As of April 9, 2020
In the past week, major players from the College Board and ACT have joined webinars to share more information with families about the effects of COVID-19 on college admissions test prep, including the ACT, SAT, and AP Exams. We’ve watched the webinars so you don’t have to! Here are the major takeaways from the College Admissions and the Coronavirus Webinar featuring Janet Godwin, Chief Operating Officer of ACT, and Daily Homeroom with Sal Khan of Khan Academy featuring David Coleman, CEO of College Board.
The content of these webinars falls into three categories relevant to test prep–AP Exams, the ACT, and the SAT.
David Coleman talks through the changes to the AP Exams. Below are some highlights. For more details about these changes, check out this blog: What the 2020 AP Exam Changes Mean for Students
- Students will have the chance to test safely at home this spring
- AP Exams will only cover information typically covered in the first 75% of the course
- This year only, AP Exams will be 45 minutes long and taken online
- AP Exams will take place May 11–15 and May 18–22 with makeup test dates June 1–5
The College Board is confident that the vast majority of higher education institutions will honor credits from these exams. They are working to get content to students and have launched AP Live to provide free online review and coursework for every AP course.
College professors and high school AP teachers are currently selecting exam questions. Beginning in mid-April, the College Board will be rolling out practice questions that match this year’s exam format. They will also offer a way to simulate the test experience so that students can practice in advance.
Coleman offered fewer updates on the status of upcoming SAT test dates. The College Board is researching alternative options, such as at-home testing, in the event that schools have not yet resumed in the fall.
Janet Godwin provided solutions that the ACT is exploring to make sure students have as many opportunities as possible to test. The ACT hopes to make a decision about the June ACT test date at least a month in advance. They will actively consider new test dates for the late summer and fall, create additional capacity for the June and July tests, and consider adding additional test events for regions that do not typically offer summer tests (such as New York state).
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, the ACT was already planning to offer online testing options beginning in September 2020. Godwin mentions that the ACT has already begun exploring remote proctoring options. The ACT is committed to making sure any testing format provides all accommodations that students may receive.
In a time of uncertainty with Spring 2020 course grades, the ACT believes that an objective standardized test score could be more important than ever as colleges consider applicants.
In a time of extreme uncertainty, both the College Board and ACT are working to find flexible solutions for students. Both organizations are committed to getting students access to their tests, whether that means adding seats to existing tests, adding test dates, or exploring alternate test formats. While more information will be available as the situation unfolds, students can be confident that they will have the opportunities to take the college admissions tests they choose. We know this is an unprecedented time and things are constantly changing, so we are here for you. Please make sure to check our COVID-19 page for updates in real time and don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you would like to watch these webinars, you can find them at the links below. And for more information and virtual test prep options, reach out to us.
Hosted by Jeff Selingo with COO of ACT Janet Godwin
Hosted by Sal Khan with College Board CEO David Coleman