Impact of Canceled SAT/ACT Test Dates

What Do Canceled Dates Mean for Students?

The short answer: Many students will not have the opportunity to take the SAT or ACT, and most students will only have one shot at hitting their score goals.

When the pandemic prompted the College Board and ACT to cancel spring test dates, most students assumed that they would still have plenty of opportunities in the summer and fall. But when the growing number of US cases prompted more and more cancellations and necessitated reduced testing center capacity in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines, it became very clear that many students would simply not have the opportunity to test or to test as often as they had originally planned.

This reality prompted many of the nation’s colleges and universities, including even the most selective schools, to temporarily adopt test-optional policies, ensuring that those students who CANNOT test will not be punished in the admissions process.

IF YOU CAN REGISTER THIS FALL…

A good test score will help your chances of admission. Registration is currently open for remaining SAT test dates, and registration for remaining 2020 ACT test dates will open in late July. Register early because seats will be extremely limited and in high demand!

RECOGNIZE THAT OPTIONS ARE LIMITED

ACT had planned to introduce online testing and section retesting, but the Covid-19 pandemic has put those plans on hold. Both changes have been postponed to 2021.

PLAN TO TAKE THE TEST JUST ONE TIME

Your options for retesting are going to be extremely limited. This makes your test prep all the more important because you might only have one shot at your goal score.

BE READY FOR POSSIBLE CANCELLATIONS

It’s certainly possible that some fall test dates might be cancelled at the last minute. If that happens, remind yourself that it’s okay. First, register for the next available test date. Next, create a plan to maintain all of your test prep work so that you’re ready to go when you take the test.

IT’S OKAY TO APPLY TEST-OPTIONAL IF YOU HAVE TO

Remember: if you do everything you can to maximize your test scores, but the universe just doesn’t let it happen, it’s okay. That is the very reason why so many schools have adopted test-optional policies for this admission season. Do your best to get a great score, but recognize that it really is okay if it doesn’t work out.

COLLEGE ROADMAP

FRESHMAN

  • Check back in a few years!

SOPHOMORE

  • Not many sophomores take these tests, but if your test was canceled, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to register for this fall. Due to limited capacity, seats will be prioritized to older students.

JUNIOR

SENIOR

  • If you’re planning on taking the SAT this fall and haven’t already registered, do it today!
  • Registration for fall ACT test dates opens in late July.
  • Both College Board and ACT are doing their best to ensure that everyone who needs a test score is able to register and take the test. It is possible, however, that you may not be able to take the test this year. If that happens, don’t worry; you can still apply to most schools under test-optional policies.
  • It’s also probable that retest opportunities this fall will be extremely limited, if available at all. If you’re not already prepping for the test, start now!