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COVID-19 forces cancellation of spring SAT exams

·2 min read

An estimated 1 million high school juniors won’t be taking the SAT college entrance exam this spring.

The College Board, which administers the high stakes exam, has announced it is canceling the June 6 test due to the coronavirus pandemic. It had previously cancelled the March and May exams.

College Board officials said they want to alleviate student anxieties.

In a statement, College Board CEO David Coleman said, “Our first principle with the SAT and all our work must be to keep families and students safe. The second principle is to make the SAT as widely available as possible for students who wish to test, regardless of the economic or public health circumstances.”

Coleman said if it is safe from a public health standpoint, there will be weekend SAT tests offered every month beginning in August through the end of 2020.

The organization said students who registered for June, and those in the high school class of 2021 who do not have SAT scores, will have early access to register for the August, September, and October exams. The College Board said it will communicate directly with students when the exact date is available.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS  - MARCH 16: Students leave Lane Tech College Prep High School at the end of the school day on March 16, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Schools in the city have been ordered to close beginning tomorrow for at least the next two weeks in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Students leave Lane Tech College Prep High School at the end of the school day on March 16, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The pandemic has also disrupted the rival ACT test. The next ACT national exam is scheduled for June 13, but it is still unclear whether that will happen.

A growing number of universities are now dropping the SAT and ACT requirement for fall 2021 admissions, including Boston University and University of California, according to FairTest.

“In the unlikely event that schools do not reopen this fall, the College Board will provide a digital SAT for home use,” the organization said.

The College Board promised to ensure that at-home SAT testing would be “simple, secure and fair,” though it didn’t specify how it would prevent students from cheating or guarantee that all students have access to a computer and the internet.

About 3 million high school students are expected to take the College Board’s Advanced Placement exams in May and June at home. The 45-minute versions of the subject-specific exams will be open-book and use a written-response format and no multiple choice.

Alexis Christoforous is co-anchor of Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade. Follow her on twitter @AlexisTVNews.

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