Colleges modify SAT/ACT policies due to coronavirus

On Mar. 31, the University of California schools decided to implement temporary measures which relax undergraduate admissions standardized testing requirements for students looking to enroll at UC for fall 2020 and future years as applicable. Many other colleges nationwide have also switched to a test-optional system for the current junior class, because of the inability for these students to take standardized tests. 

The March and June SAT and April and June ACT were postponed to August, which the College Board “will continue to assess its status with the health and safety of students and educators as it is our top priority.” However, the College Board predicts that these tests might be pushed back into later into the fall. 

If schools are unable to reopen in fall 2020, the College Board will provide a digital SAT that students can take at home. Similar to the AP tests in May, the College Board says that they will ensure it is “simple; secure and fair; accessible to all; and valid for use in college admissions.” 

Students applying in the fall of 2020 will have the option to submit test scores for most schools. Although some students see this as an advantage for their applications, others are fearful of how this will affect their acceptances. 

“I had to rely on my test scores a lot more to get in because I’m a really good test taker but don’t get phenomenal grades, so it was a chance to get a boost,” Junior Kyle Ramser said. “I really think the SAT/ACT should still be taken majorly into account because some students may rely on it more than ones who are doing plenty of AP classes and other things.” 

Although several high-ranked universities have made the announcement that they will move to a test-optional system for the class of 2021, schools will still accept scores from students who have the opportunity to take the tests and decide to submit their results. 

“Doing so can support their statewide UC eligibility, application for certain scholarships, and help them fulfill some University graduation requirements,” said UCLA Admissions Counselor Mike Drish. “Campuses will adjust their internal processes accordingly to ensure that no student is harmed in admissions selection should they not submit a test score.”

Other students including junior Kian Namiranian are pleased with the trend of colleges making test scores optional for the 2020 application year. 

“I feel relieved that many schools are changing to test optional since the college board/act inc has not really announced yet how they are going to deal with this issue,” said Namiranian.  “I know that I am going to find a way to take it and do relatively well, and this will be a great addition to make my college application stand out more.” 

Despite students’ gratitude towards the flexibility in many colleges application policies, junior Nico Hadiaris acknowledged that it is unfortunate for other grade levels that have not had this option.

“I would be a little unhappy because this is only happening because of extenuating circumstances,” Hadiaris said. “If I was a senior I would definitely be pretty angry that lower grades kind of get a pass on SAT and ACT tests.”

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