SAT predicament frustrates students

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Ryan Lam

On May 28, priority registration opened online for the August, September and October SAT dates for Class of 2020 and Class of 2021 students who haven’t taken the SAT yet, as well as people who were registered for the canceled June SAT.

However, this did not go as smoothly as planned. A massive influx of students caused the College Board website to crash repeatedly, preventing many from successfully registering.

In addition, non-priority students were still able to register for the November and December tests, just not the August, September and October ones. As a result, some priority students found that the three upcoming dates were at capacity as well as the November and December ones at their location.

The March SAT was canceled the day before it was supposed to take place due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus. Subsequently, the May and June test dates were also canceled. This year’s remaining test dates are August 29, September 26, October 3, November 7 and December 5.

“I’m feeling a little stressed since I’ve forgotten all of my preparation for the March SAT,” junior Ryan Lam said. “I think there’s enough time to study over the summer break, but I feel like it’ll take up most of our time so we won’t really have a resting period.”

As of now, the SAT is planned to be administered in-person in various schools, beginning in August. Still, some students are worried about the prospect of being exposed to the virus while taking the test.

The College Board reported on their website, “In the unlikely event that schools do not reopen this fall, College Board will provide a digital SAT for home use. We would ensure that at-home SAT testing is simple, secure and fair, accessible to all, and valid for use in college admissions.”

A digital SAT introduces a whole host of problems such as ensuring against cheating and accounting for students who don’t have stable and consistent access to technology and WiFi.

The AP exams were held online, also administered by College Board, and test-takers encountered numerous glitches and difficulties. As a result, the College Board has been sued. Students who could not submit the first time and those who postponed their exams will now be taking the exams in June.

Standardized testing is becoming increasingly less important in college admissions. The University of California recently suspended its SAT/ACT requirement, not only for this year but also in the years to come.

Some argue that the SAT and ACT discriminates against lower socioeconomic backgrounds due to a lack of resources to prepare for it.

“I don’t want to risk the lives of my family for a test that’s only beneficial to rich, white people,” junior Kalkedan Malefia said.

Several colleges have also gone test-optional for the 2020-2021 admissions cycle, such as Virginia Tech, Boston University and more, due to the impact of Covid-19.

Click here to read College Board’s official statement, and click here to see a routinely updated list of test-optional institutions.

UPDATE: The College Board has paused on offering an at-home SAT this year, mentioning challenges in providing universal access.