SAT & ACT cancellations: What do they mean & what’s next for high school students?
As we all have forcefully embarked on an unknown journey with our daily lives over the last week due to COVID-19, our children’s lives have been disrupted just as forcefully, causing an emotional rollercoaster of events with domino effects. Two of these events are the recent cancellation of the ACT on April 4 and SAT on May 2. Provided that the national SAT on March 14 was off to a very rocky start with hundreds of test centers already closed and students were forced to return home, these were expected cancellations and being welcomed by all parties involved. However, they are not without consequences.
Why is it a big deal for high school juniors?
- SAT and ACT cancellations can be critical for current juniors, high school class of 2021, as they’re in the midst of their prime time testing period.
- Juniors are normally advised to be finished with the standardized test requirement before the summer — or as they finish junior year. This way, they can fully focus on and tackle the college application season with the tedious college essay, resume, and even interview prep.
What should high school juniors do?
- Now that schools are closed and SAT and ACT are cancelled, juniors must stay vigilant, continue self-prep or tutoring as if nothing has changed so that they keep up with the pace and content of the SAT and ACT.
- Juniors must take self-proctored practice testing (full test) even more seriously now as we don’t even know if SAT and ACT will be back on track as planned for June.
What if SAT & ACT are delayed further?
- Juniors (or the incoming seniors) may be given options for extended deadlines for college admissions and/or submissions of test scores, OR, if they’re lucky enough (much lower chance, but still possible), have their SAT/ACT requirement waived.
- Parents of juniors must support any request from their students about re-thinking list of colleges to include TEST-OPTIONAL ones (1200+ colleges are not requiring SAT/ACT per www.Fairtest.org)
What if I have a high school sophomore or younger?
* SAT and ACT cancellations will have longer term effects as colleges may begin to re-think admissions without SAT/ACT requirement. This depends on how the class of 2021 (current juniors) admissions for Fall 2021 is handled:
– If standardized testing is handled exactly the way it is now, but with minor tweaks to submission deadlines, then chances are that most colleges will continue current practices as they are for Class of 2022 (current sophomores) and beyond).
– If SAT and ACT cancellations disrupt current juniors’ college application season (typically from August 1 through January 1 for most colleges) greatly, requiring colleges to take more drastic measures by waiving requirements or significantly pushing back deadlines, then chances increase about rethinking the value of SAT/ACT in their entirety and/or temporarily.
– Provided that the University of California (UC) system, the largest university system in the country, has had high level discussions about considering Test-Optional admissions earlier this year is increasing the chances for some rather radical changes to be considered in the near future — with or without the dire impact of COVID-19.