Standardized Testing at Home

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Over the next few weeks, three million high school students will take AP exams at home for the first time ever. Each test will be 45 minutes instead of the typical three hours. It will be an interesting experiment to see how the testing goes and how the results will be accepted by educators and college admissions officers.

Since the ACT exam was cancelled in April — and the SAT won’t happen in May or June — the testing agencies have been preparing for the possibility of at-home ACT and SAT tests, starting in late fall or winter. The at-home ACT-SAT would only happen if the test centers (mainly high schools) are unavailable due to safety concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

The safety issue will be decided on a local level by school administrators and public health officials. In fact, the June 13th ACT test date is still on track nationally, unless local conditions prevent test sites from opening. ACT also added June 20th as a makeup date. Here in Georgia, either June date looks questionable, based on the current virus trends. Despite the uncertainty, our June ACT students need to stay the course for now. They should also register for the July ACT.    

Since nobody knows how long the Covid-19 threat will linger, we will help students prepare to switch to ACT-SAT testing at home. For now, everyone will be watching how the at-home AP testing goes. Will the ACT-SAT tests also need to discourage cheating by becoming shorter and getting away from multiple-choice questions? How will disadvantaged students perform on tests when they have less access to technology at home? Will colleges accept the validity of the results from at-home tests?

Since the coronavirus crisis changed our world in mid-March, about 60 colleges have joined the list of 1000+ test-optional schools, dropping the SAT-ACT requirement at least temporarily. That doesn’t mean they will discard test scores if students submit them – so high-scoring students can still distinguish themselves in the admissions contest. And there are still very few scholarship-granting organizations that are test-optional.

Standardized testing will go on, despite the challenges. At Dogwood, we will help students achieve their best results on at-home testing… and overcome any other challenges they may face. Please call us at 678-735-7555 to discuss your student’s individual needs.