Many test centers have officially closed for the August and September SAT and SAT Subject Tests as more look to reduce capacity for future tests due to the effects of COVID-19. Individual testing centers make decisions about whether to administer the SAT; however, the top current priority for the College Board is the health and safety of the students and teachers.
Junior Charles Fregozo said, “My August testing date was unfortunately canceled the day before I was supposed to take the test. However, I do understand and agree with the decision of putting health and safety first, rather than convenience for the student.”
These testing centers enforce very strict guidelines to ensure safety, as recommended by the CDC.
Counselor Yoojin Han said, “A temperature check at the entrance, a questionnaire about exposure to infection completed before the entrance, masks, social distancing, and sanitizing stations are essential to provide maximum safety and health precautions.”
Students who violate any of these procedures will be asked to leave the testing center. The CDC recommends taking additional precautions, such as requiring and even providing gloves and hand sanitizer.
However, it remains nearly impossible to predict when the College Board will allow testing sites to reopen. With the uncertainties of COVID-19 comes a concern that some students will never actually have the opportunity to take these standardized tests in person, leading to the possibility of online testing.
Assistant Principal for Academics Robert Gorr says, “I believe the College Board will evolve with the times. I think there will be virtual assessments available, but ensuring the security of these exams is paramount. Proving the validity of the assessments to universities will be a tall task, but I do think it’s a real possibility in the future.”
Many colleges have decided to go test-optional, not requiring the SAT or ACT. However, the College Board asks that colleges extend deadlines for receiving test scores and equally consider students for admission who are unable to take the test.
Gorr says, “I think the business of college admissions is a mammoth task and the SAT/ACT scores provide a very clear objective quantifiable piece of information. However, I don’t think these scores accurately predict the possible success or failure of a student in college. There are so many other, more important, variables that indicate possible success in college.”
The College Board and its contracted testing sites will keep students updated on test dates and possible further cancellations.