Today the College Board announced that it will cancel the June SAT. The exam will be offered in August with an administration of the test available every month after until December. This arrangement comes after the College Board rescheduled its March exam to June. This development can only add to the anxiety juniors are already feeling with regards to their applications in the fall. Who is to say that the August exams won’t be cancelled? If so, what options are available? Should I even bother taking the exam? What should I do if I’ve been shooting for the June exam?
What would happen if the August exam is cancelled? If so what options are available?
Even though College Board has not made an official announcement about any kind of online test from the SAT, the College Board website notes that if schools are closed in the fall, “we’re pursuing innovative ways to ensure all students can still take the SAT this fall.”
As far as SAT, an online version of it isn’t unthinkable. After all the Covid-19 has forced millions of students to transition to online learning. Graduate exams such as the GRE, the GMAT, and the LSAT are already allowing at-home exams. Also the AP exams, which are administered by College Board as well, are being administer at home and online for the first time. (Albeit, the format has been drastically altered.)
The SAT’s rival, the ACT, announced an online exam earlier this schoolyear, but the details of how the ACT will go online have not been revealed. Importantly, the ACT online exam was to be done at “designated testing centers on desktop computers or other devices provided for them.” That is to say that students must go to secure sites in order for the ACT to guarantee there will be no cheating.
So it should be safe to assume that some type of exam, whether SAT or ACT, whether at a test center or at home, will take place this fall.
If the exam switches to an online- at home exam, how should I prepare?
Remember, if the format is different for you, it is different for everyone else. The students taking the exam will all be in uncharted waters. The only thing you can do is to work with your tutor to make sure you are prepared for the fundamental skills that apply to standardized exams. Also if the College Board changes the format of the exam, they will release information regarding the changes. Work with your tutor to identify the changes and add them to your lessons.
Should I even bother taking the exam?
I advise all students to take the exam. Even though the UCs have suspended the exam requirement, they will still consider the exam if a student submits a score. Having your target score is better than not having reached your target score. It is also important to note that the cancellation of the spring exams only affect the juniors who started preparing “later” than others. A substantial number of juniors already took their exams in December and February. They’ve already reached their target score and are ready to slow them to the administration officers, UC or otherwise.
What should I do if I’ve been preparing for the June exam?
We believe it is easier to maintain a good score than to reach a good score. Our suggestion is to keep preparing until you reach your target score. Then work on maintaining your target score by taking weekly practice tests and monitoring the results. If you notice your score dipping, then get back into prep mode.
Our tutors are currently working with students to help them reach their target score. Once they’ve reached their target score, our tutors will put together an individualized plan for the students to help them maintain their scores on their own.
Additionally, our content development team is putting together a (complementary) review course for our current students to take place in the weeks before the August exam. This review is intended to fill in any gaps the student might have as well as to make sure all of our students are adequately prepared after the break.