ACT & SAT Testing Changes Due to COVID-19

Written by Firethorn Wealth Partners

March 12, 2021

COVID-19 has affected about every aspect of normal life. Well, you can now add college entrance exams to the list. ACT and SAT test taking has been canceled, rescheduled, and postponed since March of 2020. As if taking these tests was not difficult enough, high school students now must navigate these tough tests in a coronavirus pandemic world. Continue reading to learn about several changes to the ACT and SAT process and requirements.

Colleges are not requiring test scores

Most colleges and universities have decided to not require ACT or SAT scores for the incoming classes because of the pandemic. Some schools have decided to permanently eliminate the standardized testing requirement altogether.  Be sure to check every school’s admission requirements when you apply. They may require other items in place of the standardized tests, so be prepared. Scholarships may still require a student’s test scores, so be sure to check.

Limited Testing 

Only a very few students can take these standardized tests at a time due to social distancing requirements and gathering mandates. Some states are not even allowing the tests to be administered at all right now.

Testing on Weekdays 

There are more testing dates becoming available to try to accommodate the number of students who want to take the exams. Before the pandemic hit, tests on weekdays were only allowed from students who could not test on Saturday for religious purposes. Now the ACT is allowing all students to participate in weekday testing to provide more testing options.

The ACT is making changes 

Superscoring will become an option for students who have taken more than one ACT test. The term “superscoring” means keeping your best section scores to create a better overall score. Remote proctoring is being developed to be released later in the year so students can take the ACT online.

The SAT is changing too 

Students are now being allowed to sign up for testing times during the school day. Flexible testing options allow students to choose from more dates, more locations, and different times to have the test fit their schedule better.

Fee Waivers 

Your high school should be able to assist you in receiving a fee waiver for the SAT and/or ACT if the coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted your financial situation. Before the pandemic hit, fee waivers existed only for students experiencing financial hardships.

Safety Guidelines 

To protect students and proctors, there are guidelines set in place about wearing masks, social distancing in testing rooms, and being extremely sanitary. Masks and hand sanitizer are provided. Proctors will go through new pandemic related instructions and procedures to reduce the possibility of spreading germs and the virus.

Changes to the SAT and ACT test taking processes may remain after the coronavirus pandemic has subsided. Most colleges and universities have moved to not require these scores at all. Be sure to do your research to determine if you should take these exams or not. It is best to be prepared for any situation!