How Has COVID-19 Impacted College Admissions and SAT® Test-Taking?

Impact of COVID-19 on SAT exam
In the times of COVID-19, many schools removed SAT® tests from their admissions requirements. Learn about the changes in college admissions policies, and how it affects SAT test-takers. Read more.
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Impact of COVID-19 on SAT exam
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In the midst of a global pandemic, adjustments have been made to ensure that students’ health and safety are prioritized throughout the SAT® testing process. Colleges, universities, testing centers, and the College Board® have all made adjustments to accommodate for the pressures students are facing in their learning and their lives.

Test Taking

  • Safety requirements have been put in place for every testing location.
  • Everyone (students and test proctors) must wear a mask at all times. In addition, each test taker will be seated six feet apart, and the proctor will remain six feet away throughout the exam.
  • If you do not comply with these guidelines, you will be asked to leave, the College Board will cancel your score, and they will not refund you for the exam.
  • Attendance and room capacities have been limited to adhere to the CDC’s health and safety precautions.
  • You should know that it is up to the test center to decide whether the SAT test is to be offered. A test center has the full authority to remove itself from the testing schedule, so be sure to check the individual website to ensure your location is open.
  • When you arrive on test day, the proctor will clear you for testing through a series of questions. You will be asked if you have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days. You must also answer that you personally do not have COVID-19 to enter the testing center.
  • The proctor will ask you to confirm that you are not violating any travel or quarantine restrictions. You will need to agree that you will wear a mask at all times at the test center. After, you will confirm that you understand the risks of testing as it is impossible to ensure 100% safety.
  • Any other policies specific to your test center should be posted on their website and at the testing location.
  • If you don’t feel well, or if you feel unsafe testing, it is important that you stay home and reschedule for another test day.
  • The College Board is sympathetic to the pressures and concerns students are experiencing. You won’t be charged for canceling or rescheduling.

College Admissions

  • The capacity has been reduced due to the pandemic, fewer students are able to take the SAT test, and colleges have taken this into account.
  • Many schools have removed the SAT test from their admissions requirements. You will need to research the policies in place for each of your prospective schools. Because capacity has been reduced, many schools’ deadlines have been adjusted to allow more time for students to take the SAT exam.
  • You should also know that the College Board has recommended that colleges accept SAT test score submissions as late as they are able.
  • Admissions have been asked to consider the circumstances around lower scores. Since most students will only be able to take the test once, the opportunity for improvement is diminished.
  • The College Board has recommended that colleges consider the students who have not submitted SAT test scores equal to those who do send scores.

These adjustments to the testing requirements and admissions processes can change rapidly. If you are planning to take the SAT test but cannot sign up for the test day you want, you can keep your skills sharp by working through practice exams consistently. UWorld’s SAT online learning tool offers plenty of study material and practice tests to improve your skills.

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