your application essays, so that come summer and early fall, you aren’t overwhelmed with test prep and other application requirements.
Get expert help
There are many online resources for SAT or ACT preparation to help you boost your test scores.
The most effective resources will allow you to have an interactive experience with an expert teacher, rather than only passively watching a video or completing work on your own.
For effective learning, you need to be able to get answers to your questions, receive personalized help for your needs and goals, and learn proven strategies for improving your score.
For instance, MEK Review is currently offering one-on-one and group classes in a virtual setting for SAT, ACT, AP Exams, and SAT Subject that provides students with this type of personalized and engaging prep.
As the situation continues to unfold, it’s important to stay in the loop with any changes.
MEK Review is closely monitoring the situation, and we will continue to post, email, and generally keep our students and parents updated with what’s going with college test prep and admissions during this global pandemic.
If you have any questions about test prep in general or as it pertains to COVID-19, we are here to help you.
Keep healthy. Keep safe. Keep learning.