SAT uncertainty continues into 2021


Anika Marino

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so are SAT cancellations. “I was less stressed about getting a test, and more stressed about figuring out when I should start studying again, since I wasn’t really sure when I’d even be taking it,” said Keira Swei, a junior.

As 2021 started, hopes were high for a better year. However, for SAT and ACT testing, making those hopes a reality might be challenging.

Over most of 2020, different testing locations canceled tests for current seniors and juniors. Now, with the start of the second semester, testing schedules are still unclear. Andrew Ghazouli, a junior, said that he had two SATs scheduled that were both canceled.

“My tests were originally scheduled for Oct. 3, 2020, and Nov. 7, 2020,” Ghazouli said.

Ghazouli mentioned that it was tough to sign up for SAT appointments, as many people were trying to do the same.

“My plan was just to wait until COVID-19 settled down a little so I could take the test safely, and I figured if it hadn’t settled down by the time I was applying to colleges, they probably would’ve waved the SAT requirement,” Ghazouli said.

In addition to confusing sign-up times, Ghazouli had issues after his tests were canceled.

“The College Board was really bad about notifying me about cancelations; they didn’t send me an email about them. I just had to keep checking the website. They still sent me an email the day before the scheduled date saying to get ready for the SAT, even though it had been canceled,” Ghazouli said.

As stressful as trying to get a test date was on its own, having educational accommodations made it even more difficult in the experience of Elizabeth Murray*, a junior.

“It wasn’t fun trying to get accommodations for a class that got canceled,” Murray said.

Murray has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), which made it difficult for her to set up accommodations in addition to the changes made for COVID-19. Even after making accommodations, her test date ended up getting canceled.

While both Murray and Ghazouli have attempted to sign up for test dates, another junior, Keira Swei, has forgone this in the uncertainty of COVID-19.

“I figured that the test scheduling would be too unpredictable with COVID, so it might be better to wait until next school year,” Swei said.

Unfortunately, this plan also came with stress for Swei.

“I am slightly concerned about taking tests late. If I were to do worse than I had hoped on the SAT, then I might not have the opportunity to retake it,” Swei said.

Swei’s concerns still have merit, even though Carlmont will be hosting SATs for juniors in March. According to Nina Rasor, Carlmont’s college and career assistant, SAT testing will still be uncertain in the fall.

“I do not know how many dates Carlmont will host for Fall 2021; it will still depend on COVID,” Rasor said.

However, the students’ concerns over the SATs may not be necessary; according to Rasor, many colleges may not accept standardized tests in 2022.

“Most colleges have gone test-optional or test blind since March 2020. We are still waiting for the UCs’ final decision on being test-optional or test blind for the Class of 2022,” Rasor said.

*This source’s name has been changed for their protection. Click here for Carlmont’s anonymous sourcing policy.