In the new year, many students head into their spring semester questioning how their standardized exams are going to be administered. Seniors have just finished applying to their colleges and are now just awaiting the results. With COVID-19 still in effect, it’s still too risky to be put into a crowded classroom in a testing site. The CollegeBoard, along with the colleges that students will be applying to are taking steps to make sure students are not left feeling uncomfortable with the situation that they are put in.
Question #1: Will the test be administered online?
The simple answer here is “no”. The CollegeBoard has given testing centers the ability to decide if they will administer the test at all. Everything is up to the specific circumstance and the state of the virus at the location of the testing site. It is always best to continually check the CollegeBoard website for updates, and if that’s not helpful, you can try calling the testing site for more information.
Question #2: How will the test be administered?
The CollegeBoard requires testing sites to follow certain CDC guidelines for the safety of everyone involved.
- All students and staff are required to wear a mark or protective face covering during the administration of an SAT exam. Students will not be allowed to even enter the facility without a mask, which is required for the duration of the exam.
- Students must be seated at least 6 feet apart following social distancing protocols.
- Students must truthfully confirm the following statements:
- In the past 14 days, I have not come into close contact (within 6 feet) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 test or is presumed to have COVID-19.
- I do not have COVID-19 or have reason to believe I have covid-19. Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, chills, muscle pain, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.
- To my knowledge, I am not violating any travel restrictions or quarantining requirements.
- I agree to wear a mask the entire time I’m at this test center and follow instructions from test center staff, otherwise I will be dismissed.
- We have taken measures to help create a safe testing environment; however, it isn’t possible to entirely remove the risk of COVID-19 exposure. By entering the testing room, you’re accepting that risk.
- Students who violate the requirements put in place by their test center or the CollegeBoard should be dismissed from the testing site. If this happens, students will not receive a refund and their test scores will be cancelled.
There are very serious consequences for violating the CollegeBoard’s rules. This is not a time where you want to give them half-assured answers to anything. If you don’t get to take your exam at that time, colleges will understand. They are aware and feel that the safety and security of not only you, but all students and staff are more important than a test score from one student.
Testing sites are required to do the following:
- Requiring and/or providing gloves, hand sanitizers, or other personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Posting signs in highly visible locations (i.e. school entrances, restrooms, hallways, etc.) that promote protective measures.
- Encouraging students and staff to practice regular handwashing and stay home if they’re sick.
Question #3: What should I bring with me?
The answer for this one is very short. You should obviously bring the supplies you need to effectively take the exam. For example, a couple SHARP #2 pencils, erasers, a sharpener (because your pencils will get dull at one point), and a scientific or graphing calculator. A TI-84 is always a good bet for a calculator for the SAT. There are some scientific and graphing calculators that are not allowed. It’s a good idea to be on the safe side with one that is always allowed on the test.
This year, alongside your standard supplies for the exam, you need to bring with you a mask (which you must wear for the full duration of the exam), hand sanitizer, and gloves (just to be on the safe side).
Question #4: Any Final Thoughts?
With the social distancing protocols, testing sites have even more limited number of seats for you to sit and take the exam. Colleges understand this. Most colleges are not requiring a test score from students for the upcoming admissions cycle. While they will still accept scores, most are being flexible for students who submit scores later or who did not have the chance to test more than once. Do not worry if you are not able to take the SAT when you planned to take it. Colleges will understand.
Lastly, be sure to check the CollegeBoard COVID-19 Page regularly for updates. Click the button below!