right arrow
GUEST STUDENT OF THE WEEK: ak2018 is a rising junior at Virginia Tech having transferred from George Mason University. He'll answer any question, including about his studies abroad or his research at NASA. ASK HIM ANYTHING!
Make sure to check out our July Checklists for HS Juniors and HS Seniors. Consult these quick resources to get you started on the process this month.
As we work to adjust to the current reality, make sure to check out these dedicated COVID-19 resources: our directory of virtual campus tours, our directory of extended deadlines, as well as the list of schools going test optional this fall.

HS Counselor Shares His Views on This Year's Testing Environment

CCEdit_TorreyCCEdit_Torrey 36 replies353 threads Editor
Rising HS seniors have been dealt a challenging hand when it comes to ACT/SAT testing this year. One college admissions counselor shares his views on the situation. https://insights.collegeconfidential.com/colleges-should-go-test-optional-this-year
14 replies
Tagged:
· Reply · Share

Replies to: HS Counselor Shares His Views on This Year's Testing Environment

  • Nagpie415Nagpie415 6 replies0 threads New Member
    I am so grateful to read this and I hope all college admissions departments take this seriously. There is a serious fairness problem that is playing out right now in terms of access to the SAT and ACT. Students in areas that have not experienced severe disruption from covid-19 are able to proceed with their study and testing plans without much interference. In other areas (like ours), it has been literally impossible since March.

    My kid was registered for the March ACT. Canceled. Then registered for the June ACT. We contacted the test site in May and they told us they were canceling and had already informed the ACT of this. We contacted the ACT to confirm and they told us they had no information (FALSE) and would not be informing us of anything until the week of May 26. On the Friday of that week, the ACT emailed us that the June test had been canceled, and told us we could re-schedule for July.

    No test site within a 100 mile radius of where we live (NYC) is offering the July ACT. So we figured, okay we will just have to suck it up, rent a car and book a hotel room and travel for this test. Well the ACT must have blocked my kid's profile from selecting a test site far away because even though test sites in upstate NY and western Pennsylvania show seat availability, the ACT website will NOT ALLOW us to change our registration for July to any of those locations. We are stuck and do not see any way out.

    Colleges need to understand what is happening on the ground. This is affecting tens of thousands of rising seniors. How can colleges in good faith continue to accept scores from applicants this coming year, when so many others have had NO CHANCE TO EVEN TAKE THE TESTS YET??
    · Reply · Share
  • DashingMaxDashingMax 4 replies0 threads New Member
    Agree with author and Nagpie415. Very similar situation in Houston TX metro area. Some kids were able to take the test in late Feb/early March thru their high school offering. None since then. However, smaller towns in Texas were able to take the test. This is a highly unfair situation where colleges cannot go Test-Optional anymore. The only way for Fall 2021 is Test-BLIND.

    A Holistic review costs additional time and money in admissions process versus sorting a spreadsheet of applicants by test scores. But fairness demands it.

    Old habits die hard. For decades, colleges have relied on standardized test in their admissions process and changing all of that in the next few months may not be realistic. Therefore, if colleges want test scores then they should offer their own campus classroom, every Saturday, for all applicants. No admissions decisions made until after 6 Saturdays of testing provided to everyone. This will level the playing field and make it fairer, especially for merit scholarships and Honors admissions.
    · Reply · Share
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3447 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Nagpie415 wrote: »
    My kid was registered for the March ACT. Canceled. Then registered for the June ACT. We contacted the test site in May and they told us they were canceling and had already informed the ACT of this. We contacted the ACT to confirm and they told us they had no information (FALSE) and would not be informing us of anything until the week of May 26. On the Friday of that week, the ACT emailed us that the June test had been canceled, and told us we could re-schedule for July.

    No test site within a 100 mile radius of where we live (NYC) is offering the July ACT. So we figured, okay we will just have to suck it up, rent a car and book a hotel room and travel for this test. Well the ACT must have blocked my kid's profile from selecting a test site far away because even though test sites in upstate NY and western Pennsylvania show seat availability, the ACT website will NOT ALLOW us to change our registration for July to any of those locations. We are stuck and do not see any way out.

    Wow. That's terrible. I am sorry to hear that. That's rough. Have you tried calling ACT to see if they can override the permissions? Are you able to get him/her into the next test date in your area? It seems it should still happen in time for ED applications. I realize that isn't much consolation, though.

    DD was not registered for any spring ACT or SATs, but yesterday I was able to sign her up for the August SAT. Her own school is not offering testing August through October (the entire junior class will take it during school hours in the spring), but she got in to her first choice date and test site. We have about 8-10 high schools within a half hour drive, so I was hoping she would have some options. Getting into her first choice of both date and test site was unexpected, but I am relieved it worked out.
    · Reply · Share
  • hopeful0325hopeful0325 4 replies1 threads New Member
    I'm from NYC too and I find it ridiculous that the College Board is pausing development of an online exam. What are we supposed to do if test centers choose not to open. Not to mention that NYC will probably have a second wave.
    · Reply · Share
  • Nagpie415Nagpie415 6 replies0 threads New Member
    We have tried to call the ACT but it is impossible to get through. Ditto the chat function on their website. The ACT is MIA.
    · Reply · Share
  • CreakyCreaky 41 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited June 10
    We are in the greater Seattle area, where SAT seats are pretty much gone through the end of 2020. The only test site we were able to get anywhere near us will involve a ferry ride and a hotel stay the night before. D21's March SAT was cancelled and we weren't given the option to switch to another date. College Board just refunded us. I won't even get into the debacle of online 45-minute AP testing. This is all absurd.
    edited June 10
    · Reply · Share
  • sybbie719sybbie719 20967 replies2052 threads Super Moderator
    I'm from NYC too and I find it ridiculous that the College Board is pausing development of an online exam. What are we supposed to do if test centers choose not to open. Not to mention that NYC will probably have a second wave.

    If you attend a NYC public school, your high school was able to participate in SAT school day on March 4, where they could have taken the SAT courtesy of the NYCDOE.

    Did your school participate in the October (PSAT qualifying exam) or the March 4testing date?
    · Reply · Share
  • xenialouxenialou 2 replies0 threads New Member
    We have attempted to call the ACT however it is difficult to traverse. Likewise the talk work on their site. The ACT is MIA.
    · Reply · Share
  • hillybeanhillybean 41 replies1 threads Junior Member
    We are in the same boat.
    · Reply · Share
  • hillybeanhillybean 41 replies1 threads Junior Member
    sybbie719 wrote: »
    I'm from NYC too and I find it ridiculous that the College Board is pausing development of an online exam. What are we supposed to do if test centers choose not to open. Not to mention that NYC will probably have a second wave.

    If you attend a NYC public school, your high school was able to participate in SAT school day on March 4, where they could have taken the SAT courtesy of the NYCDOE.

    Did your school participate in the October (PSAT qualifying exam) or the March 4testing date?

    I am another NYC mom whose son attends a private school that did not offer any in-school testing other than the October PSAT. We have also had April and June dates canceled and were shut out of all July testing centers.
    · Reply · Share
  • hillybeanhillybean 41 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Nagpie415 wrote: »
    My kid was registered for the March ACT. Canceled. Then registered for the June ACT. We contacted the test site in May and they told us they were canceling and had already informed the ACT of this. We contacted the ACT to confirm and they told us they had no information (FALSE) and would not be informing us of anything until the week of May 26. On the Friday of that week, the ACT emailed us that the June test had been canceled, and told us we could re-schedule for July.

    No test site within a 100 mile radius of where we live (NYC) is offering the July ACT. So we figured, okay we will just have to suck it up, rent a car and book a hotel room and travel for this test. Well the ACT must have blocked my kid's profile from selecting a test site far away because even though test sites in upstate NY and western Pennsylvania show seat availability, the ACT website will NOT ALLOW us to change our registration for July to any of those locations. We are stuck and do not see any way out.

    Wow. That's terrible. I am sorry to hear that. That's rough. Have you tried calling ACT to see if they can override the permissions? Are you able to get him/her into the next test date in your area? It seems it should still happen in time for ED applications. I realize that isn't much consolation, though.

    DD was not registered for any spring ACT or SATs, but yesterday I was able to sign her up for the August SAT. Her own school is not offering testing August through October (the entire junior class will take it during school hours in the spring), but she got in to her first choice date and test site. We have about 8-10 high schools within a half hour drive, so I was hoping she would have some options. Getting into her first choice of both date and test site was unexpected, but I am relieved it worked out.

    The same thing has happened to us: April and June tests canceled and July seats filled up within minutes of registration opening so we were shut out. Fall test dates registration opens next month, but there are only two test dates available before ED applications are due. If those fill up, which is highly likely given how many NYC students missed April, June and July tests, then there will be a serious problem. Many schools are test optional and I assume many others will take PSAT scores if nothing else is available. Still. It's a mess.
    · Reply · Share
  • hillybeanhillybean 41 replies1 threads Junior Member
    sybbie719 wrote: »
    I'm from NYC too and I find it ridiculous that the College Board is pausing development of an online exam. What are we supposed to do if test centers choose not to open. Not to mention that NYC will probably have a second wave.

    If you attend a NYC public school, your high school was able to participate in SAT school day on March 4, where they could have taken the SAT courtesy of the NYCDOE.

    Did your school participate in the October (PSAT qualifying exam) or the March 4testing date?


    I live in NYC. My son attends a private school that offered no in-school testing in March or any other month. He did, however, take the PSAT in October and scored well.
    · Reply · Share
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 10205 replies119 threads Senior Member
    Wonder if it would make sense to send a high PSAT score in lieu of the SAT/ACT if they aren't offered in the Fall or a student can't get a seat?
    · Reply · Share
  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 3447 replies78 threads Senior Member
    Those of you who can't get a seat for the ACT... are there seats for the SAT available in your area? They're offering three fall test dates instead of two, plus the December test (if a retake is needed) may not be too late for some places.

    Not the same test, but it gives the kid a chance at a good score. Might be better than nothing since not all schools will go TO and a score may keep some scholarship doors open.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity