Many aspects of college admissions have changed in response to COVID-19. Seniors must decide which college to enroll at without having the opportunity to attend Accepted Student Days. Juniors need to develop their college list without visiting colleges in person.

And – the topic of this blog – the standardized testing landscape is undergoing a total metamorphosis.

What do we know? What’s still uncertain? What actions can you take to best position yourself for future success?

Read on, and attend our Zoom presentation on May 6th. (RSVP details below). 

Upcoming test dates: Changes and Cancellations

SAT: The College Board has cancelled the SAT through June and has added a September 26 test date for the SAT only (not Subject Test). Registration for all 2020-21 SATs will be open in May. Priority registration is for students who already registered for the June test and students in Class of 2021 who have not yet taken any tests.

ACT: The June ACT is still listed on the ACT website, but it seems unlikely that the June ACT will take place. However, if you registered, you will have priority for a future test date. The ACT is planning to add two more summer dates, on June 20 and July 25, but test centers need to be open and available.

Will there be online testing?

SAT: The College Board has announced that they are developing an At-Home test and would evaluate the efficacy of this format after their new at-home AP exams.

ACT: ACT subsequently announced that their September testing would have a digital option, but no details have been released.

The bottom line is that digital testing is an option, but has not yet been developed.

Impacts on Colleges and Admissions

Colleges are already evaluating potential changes to their admissions policies concerning standardized testing requirements.

Test-Optional Policies. Already, more colleges are becoming test-optional. Several colleges, including Amherst, Cornell, and the UC system, have announced that they will be test-optional for just the Class of 2021. Other colleges, such as Middlebury, Oberlin, and Tufts, said they would launch a 3-year pilot of a test-optional policy. And additional colleges, like Case Western, Chapman, and Macalester, said they would now be test-optional for the foreseeable future. For a list of all test-optional colleges, click here.

More Reliance on Grades. Since many students may not have the opportunity to take standardized tests, colleges will be relying more on students’ transcripts. This includes the two most important factors in college admissions: grades, and the rigor of a student’s courses relative to what’s offered at the student’s high school.

Fall Semester 2020. Colleges are wrestling with the decision of whether to re-open on-campus life in fall 2020, continue online education, or take a break and resume for the spring semester. Whenever colleges re-open, they need to develop approaches to keep students healthy and safe.

What should juniors do?

Juniors are facing the uncertainty of how admissions will evaluate their candidacy in the light of the uncertainty with standardized testing. Our recommendations are:

  • Register for several upcoming test dates to maximize the chance that you will secure a spot.
  • Focus even more on your coursework. Be diligent about completing your work.
  • Strengthen your relationships with teachers. Your teacher recommendations will play an even more important role.
  • Research college policies about standardized testing.
  • Re-evaluate your college list in light of your standardized test scores.

The standardized testing picture – as well as the entire college admissions landscape – is more uncertain than ever. As always, we’re happy to help you sort through the new reality and how you can best position yourself to maximize your candidacy.

To learn more, attend our Zoom presentation on Important Changes in Standardized Testing for College Admissions on Wednesday May 6, 6-7pmRSVP to

And, as always, feel free to contact us directly.