In any other year not marked by a global pandemic of the novel coronavirus, high school juniors would be in high gear preparing for and scheduling test dates for the ACT and SAT to best position themselves for college choices.
As we all know, this year has been anything but normal. High school has gone virtual for many students, learning has been a challenge, and test centers have been hard for some students to find. To alleviate concerns about virus transmission, both ACT and SAT tried to secure more test centers with low volume but were not always successful because each state and county have different policies. As a result, colleges felt they had no choice but to make admission for the fall of 2021 test optional, as too many students lacked the full opportunity to take the ACT or SAT.
But this will not be the case for admission for the fall of 2022.
Fortunately, vaccines for the virus will be delivered starting in January of 2021, with most people getting the vaccine by summer. Colleges anticipate a return to normal for the fall of 2021 on campus.
ACT and SAT testing has been scheduled through the summer of 2021 as they normally would proceed. Both ACT and SAT have done a much better job at getting test centers open and available and safe.
Given all of this progress, very few colleges have chosen to extend the test optional status for another year, which means that current juniors need to plan for submission of an ACT or SAT test score.
We at Mackler Associates have been providing our usual test prep programs for the SAT and ACT during these difficult times by offering both virtual and in-person options, and our programs will continue in both forms moving forward.
We encourage all current juniors to begin planning for test prep. Many of you may be rusty and you may not have had the chance to take a practice test at school. Getting started on test prep sooner rather than later would be the best path.
Please note that many colleges rely on ACT scores to determine qualification for merit scholarships, and they did not drop that requirement even for test optional scenarios this year. If you want to secure a scholarship, you will need that qualifying ACT score.
The last year has been a trying one for all. As we get ready to ring out 2020, put at the top of your to-do list preparing for the ACT and SAT.