By Cindy Reyes-Cortes

What does the SAT going online mean?

The Shelter in Place order has been mandated nationwide in 43 states. We have adapted to many changes – one being our education system. Schools from kindergarten to post-graduate studies have all transitioned completely online in order to practice social distancing. In our world today practicing health safety is a priority and the College Board agrees, they are doing their best to adapt to the changes as well.

On April 16th the College Board announced the cancellation of the SAT exam that was to be held on June 6th. If schools do open again, the College Board plans to have frequent test-taking options for students beginning August until November for the academic year of 2020. Additionally SAT administrators will provide more opportunities to take the SAT exam each month. They also plan to “significantly expand” capacity for testing once schools reopen.

What will happen if the shelter in place order is still in effect?

If the shelter in place order is still in effect the College Board announced to make plans for the SAT to temporarily transition online. The College Board has at the moment not stated to permanently transition online. You will still need to register on the College Board website for the exam.

Will the material for the Online SAT be different from the Traditional SAT?

The College Board has stated that the exam will be “as close to the SAT students have been preparing for.” Traditionally the SAT is a three-hour multiple-choice test administered by the College Board. The test is made up of math, evidence-based reading and writing sections with the optional choice of an essay. You can be rest assured the content of the online SAT will remain very similar to the traditional SAT – except now you will be clicking in your bubbled answers instead of filling them in.

Will the online SAT be monitored?

Upon announcing the possibility of the SAT exam going online many questions have been raised on the monitoring of the test. The College Board has not officially stated what specific technologies will be used to enforce monitoring. They plan to use similar methods like the AP, GMAT, LSAT, and GRE tests that have all transitioned online. They have stated that “The College Board would ensure that at-home SAT testing is simple; secure and fair; accessible to all; and valid for use in college admissions.”

The College Board plans to continue using proctors, but of course, it will all be virtual monitoring. With virtual monitoring, you will need to have a device with audio and webcam integrations. Because of the weight of the SAT protractors plan on doing live monitoring so they can check suspicious behaviors. The College Board plans to clarify what “suspicious behavior” will be penalized.

Will the online SAT affect my college admission?

Many colleges have announced that both the SAT and ACT will be optional for admission. Some like the entire California University System have opted out of using the exams as entrance qualifications. This means that if you did not take the SAT it will not hurt your chances of admission in 2021. The evaluations will be based on GPA, attendance, or references.

What if I already took the SAT and did not like my score?

Unfortunately, if you have already taken the SAT exam you are required to submit your scores. Colleges have not stated as of now that SAT scores will be retracted. We highly suggest registering for the SAT exam in August if you are unsatisfied with your score.

Does the SAT going online affect the scholarships I can receive?

Many colleges have been very clear that the requirement of standardized tests has been waived in specific to college admission. They have not stated an exemption for scholarships.

It is too soon to know how colleges will decide how to award students with scholarships. We highly suggest taking the SAT regardless of it being required for college admission. Many students will have 4.0 GPAs, great attendance, and references. You can distinguish yourself by including an SAT score.

Will the online SAT continue to hold credibility?

There will always be a form of standardized testing. We are sure of this because educational requirements vary from district to district. GPAs alone do not measure the ultimate factor of how well a student will do beyond college. Because standardized exams are exactly the same colleges have used SAT scores as an equal method for admission and awarding scholarships.

We are living in unprecedented times, which means we are having to adapt to change rapidly. Please make sure to refer back to the College Board website for the latest news on the SAT. We highly suggest taking the ACT in June or July, seats are limited so please make sure to register now as registration closes tonight. As of today, the ACT is not canceled they plan to create a safe environment. With social distancing measures required to be six feet apart, the College Board has decided to have two ACT exams in June and another two in July to minimize contact within a space.

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