College and COVID-19
Although coronavirus seems to have put the world on hold, colleges are preparing for the 2021 application cycle, and you should be too! REACH has compiled information and resources to ensure you are prepared and informed as the school year approaches.
Both the SAT and the ACT cancelled many testing dates due to the pandemic. At this point, the earliest possible time to take the tests are in August (SAT) and September (ACT). Because of the cancellations, the late summer/fall dates are already seeing significantly higher demand compared to other years. Students should sign up for testing dates soon in order to claim their spot.
The SAT has not announced any major changes to the structure or the format of the exam. Seniors have 5 testing dates available before the start of 2021.
The ACT announced major changes to the exam, which will take effect in September. The testing company also added additional testing dates to their fall 2020 schedule. Some non-Saturday testing dates are available. Refer to ACT.org
Changes to the ACT
Starting in September, the ACT will implement significant changes to its testing policies. The biggest change is that students will be allowed to retake individual sections rather than retaking the entire exam. All section retakes will be administered through the ACT’s new online testing format, which is launching at select testing centers in September. The new Computer-Based Testing (CBT) allows students to take the exam in a computer-based format. Students will receive scores within 2 business days after taking the test on a computer — scores from the pencil-and-paper exams will still require 2 weeks to be returned. To get a sneak peek at what the ACT will look like in an online format, click here!
Due to the pandemic, many colleges and universities have gone test optional for the coming year. Institutions that are not normally test optional – including leading schools such as Dartmouth, Penn, and Virginia – have waived all testing requirements for the upcoming admissions cycle. Check the website of all colleges on your list to find their updated testing requirements.
The Common Application is adding an additional section that will allow students to describe the impact of COVID-19 on their personal circumstances: Community disruptions such as COVID-19 and natural disasters can have deep and long-lasting impacts. If you need it, this space is yours to describe those impacts. Colleges care about the effects on your health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans, and education, including access to reliable technology and quiet study spaces. Do you wish to share anything on this topic? (250 words)