By Jasmin Figueroa

Here is What We Know About the SAT during the Pandemic.

With the SAT exam starting up again in August, it’s important to know that there will not be any drastic changes to the SAT implemented any time soon. With COVID-19 many are left wondering if test scores are large factors for college applications. For now, test scores will be required on some college applications. With the exception of the University of California schools and others listed on 1,200 others that have adopted test-optional or test flexible policies. These flexible policies continue to change as regulations of the pandemic change also.

The most important aspect of understanding these flexibilities in policies is that although the exam is not required, many schools still take it into consideration. If there are scores attached to your application, an admissions officer is most likely going to review it with the rest of your application. Not to mention how only 4 of the Ivy League schools in the nation have made it optional for students to take the SAT or ACT, while the remaining schools still consider it a requirement.

Universities such as the University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth College, Columbia University, and Cornell University are the only Ivy League schools that have made the SAT/ACT optional for the upcoming class of 2020-2021. Other schools have also made exams recommended and not required. Leaving students to wonder if the standardized test is something that will really impact their chances of getting in. Not to mention, those who are applying out of state, and the effects it has on their specific applications.

How does this Affect Students?

There are so many ways in which the changes in the SAT have been affecting students. With many unable to take the exam this summer, or not very sure about whether they should take the SAT or not, there is so much confusion. Then, there is the lingering question of: is it worth taking it? The answer is yes! It is 100% worth taking it if you are applying to multiple schools.

The worst thing you can do is apply to many schools and not realize that you are forgetting to complete a core requirement for some of them because you noticed others did not require the SAT. Be prepared and offer yourself more opportunities through taking the SAT. There is no harm in having standardized tests scores under your belt and allowing schools to acknowledge that although it was not required, you went out of your way to take the exam and score well.

By taking the SAT you are allowing for multiple schools to see that you did not opt-out of taking the exam and took the opportunity that was given. Strategically, it builds character to who you are as a student and releases the idea that you did the bare minimum that was required from you when applying to colleges. If you are entering your junior year, take the time now to decide when you want to go ahead and complete the SAT. Registration for it can be completed online on the College Board website and can be taken multiple times if needed.

When should students take the SAT?

The best time to take the SAT is at the end of your junior year. Although some take it as early as their sophomore year, most students take it the spring of their junior year. This gives enough time to retake it if need be and to prepare for it beforehand. If a sophomore in high school, it’s now the season to start thinking about when you want to take the SAT. If you’re a junior, no worries! You can start to prepare for the SAT and take full advantage of test prep courses that will give you knowledge on how to tackle the exam. Both grade levels are at a great advantage for SAT prep courses and can acquire the information needed for when the time comes.

What about the Normal Timeline?

Well, as it has become abundantly clear, the ACT and SAT are still here to stay for the time being. While tests have been canceled, by the end of the year we should hopefully fall into a new pattern of normalcy. This would mean the prep timeline would stay consistent.

If you are a student who has had to extend their prep longer due to COVID, you might feel like the timeline is no longer an option for you. But College Board has stated added test dates and is securing as many safe testing centers as possible. If you are planning to test, you should still be able to by the end of the year. While there is a delay, it is time to really maintain or improve your score.

Here at Kyo Standard, we value the quality of test prep that students receive prior to taking the SAT. We want you to know that there is nothing more important than wanting you to feel like you received the help you needed. We offer several test prep courses that allow students to go at their own pace and feel confident enough when taking the exam. Since it is an investment you will make for your college future, we take valuing your time and efforts extremely important. For more information about what we offer join us today for a sample session at

Click here to download our Parent’s Guide to the SAT and ACT