(Check out the ACT Testing Changes page to learn more about how COVID-19 has changed things for the ACT)
Now In One Place: Everything You Need to Know About COVID-19 Related Changes to SAT Testings
Taking the SAT (or ACT) is definitely an important part of the college admissions process. Students prepare for each test to know exactly what to expect on test day. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has left many without any real certainty, and quite a bit of confusion.
Quantum Prep has created this page to help clear up that confusion. Our Test Prep Teachers have put together the important information, fact-checked and verified, that every student needs to know when navigating the logistics of actually taking the test. At the bottom, we have provided links that will take you directly to the primary source for anyone wishing to learn more.
All of the COVID-19 pages on our website are designed to be a “one-stop” resource for every student and family. Instead of trying to find answers by scrolling through one too many social media groups or searching the web for hours (and not everything you might find is truly accurate or factual), use these pages to find the answers you need.
Alongside this SAT Testing Updates (COVID-19) page, use our Ask a Question tool to get even more answers to your specific questions!
Current SAT Testing Updates
Q1: Will students be able to take the SAT this school year?
A1: The College Board has stated that the SAT will still be offered for all the originally scheduled Fall 2020 test dates. A fifth testing date (September 26th) is now being offered as well. The College Board has also hinted that another test date may be added for January 2021, should there be a demand for it.
The following list shows dates that the SAT will be offered:
- August 29
- September 26
- October 3
- November 7
- December 5
Q2: Where can a student take the SAT?
A2: The College Board has not announced any changes to the expected testing centers, such as local public and private schools. However, some testing centers may be closed due to COVID-19, and it is up to a particular testing location to decide whether to remain open or to close. Quantum Prep’s college admissions counselors have advised us that testing centers may be required to announce a closure ten (10) days prior to the actual testing date. To review the instructions on how to find a testing center near you, please click here.
Q3: Will colleges require students to submit any SAT (or ACT) scores as part of this admissions application this upcoming school year?
A3: Many colleges and universities are waiving the testing requirement of the admissions application, oftening citing disparities amongst student in access and ability to take the SAT/ ACT exams. To find out if a school may be waiving a testing requirement for 2021 admissions, check out these online resources: Link to Resource 1. Link to Resource 2.
Q4: Will students who submit SAT scores have an advantage over students who do not?
A4: The College Board has requested for universities to “equally consider students for admission who are unable to take the exam due to COVID-19 as those who submitted scores.” We strongly advise every student to consult with a college admissions counselor, since each student’s situation is unique and the answer must fit the needs of the student.
Q5: Are there deadline extensions for early action and early decision score submission?
A5: The College Board has requested for universities to “…accept scores as late as possible in their process, especially by extending score deadlines for early action and early decision to take some pressure off and give students more time to test and send their scores.” As with the previous question, we strongly advise every student to consult with a college admissions counselor, since each student’s situation is unique and the answer must fit the needs of the student.
Q6: Will there be any issues registering for the SAT this Fall because of the canceled Spring testing dates?
A6: Fall registration for the SAT is still open to all students, but there may be delays in confirmation or registration due to the high volume of students trying to register. The College Board added a September 2020 date for students to take the SAT, and they are updating their page as new information arises. Our recommendation is to register as early as possible and to be flexible about the location of the test center. Also, stay current with the status of your testing center after you are registered, as the testing center may close (see Q2 above).
Q7: Are there plans to offer the SAT during the school day?
A7: Taking the exam during a school day is possible if your district or school is enrolled in a program called SAT School Day. Reach out to your school to see if this option is possible.
The specific dates of when the SAT can be administered under the SAT School Day program are:
- September 23
- October 14
- March 3
- March 24
- April 13
- April 27
Q8: Will there be an at-home or online option for the SAT?
A8: The College Board has stated that it will not be offering an at-home SAT, as it would require three hours of uninterrupted, video-quality internet for each student, which cannot be guaranteed for all. However, the SAT may be offered online at some schools.
Q9: How long will it be until students receive their scores?
A9: About 10-14 days for the multiple-choice portion; most essay scores will be available within the following week. Scores are sent to colleges and a paper score report can be sent if requested. Specific score release dates depend on the date the test was taken and are available to see on the College Board website.
Q10: Will fee waivers be offered to qualified low-income students?
A10: Yes, fee waivers are available. For more in-depth information and instructions on how to apply for a fee waiver, download The College Board SAT fee waiver brochure.
Q11: What can students do if the SAT testing date that they have registered for is canceled?
A11: Individual test centers decide whether or not they can administer the SAT. If your test center is closed, you can register for a future test date. If there isn’t any availability for your preferred date, you will have to try another test date.
Q12: What is a “safety screening?”
A12: Each student will be required to verbally complete a “safety screening” survey before being allowed to enter a testing center. Admission into a testing center may be denied if a student doesn’t confirm all of the statements in the survey, or does not wish to answer. Please click on this link to review the statements that a student will be required to confirm.
More Helpful Actions
Want to ask our teachers and admissions counselors a question directly? Send them right to us using the new Ask QP Your Questions tool!
Check out our COVID-19 services page to learn about how we can support you and your family during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Listing of Primary Resource Links
Q1, Q5, Q6: https://pages.collegeboard.org/sat-covid-19-updates
Q1, Q5, Q6: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/dates-deadlines
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