Coronavirus is wreaking havoc with so many aspects of our lives at the moment and many students, particularly juniors, are rightfully concerned about their future due to the April ACT and May SAT cancellations that were recently announced.
These spring test dates are among the more popular national ACT & SAT test dates each year so there are a lot of students who are going to be affected by these cancellations.
In all likelihood, both ACT and College Board will announce an additional test date or two to ensure students don't lose out on this opportunity to test. But, until we know more, here are a few answers to the questions I'm getting most frequently from my community, as well as 4 steps you can take right now to make sure you're ready to test once normal life resumes.
I was scheduled to take the ACT on the now-cancelled April 4th date. Do I need to do anything to get rescheduled for a future ACT test date?
According to the official COVID-19 updates page of the ACT's website, all students who were registered to take the April 4th exam will receive an email regarding instructions for the next steps.
Per instructions in that email, you will be allowed to register for free for the June test date or a future exam date. That said, you'll need to do so based on instructions included in that email so keep your eyes peeled.
My two cents...
Based on what I'm seeing on the ACT site, it sounds like you'll receive a credit to be used towards a future exam from ACT. Again, check your email for a message from ACT confirming next steps.
I was registered to take a cancelled SAT in March or May. Do I need to do anything to get rescheduled for a future SAT test date?
College Board appears to be handling things differently than ACT.
According to the official COVID-19 updates page of College Board's website, College Board will simply be issuing refunds to all students who were planning to test on May 2nd or whose exam was cancelled last weekend.
My two cents...
Based on what I'm seeing on the College Board's website, it sounds like you'll receive a refund, as opposed to the credit that ACT is offering. It seems that if you want to take a future SAT exam, you'll need to register and pay again.
Again, College Board will also be reaching out to all students who will be affected by this change. Check your email for a message from College Board confirming next steps.
What about AP testing in May? Will it be cancelled?
According to the official AP exams COVID-19 page, they're proceeding as though the AP exams in May will not be cancelled. Keep checking that page, though, to get the latest information on those developments.
4 Steps To Help You Stay Calm & Prepare For College Admissions After Coronavirus
There's a lot of uncertainty right now. Beyond the specific guidance regarding ACT & SAT cancellations that I've listed above, there are a few things we can do to make sure we come out of quarantine ready for what's next.
So take a deep breath, wash your hands, sanitize your cell phone, and let's talk about some of the things we can do to prepare for the future.
1. Remember that everyone's in the same boat.
When cancellations arise, it's easy to focus on our individual situation, but doing so can cause us to feel like we're falling behind our peers.
That's not the case here.
Since everyone is being affected by Coronavirus cancellations, there's a level playing field. Any exceptions or considerations that may be extended in the future are going to be extended equally for everyone affected.
Bottom line: Rest easy. You're not getting left behind.
2. Remember, everyone's in the same boat...
Because everyone is affected similarly by these cancellations, you need to expect that future ACT & SAT test dates are going to book up FAST.
(I'm lookin' at you June & July exams!)
If you were planning to take the ACT in April or the SAT in May and haven't yet registered, you're going to have to push those to the next available dates in June...just like everyone else...
If you haven't yet registered for any test and were planning to test in June, I would attempt to reserve your spot today. You can do so at act.org and sat.org respectively.
If you're unable to reserve a spot in June, opt instead for the July ACT or the August SAT.*
And, please note that many of us in the college admissions space fully expect ACT and College Board to add a test date to the docket over the summer summer or in early fall. It may not be possible depending on how the Coronavirus cancellations play out, but we hope they'll be able to do so once life returns to normal.
*While July ACT registration is open, College Board hasn't yet opened registration for the August 29th SAT. It's slated to open in July, but they may open it up early to make accommodations for the cancellations. I recommend signing up for email alerts from College Board to be one of the first in-the-know. Frankly, in today's uncertain times, I'd sign up for ACT alerts too!
3. Come up with a new prep game plan, or reset your current prep plan.
Once you've registered for a future test date and taken a moment to settle into your new normal, consider the silver linings of quarantine in the digital age: more time, more flexibility, and amazing resources at your fingertips.
>> Been avoiding getting your baseline ACT or SAT score at home? Do it right now using these free ACT practice tests and free SAT practice tests.
>> Want to kick start your prep for free? Grab my Insider's Guide to the ACT & SAT to learn 35 of my top testing tips for free.
>> Were your plans for in-home tutoring cancelled? Consider working with the amazing Stacey Howe-Lott from Stellar Scores to help you boost your scores before your next exam.
>> Prefer to prepare with an online course that will help you now and beyond the Coronavirus cancellations? Consider joining in with one of my on-demand, online ACT prep or online SAT prep courses.
In the best of times, life can be kind of crazy.
Because of that, I already provide really generous timelines for access to my courses: 6 months for Quick Prep and 18 months for Complete Package.
Now is a great time to consider exploring your online test prep options to ensure you're ready to rock your test once life returns to normal.
And, if we're already working together, I'm happy to extend your course deadline to accommodate your new test dates. Just click here to send me an email with your new test dates.