As you might expect, there have been a number of changes in the college testing and admissions landscape in recent days.
SAT/College Board: June testing is canceled. Unlike the ACT, there will not be a midsummer test. There will be SAT's every month from August to December, with increased capacity and priority registration for seniors who don’t yet have an SAT score. If tests cannot be done in person, there will be an online, at-home SAT. No details have been released about what that test would be like.
ACT: The June and July ACT are remain scheduled; your prediction about whether those tests will take place is as good as mine. You can still sign up for them if you don’t want to wait until late August for your next test. There are some local sites available for June, but for July you’d have to go to Reno or Fresno to sign up for ACT with Writing. There will be at least one online ACT in the “late fall or early winter". It’s likely ACT would follow the SAT and have online testing through the fall if necessary, but they haven’t stated as such yet.
(One x-factor is ACT's section retesting. You have to take a full ACT first before you can retest individual sections, meaning that taking a June or July test would be advantageous if you didn't take the ACT in February. But we don't know what colleges' policies on section retesting will be, anyway.)
Subject Tests: Will be offered in the fall if there is in-person testing. Nothing has been mentioned about at-home/online versions of these tests, and nobody expects those would be developed. MIT has announced that they will give zero consideration to Subject Tests; colleagues and I expect other schools to follow, given that most Subject Tests are best taken in May and June, not the fall.
UC Admissions: UC’s will be test-optional this fall. As with all test-optional schools, high test scores still make your application stronger that an equivalent application without test scores.
CSU Admissions (Cal Poly, SJSU, Sonoma State, etc.): CSU has announced that none of its campuses will utilize SAT/ACT scores for eligibility or admission purposes this year. This is a big change since they traditionally utilize only GPA and test scores. Campuses may choose to utilize additional criteria in admissions—for example, number of classes taken beyond minimum requirements—although they have not specified these.
Private College Admissions: Many private schools have already gone test optional, and most others are likely to follow. Always check individual colleges' websites for reliable information.
Throughout the admissions process, words like “recommended,” “suggested,” and “optional” should generally be interpreted as “do it, if it all possible.” UC’s in particular, along with other competitive public and private schools, will still receive many thousands of applications with high GPAs and high test scores. Your application will be stronger if it has both, too! Yes, this admissions cycle will be different from most. But you'd still prefer your application not to lack a component—high test scores—that many other students' applications will have.
However, if testing was looking like a huge obstacle, this might be your lucky(?) year. For example, if you have a 4.2 weighted GPA but your practice SAT's are at 1100, you might reasonably choose to skip testing entirely. Even lots of work and a big improvement to 1300 wouldn't look great compared to most 4.2 students' scores, so it might not be worth the time. (In other years, getting up from that 1100 would have been a huge priority.) But please talk to me and/or your college counselor before you make a decision to skip testing.
At this point, scheduling decisions and test prep timelines are very much individual decisions and I look forward to communicating with each of you on that topic. As always, if you have any questions, please get in touch with me!
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