Will my Student Get to Test?

     In recent weeks, we’ve received a lot of long-term good news, with the prospect of multiple effective vaccines on the horizon. But in the short-term, we face a few months of limited activity, with an increasing number of schools going to remote-only learning between Thanksgiving and the New Year. With that in mind, many parents are asking me “will my student even get to take the SAT/ACT at all?”
     Based on the outcomes for the current senior class, I would answer a definitive “yes.” As we entered this situation in March, many of my students had not taken the SAT or ACT at all, and even those who had taken a test had usually only had one shot and were aiming for additional test dates. But as we exit this fall, all of those seniors who persisted got their chance, in many cases multiple times. Cancellations were an obstacle, and plans needed to be changed – many times more than once – but students and families were remarkably resilient, resourceful, and flexible.
     In the next few months, I expect cancellations will continue to be an obstacle. Luckily, after these December SAT and ACT test dates, there are very few test dates – really just the February ACT – between mid-December and mid-March. If you get a cancellation, don’t get discouraged, and remain flexible. One option you have is to take a practice test on what was going to be your test date, to simulate the testing experience and get a data point for your score. We can even wait two weeks to send the results back to you, just like the real thing! Then, don’t feel pressured to tutor every week indefinitely just because your date was pushed back a few months. Step back, re-evaluate how many more sessions you want before your next test date, and push back your timeline. 
     Increasingly, schools both public and private are offering test dates in school to just their own students. If your school presents these in-school opportunities, jump on them. 
     Finally, anticipate that if cancellations persist through the spring, SAT and ACT will most likely add dates in the summer and fall to make up for lost time, as they did this past year. 
     One way or the other, if your student wants to test, they will get the chance. Perhaps a little later than you had hoped originally, but it will happen. I would cross that one off the list of things to worry about.

     I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving.