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One of the most important parts of the college admissions process is preparing for and taking the crucial standardized tests that can determine acceptance to the colleges and universities you’ve applied to. With spring being the most popular time for students across the nation to take the SAT and ACT, it’s no wonder the current COVID-19 pandemic has raised a number of questions regarding upcoming test dates. Perhaps even more importantly, you may be wondering how changes now could affect your chances for admission for the upcoming semesters.

SAT Testing

Taken by over 2.2 million students in 2019 – the most ever – the SAT is the most popular college admissions exam in the country. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the College Board has announced a number of changes to its testing schedule. Changes include:

  • Cancellation of its March 25th testing date
  • Cancellation of SAT School Day test administrations on April 14 and 28
  • Cancellation of all PreSAT testing dates for Spring 2020
  • Cancellation of its May 2nd testing date

As of yet, these test dates have not been rescheduled, and students who registered for either the March or May dates will receive a refund of their testing fees. However, at the time of this publication, the College Board has not yet canceled or altered its June 6th testing date, stating that: “We’re working with test centers and we’ll decide whether we can safely hold that administration as soon as it’s feasible, given the evolving public health situation.” Further, the organization recommends staying up to date with news regarding this testing date moving forward.

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ACT Testing

With just over 1.8 million test takers in 2019, the ACT is the other crucial college readiness exam required by many colleges and universities. However, like the SAT, the ACT has made some changes to its testing schedule in light of COVID-19. At the time of this publication, changes include:

  • Rescheduling of its April 4th test date
  • No impacts to the June 13th test date

According to ACT’s impact page: “All students registered for April test dates will receive an email from ACT informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June or a future test date.” Currently, all ACT testing from both April and June will take place on June 13th, though ACT has not announced how it plans to accommodate additional students.

Lasting Impacts

While both SAT and ACT administrators had already released tentative testing dates stretching into the fall and winter of 2020 – crucial if you’re planning to apply regular decision or early decision to schools that require testing – it’s important to note that the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic means that these dates likely aren’t set in stone until the crisis ends. Thankfully, many schools are realizing the impacts the pandemic has made on testing and are making standardized test scores an optional part of their admissions process for 2020. Check with your preferred schools regarding their current policies.

As the country awaits the true, long-lasting impacts of COVID-19 on the admissions process, it’s more important than ever to focus on your future. Whether you have an upcoming test date or are awaiting rescheduling, don’t stop your test preparations. While many universities have committed to remaining test-free for the foreseeable future, it’s uncertain whether others will continue to relax admissions requirements moving forward; therefore, taking advantage of this extended prep time is a wise move.

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