In the aftermath of the Covid pandemic, both the ACT and College Board (SAT) were forced to adapt to rapidly changing dynamics like school closures and enhanced safety measures that made offering their paper-based tests more difficult. As a result, both have pushed forward with efforts to offer a digital, computer-based test going forward. The companies are taking different approaches to the rollout and test formats, so students in the Class of 2025 and later need to understand the new offerings, their scheduled rollouts, and how they will affect college admissions testing for this class and future classes. Class of 2024: none of this will affect you.
Juniors who took the PSAT/NMSQT test in October 2022 received their scores back on December 5 or 6. Consider this the starting gun for your test preparation and planning efforts over the next 12 months. Not sure what else the test and its many scores mean?
Despite the prevailing headlines that most schools have gone test optional and college admissions tests are no longer required, the truth is that taking a college admissions test, whether an ACT or SAT, and submitting the results with their applications will probably help most students who are considering applying to a school with any selectivity.
Our recent college admissions information night focused on summer to-dos for rising juniors and seniors.
The Class of 2021 was the first to have their entire college admissions process disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, most colleges implemented test-optional policies so as to not disadvantage students who could not take an SAT or ACT admissions test. Now that their applications have been submitted, reviewed, and decided on, the results of this new approach are available to review.
So, the question we are getting more than any other right now is if a student should go test-optional this year?
Since March, the college admissions test process has become a string of hits and misses for students, test providers of the ACT and SAT, and colleges trying to inject equity into a chaotic admissions process. Many seniors were ultimately unable to test or decided that the effort was not worth it. With senior testing now complete, test capacity should open up for juniors who have been unable to test so far. With that in mind, those juniors planning to test in the first half of 2021 should prepare now to ensure their test plan succeeds.
The college admissions test companies continue to struggle with providing access to testing across the country. With many members of the Class of 2021 still lacking scores and the Class of 2022 gearing up to test this fall, the pressure is on for testing to be widely and safely available.
The companies are responding to the crisis with mixed results so far, but both are promising to deliver more testing capacity this fall and winter.
You have questions—we have the answers.
Parents looking to prepare their children for an uncertain educational future this coming year are asking what their kids need to focus on in the coming months and once school starts.
Here are our top tips for each grade level to make sure everyone gets their 2020-2021 school year started right.
With spring and early summer test dates canceled for the SAT and ACT, we continue to expect a huge demand for the next several test dates for both exams. While many colleges are offering test-optional policies for the class of 2021, we strongly advise students to provide test scores if possible. Students who need or plan to take any of these tests should register as soon as possible to ensure their seat.
If you were able to take the March 14 SAT test, count yourself lucky. The possibility of taking an in-person test in the next 6 weeks seems out of the question given the progression of safety measures enacted across the country. And if the situation does not improve, the future of the in-person college admissions testing regime is definitely in question.
This delay will build up demand for testing slots until testing can be administered safely and all students can access the tests successfully and fairly. We expect a big wave of students later in the year as current Juniors push to get second and third tests in before their applications are due in the late Fall/early winter.
So what do we know today about the future test availability and how should you plan your testing in the face of this uncertainty?