Hand holding a white pencil poised over multiple-choice math homework

How COVID-19 Is Affecting Standardized Tests

The coronavirus seems to be affecting just about everything related to the college search. Read on to see how COVID-19 is changing standardized tests.

Now recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, the novel COVID-19 virus has had widespread effects—including many challenges and changes for students preparing for college. With standardized tests on the horizon, organizations are taking action to ensure that students around the globe can still safely take their tests. 

So far, ACT and the College Board (the administrator of the SAT) closed test sites for March, April, and May. And the College Board canceled tests in more than 15 countries impacted by COVID-19, including China, Italy, and South Korea. Here’s what these organizations are doing to overcome the challenges brought about by the coronavirus.

The ACT

The ACT was shut down in China for the tests on February 7 and 8. As the situation continues to progress in the United States, the ACT has made the decision to postpone the April 4 test in the US, pushing it out to June 13. The ACT will continue to monitor the outbreak and may close more sites and reschedule more dates if required. You can find updates directly from the ACT here.

The SAT

More than 120 US testing sites for the March 14 SAT have been closed. On March 16, the College Board announced that the May 2 test date would be canceled as well. While students are being given the option to take the test at an upcoming date at no additional charge, it may be months from now. Update 4/15/20: College Board Has Canceled the June SAT and May Offer a Remote Test in September

Related: COVID-19 and Deposit Deadlines

Now what?

At this time, it’s unclear exactly how these closures will affect students taking the exams, or if more SAT and ACT sites will be closed in the upcoming months. Students should check their emails and the official ACT and College Board websites to get more information on cancellations and rescheduling their exams.

For students unable to take the exam at all, considering test-optional universities might be a good solution at this time. Many schools don’t require their students to submit an SAT or ACT score when applying and take a more holistic approach when it comes to admission. However, international students will still need to prove their English-language proficiency through the IELTS or TOEFL exams.

Related: What Are Schools Doing About COVID-19?

It’s quite clear that COVID-19 is impacting us on a global scale. How large of an impact it’ll have on students applying to US universities in 2020 remains to be seen. For now, keep your heads up, and keep going about your college search. You’ll still get there—you just may need to take an alternate route! 

Want more updates? Follow @CollegeXpress on Twitter for all the latest.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:
act coronavirus COVID-19 sat standardized tests test prep

About Lindsey Conger

Lindsey Conger

Lindsey Conger is a college counselor and tutor at Moon Prep.

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
CollegeXpress Logo

$10,000

Are you our next winner?

Register now for our scholarship giveaway

Christina

Christina

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress helped me find Allegheny with the super user-friendly search tool for both schools and scholarships. Using CollegeXpress, I was able to search for programs I was interested in studying and find colleges that offered those programs. Also, once you search for the college, CollegeXpress can get you connected!

Emilie Delgado

Emilie Delgado

$2,000 Community Service Scholarship Winner, 2013

CollegeXpress has tremendously helped me in my search for financial aid opportunities as I enter my college career. It is easy to navigate and quickly narrowed down scholarships that I could apply for. Being awarded the scholarship will greatly help me in my finances regarding books and tuition. Thank you for this opportunity. Without CollegeXpress, it would have been more difficult to apply. I would recommend this site to everyone!

Melanie Kajy

Melanie Kajy

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me tremendously during my senior year of high school. I started off using the college search to find more information about the universities I was interested in. Just this tool alone gave me so much information about a particular school. It was my one-stop shop to learn about college. I was able to find information about college tuition, school rank, majors, and so much more that I can't list it all. The college search tool has helped me narrow down which college I want to attend, and it made a stressful process surprisingly not so stressful. I then moved to the scholarship search tool to find scholarships to apply for because I can't afford to pay for tuition myself. The search tool helped me find scholarships that I was eligible for. The tool gave me all the information I could ever need about a particular scholarship that was being offered. The CollegeXpress scholarship search tool is so much better than other tools offered, like the Chegg scholarship search. Thanks to CollegeXpress, I was able to apply to tons of scholarships in a relatively easy way!

Amelia

Amelia

High School Class of 2023

CollegeXpress helped open me up to many colleges that fit my interests. I’m only a sophomore in high school, so I like having a lot to look at, and CX does a great job of picking colleges that meet my wants. It's a great website that I'll continue to use until it comes time for me to apply for colleges. I also like that it notifies me through email with options to look at. Thanks CX!

Asia Stockdale

Asia Stockdale

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress helped me overcome a huge hurdle. Because of the small town I live in, I felt like I would never achieve more. I felt like I could never go beyond because of costs. I feared I wouldn’t be able to find scholarships. I had no idea of where to start. With CollegeXpress, I easily found scholarships—they came to me. It was a helper, and I was instantly matched with opportunities to go above and beyond educationally.

College Matches