Students unable to take the SAT

Friday, September 25, 2020

News updates from earlier this week reveal that prospective college students across the country who are registered to take the SAT in September or October will be unable to do so.

This week, there is another important update for high school students who are planning to take the SAT this year as they complete the applications for college. 

High school students who are applying for college in the hopes of starting a university degree after earning their high school diploma will want to take note. 

As COVID-19 continues, complications continue to arise in various testing centers across the country.

Of the 334,000 students who are registered to take the SAT exam on Saturday, September 26, at least 183,000 will not be able to take the exam.


SAT Testing Centers across the nation have had to close due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to a news update published recently by Scott Jaschik on Inside Higher Ed. 

Students could not take the test because testing centers—which are usually classrooms in high school campuses—were closed or had limited space due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of all of the test centers that were initially set to open and administer tests:

  • 61% are open for September, with a reduced capacity. 
  • 65% are currently open for October, with reduced capacity.

Closures and limited space issue problems are similar to the issues that happened last month, when 402,000 prospective college students were registered to take the exam or SAT Subject Tests but as many as 178,600 were unable to do so because of testing center closure.

Priscilla Rodriguez, the College Board Vice President of college readiness exams, shared in a statement, “We’re grateful to educators across the country who were able to provide opportunities for nearly 150,000 students to test safely during the August test administration. We know this is a challenging time for students who want to take the SAT. We will continue to work together with educators to provide testing opportunities to students throughout the rest of the fall and academic year.”

College Board Testing centers must follow local public health guidelines as well as College Board health-related policies. For example, at all weekend test centers, all students and staff have to wear a mask or some kind of secure, protective face covering throughout the SAT administration. Students also have to be seated at least six feet apart while testing. Students also have to confirm through a series of health and safety statements before entering the testing space. 

Any students whose tests are canceled will receive a refund and the right to register for a future test. 

College Board has also asked colleges and universities to extend any deadlines for receiving test scores. It has also asked students to equally consider prospective college students who cannot take the test due to COVID-19. Colleges and universities must understand that college entrance exam test opportunities are quite limited. Many have already dropped the requirement for this application season. 

While most colleges and universities are abandoning the SAT/ACT requirements for this year, many students feel the need to take the SAT or ACT and do well in order to improve their chances of admission.

What is the next step you should take?

If you are currently signed up for the SAT this month or next month, make sure you check in with College Board updates and the testing center that you are set to take the SAT at. 

Check to make sure that your test is still happening when it says it is. 

If not, make sure to reschedule your test as soon as you can!

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