The SAT Mess: College Board Is Still Cancelling Tests At The Last Minute

… Eight months into the pandemic, the College Board, the Manhattan-based nonprofit that owns the SAT, is still struggling to give the college entrance exam and to keep would-be test takers informed. ACT, its Iowa City, Iowa-based competitor, has also canceled multiple test dates, frustrating and angering students and families.

Brooklyn twelfth grader Sasha Cohen, 17, was scheduled to take the SAT tomorrow, October 3, at Medgar Evers College Preparatory School, a public high school in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. As of yesterday he says he had gotten no notice of a cancellation and neither had his parents, who had already printed his entrance ticket. But his family checked and Medgar Evers was listed as closed on the College Board’s test center closings page." …

While there may be some delay in College Board updating its website and emailing students, in most cases, the test centers themselves cancel the test, not College Board. There is the sense of coordination difficulties within the school. Speculation: perhaps a school staff person (who may be subcontracted to College Board) struggles to get permission from the school administration to hold the test and/or not enough teachers want to proctor (also subcontracting to College Board). Overall, the relationship between test centers and the College Board is an odd one.

And having a third party in between the two, as the article suggests, makes it even more complex.

DD’s September test ran (thank God!). It ran in what seemed to be a reasonably safe manner: masks required, only six test takers to a room, hall monitors at every corner enforcing social distancing, directing kids to the classrooms and bathrooms, and minimizing unnecessary hall traffic. In the weeks leading to the test, I found the CC-given advice to call the school/test center directly to be the most helpful. In the end, it wasn’t looking good with about half the test centers canceled, several moved to a neighboring location, and DD’s test center wasn’t even listed on the CB web page. Calling the school was the only viable communication we had.