Nationwide testing changes due to COVID-19

The novel coronavirus has caused shutdowns and closures of schools throughout the United States, impacting nationwide standardized testing such as the ACT and SAT. Advanced Placement (AP) classes have also been changed, with new online resources and testing procedures for classes.
The SAT scheduled for May 2 has been canceled, and those who have already registered for it will be refunded. So far, there are no further cancellations or updates past the May SAT.
The ACT has not canceled its testing and has instead rescheduled the April 4 testing date to occur on June 13. Students who registered for April 4 should have received information about the changes.
Many colleges have gone to change their admission requirements to be temporarily “test-optional”. For some colleges, the class of 2021 will no longer need to submit testing scores in order to be admitted, though it is unclear whether this policy will remain.
Zion Williams, a junior at Carrboro High, stated that he was frustrated with the SAT changes, via text
“My cramming went to nothing because I don’t know if or when we will have the chance to take them again this school year,” said Williams, “I’m slightly anxious because of the possibility of everything not clearing up by June, but there are still a few dates in 2020 where I could take it later if it comes to it.”
Williams plans on taking the SAT in June, and hopes that coronavirus will clear up by the time the testing date comes around.
It is currently unclear how colleges will be looking at AP classes and testing scores with the virus-induced changes.
Online testing for AP classes is currently in development. According to CollegeBoard, testing will be forty-five minutes with two free-response questions that are based on what the majority of students learned before the shutdowns in March.
“Given the circumstances — and that over 90 percent of students polled nationwide wanted the exams to happen — I agree with the changes the College Board made in altering the testing method and length,” said Anthony Kajencki, an AP Statistics teacher at CHS via email.
CollegeBoard AP classes also have remote learning options now, with live tutoring and updates on YouTube for all class options.
“I have assigned my students to watch their videos daily during April and take notes; watching a recording after the live stream is also acceptable. Moreover, I know those who do this diligently will be well-prepared,” said Kajencki.
Classes such as AP Art and Design now have reduced portfolio requirements, and none of the pieces need to be mailed in. All submissions will be digital with a new, pushed back deadline.
“At this point my main goal is, how do students finish this portfolio? The easiest thing about this is that my students were almost to this point so squeezing in a couple more projects should be doable by all,” said Candacie Schracer, an AP Art and Design teacher at CHS through an email,
“Overall the students are my concern which outweighs any AP course work. I feel confident in my students… but not seeing my students in person is really difficult… I hear stress caused by other courses at this time and I believe that art will really save so many students during this pandemic… This is a time of so many emotions and I really hope EVERYONE finds their outlet,” said Schrader.
With the pandemic still climbing to its peak, there may be more changes to come for the SAT, ACT and AP classes, but with no set estimate of when the virus will calm, students and teachers will continue to go day-by-day with their lives until the nation can settle.

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