Could Online SAT and ACT Exams Be In the Future Due to COVID-19?

The coronavirus has created a lot of uncertainty for students everywhere. This is an especially stressful time for high school students preparing to apply to college. Are colleges accepting admission applications? Has COVID changed the application process? What happens to the ACT/SAT tests? For many colleges, the ACT/SAT scores are a mandatory part of the application process. With the switch to online learning, could online SAT and ACT exams be next?

Student taking an online test at home.

What’s Happening With the ACT/SAT Right Now

In accordance with the public health guidelines, the ACT and College Board immediately cancelled all tests scheduled till May 2020. Alternate arrangements were made for students who had registered for the tests to take them at a later date. However, with the pandemic still a huge concern, there have been further postponements.

On April 15th, College Board confirmed that the SAT and SAT Subject Tests scheduled for June 6, 2020 also stand cancelled. They later announced that an additional SAT test has been scheduled for September 26, 2020.

Meanwhile, the ACT test scheduled on April 4, 2020 has been postponed to June 13, 2020. It is advisable to monitor both sites to stay updated on any changes to the schedules, which is highly likely.

To help affected students, both the ACT and SAT are exploring ways to expand their capacity for students to take the tests after schools reopen. One of the things they are doing is asking schools, colleges and local communities for additional test center capacity.

But what happens if it’s not safe for schools to reopen in fall and the tests cannot be held in traditional test centers?

Is Online SAT and ACT Testing An Option?

If traditional testing is not allowed for the foreseeable future, the ACT and College Board will have to look for viable solutions. One such solution could be online testing. The problem is, this is not as simple as holding online classes. The priority for the ACT and College Board will be to ensure that the online testing is secure, fair and accessible to students all over the world. They have to take into consideration that many students may have issues with computer or internet access or bandwidth. Most important of all, they will have to conduct online tests in a way that is acceptable by college admissions.

What You Can Do If You Are Affected By the ACT/SAT Cancellations

The most important thing to do right now is to stay updated by checking the official College Board and ACT websites regularly. If you have registered for the tests already, make sure you check your email regularly for updates from the concerned testing authority.

And while this may be the most challenging part of all, it’s important to stay prepared for the next testing date. You’ve already worked hard to prepare. Don’t let that go to waste. Make a study plan to refresh what you’ve studied and schedule in a couple of practice tests This will keep your skills sharp so you are well prepared for when the test date is finally confirmed.

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