Coronavirus Cancellations: Admissions Testing and College Updates

By IvyWise on Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Coronavirus cancellationsThe Latest on How Colleges and Universities in the US are Responding to the Coronavirus  

The response to concerns over the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has deeply affected college bound high school students with school closures and the cancelling of large gatherings, including campus visits, admitted student weekends, and admissions tests.

Here’s the latest on what’s happening with admissions testing and campus events.

May 22: The University of California system has voted to phase out the use of the SAT and ACT in the admissions process, fully eliminating the test requirement for all students by 2025.

May 18: After many students encountered issues submitting their responses to AP exams, the College Board is allowing some students to submit their responses via email.

May 14: The ACT announced that it will notify test-takers of any test center closings for the June exam the week of May 26.

May 13: The California State University system has announced that all campuses will remain closed through the fall semester with instruction taking place entirely online.

The Common App is adding a COVID-19 section that will allow students to elaborate on how the current pandemic as affected them. This is separate from the current Additional Information section and will have a 250-word limit.

Stanford University announced it will be making a decision on the fall semester by mid-June, but the university is expecting some degree on online instruction for the 2020-21 academic year.

May 11: Experts are giving more insight into what this fall at colleges might look like and what students are thinking about returning to campus.

April 27: Colleges are giving some insight into what the fall semester might look like at their specific campuses.

Some schools are reopening applications for fall 2020 admission.

April 24: What could the fall semester look like on college campuses? Inside Higher Ed offers some insight.

April 22: Cornell University announced that it will not require applicants to submit SAT/ACT scores for the 2020-21 application cycle.

Colleges are starting to answer questions about what will happen this fall – will campuses be open or will instruction be virtual? Cal State Fullerton was the first to say that, while nothing is final yet, they’re planning to start the fall semester online and gradually move to in-person instruction when it’s safe.

Purdue University announced it’s dedicated to bringing students back to campus in the fall.

The University of Missouri announced it plans to resume in-person instruction in the fall.

Other options schools are considering, including Stanford University and Boston University, are delaying the start of the fall semester to January 2021. Again, no final decisions have been made and probably will not be announced until later this summer.

April 20: The Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Worcester Polytechnic Institute wrote an open letter to high school juniors that was published in the Washington Post, giving advice and guidance on how to approach the coming college admissions season.

April 17: The NCAA announced today that it will not penalize student athletes for pass/fail grading as a result of school closures/response to COVID-19.

April 15: The ACT announced that the June and July tests are still on, with makeup dates offered should the exam need to be rescheduled. The makeup date for the June 13 exam is June 20 and July 25 for the July 18 exam. Students can also change their registration without fees to the makeup dates, and students can also change from the June to July date without a fee. The testing agency also announced it will launch an at-home testing option in the fall/early winter of 2020. 

The College Board has announced that the June SAT is canceled. Students will be able to register for exams in August, a new date in September, October, November, and December in May. TBD on exact registration date. 

April 14: Virginia Tech announced that it will be test-optional for the 2020-21 admissions cycle.

Colleges across the US are making contingency plans should campuses stay closed this fall – but no decisions will be made any time soon.

April 13: Swarthmore College announced it will be test-optional for the next two admissions cycles.

April 10: IvyWise will be holding three webinars on Facebook Live next week to help students prepare for the college admissions process this fall and answer parent and student questions! Visit our Facebook page on these dates and times to tune in!

  • Wednesday, April 15 at 8 am ET
  • Wednesday, April 15 at 8 pm ET
  • Friday, April 17 at 9 am ET

More colleges announced test-optional policies for the 2020-21 admissions cycle. A full list can be found here.

April 7: Northeastern University announced it will be test-optional for the 2020-21 admissions cycle.

April 6: Williams and Amherst announced they will adopt test-optional policies for the 2020-21 admissions cycle.

April 3: The College Board released more information about the upcoming at-home AP exams this afternoon, including the schedule, information on make ups, and that the exams will be open book/note.

April 1: The University of California system announced today that they will be relaxing admissions requirements for students, including going test optional for fall 2021 admission. They are also suspending the letter grade requirement for courses completed in the first half of 2020 for students enrolling for fall 2020 in order to accommodate pass/fail grading.

March 31: While the list of colleges extending their enrollment deadlines to June 1 is over 300, close to 500 are keeping their May 1 deposit deadline, including high-profile institutions like NYU, Boston University, UCLA, USC, Duke, UChicago, and more.

March 30: “At least 17 colleges have dropped the SAT or ACT in recent weeks for one or two admissions cycles, specifically citing the impact of COVID-19.”

The UNC system approved new admissions standards to take effect a year earlier than planned in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

March 27: A take-home testing option is now available for students taking the GRE and TOEFL.

March 25: Boston University announced a test-optional policy for students applying to the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters.

University of Oregon is also going test-optional for students applying this fall for the freshman class enrolling fall of 2021.

March 24: Tufts University announced that it will go test-optional for a three-year period starting this fall in response to “extraordinary circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

March 23: IB exams scheduled for this May have been canceled. Students will be awarded a diploma or course certificate depending on what they had registered for. More details will be available on March 27.

March 21: Students taking the GRE will have the option to take the graduate admissions examination at home.

MCAT exams scheduled for March 27 and April 4 have been canceled.

Students registered for the March LSAT will be automatically rescheduled for the April 25 test.

March 20: The College Board announced that AP exams WILL NOT take place in person this year. Instead, students will be able to take a 45-minute online exam at home. For each subject there will be two different testing dates. The full exam schedule as well as the free response questions and other details will be available April 3. For more information visit the AP updates site here.

The UK Department of Education announced that “this year’s summer exam series, including A levels, GCSEs and other qualifications, and all primary assessments, have been cancelled.”

International ACT testing dates have been postponed. The April 3 and 4 international ACT test dates have been pushed to June 13 and 14 in response to the coronavirus.

MIT announced that they will no longer consider SAT Subject Tests as part of the application process starting with the 2020-21 admissions cycle.

March 19: The IB announced that they will be making a deicsion on May IB exams no later than March 27. We will update as soon as more information is available.

March 18: IvyWise held a Facebook live event with counselor Christine to update families on how school closures and admissions exam cancellations can affect college prep. Christine also answered some questions from students and parents. You can watch the full session here. 

Case Western Reserve University announced that it will be going test-optional for the class of 2021 admissions season in response to test cancellations due to coronavirus.

March 16: The College Board announced it’s canceling the May 2nd SAT exam. They also announced that they are exploring options for the May AP exams, including a take-home option. More information will be available March 20.

The ACT announced it’s postponing the April 4 exams to June 13.

Also be sure to visit the NACAC website for a great resource on school closures, deadline extensions, and more.


All of these changes and updates come at a time when students across the globe are anxiously awaiting admission decisions as well as the time prime time for students to go on campus visits. This can cause a big disruption in students’ college planning, and can also have a dramatic effect on how students choose where to enroll, even if schools are extending their enrollment deposit deadlines.

 

 

Here’s a more comprehensive look at some of the latest developments:

SAT/ACT Cancellations
The College Board has cancelled the May and June SAT and SAT Subject Test dates globally. This comes after the March 14, 2020 SAT administration was cancelled in locations that are heavily affected by the coronavirus.

Following the cancellation of the June exam the College Board stated that:

“If it’s safe from a public health standpoint, we’ll provide weekend SAT administrations every month through the end of the calendar year, beginning in August. This includes a new administration in September and the previously scheduled tests on August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5. Students can register for these administrations starting in May. We’ll contact students directly when we have the exact date. Eligible students can register with a fee waiver.”

The College Board has also previously said that it is exploring an online, at-home SAT exam if schools are unable to open in the fall.

The ACT has also postponed the April 4 test to June 13. International ACT testing dates have also been postponed, with the April 3 and 4 international exams moved to June 12 and 13.

From the ACT: “ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the U.S. in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). All students registered for the April 4 test date will receive an email from ACT in the next few days informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date.”

“ACT has rescheduled its 3 and 4 April international test dates to 12 and 13 June in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). All students registered for the 3 and 4 April international test dates received an email from ACT informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to 12 or 13 June or a future international test date.”

AP Exam Updates
As for AP exams, students will be taking their exams online at home this year. Exams will be open book/note and will be administered May 11-22, 2020.

Each exam will be 45 minutes (plus 5 minutes for uploading the exam) and each subject will have two testing dates – one initial date and one make up date. Each subject’s exam will be taken on same day at the same time worldwide. While the exam is open note, students are NOT allowed to consult with any individuals during their testing period.

Since this exam will be online, students can take on any device – smartphone, computer, or tablet. The College Board recommends that students access the online testing system 30 minutes before the start of the exam in order to get set up.

The exams will only cover content that most AP courses have already covered by March. Questions are also being designed and administered in a way that prevents cheating. The College Board emphasized: “We use a range of digital security tools and techniques, including plagiarism detection software, to protect the integrity of the exams.”

The College Board is also providing free resources to help students prepare. Starting March 25 students can attend free AP review courses taught by AP teachers.

AP exam scores are expected to be delivered on time in July.

2020 AP Exam Schedule
Below is the testing schedule for the 2020 AP exams

2020 AP Exam Schedule

IB Coursework and Exams
IB examinations for May 2020 have been canceled.

According to the IB: “Depending on what they registered for, the student will be awarded a Diploma or a Course Certificate which reflects their standard of work. This is based on student’s coursework and the established assessment expertise, rigor and quality control already built into the programmes.”

More detailed information and an FAQ will be available on March 27.

Prior to announcing the cancellation of the exams, the IB provided extended deadlines for IB coursework as follows:

  • eCoursework early component deadline (15 March) extended to 12 April 
  • Internal assessment deadline (20 April) extended to 20 May 
  • MYP personal project and ePortfolio deadline (20 April) extended to 20 May 
  • CAS completion entry deadline (1 June) extended to 3 July 
  • Predicted grade entry for DP, CP and MYP is extended to 1 June 
  • Externally assessed components for film, dance, music, theatre and visual arts extended to 30 May
  • CP service learning and language development components to 1 June
  • Language A: literature school-supported, self-taught alternative oral to 30 May

Graduate Admissions Exams Updates
GRE:
Students registered for the GRE will be able to take the exam at home.
Taking the GRE General Test at home is available from March 23 (13:00 UTC) in selected countries where students can take the test at home beginning Friday, March 27.” The test will be identical to the regular in-person examination and will be monitored online by a proctor.

TOEFL: Students can also now take the TOEFL at home.

LSAT: All March LSAT registrations will be automatically registered for the April 25 exam in the community where they were originally scheduled to take the exam. If that location is unavailable, they will be automatically registered for the June test in their locations. They are also waiving late change fees for April registrants. While no final decisions have been made they are exploring the option of possibly offering the exam online at home.

MCAT: March 27 and April 4 MCAT exams have been canceled. Students registered for exams that were canceled will receive a full refund and can re-register for a future date. Right now there is no plan to add additional testing dates but they are monitoring the situation closely.

GMAT: Testing has been suspended in many locations worldwide. For more information visit the GMAC site here.

Will Colleges Go Test-Optional?
With testing cancellations and no clear information yet on if there will be additional dates for current juniors, many students, parents, and counselors are wondering if colleges will be more flexible with testing requirements for the class of 2021. While the full effect on testing remains to be seen, some schools are stating early that they might adopt test-optional/flexible policies for the next admissions season.
Here’s the full list of colleges going test-optional for the 2020-21 college admissions cycle.

 

University Event Cancellations
In response to coronavirus concerns, many colleges and universities across the US have announced cancellations or modifications to regular admissions events, most notably the cancellation of admitted student weekend events at some of the country’s top universities. Each school is taking its own approach to this situation, so it’s important to check with each school on your college list to learn if any cancellations impact you personally.

Counselors have been putting together resources to help students visit their top-choice schools virtually. Here’s a list of schools that offer virtual tours and where to find them.

NACAC also has a great resource for information on school closures, deadlines, and more affected by COVID-19.

College Fairs
NACAC announced that it is cancelling all college fairs for the remainder of spring 2020.

This is a very fluid event so expect changes to happen rapidly and frequently. At IvyWise we work with families to help them best navigate the college admissions process, including any unexpected challenges like canceled campus visits and testing. If you need help making decisions on your testing schedule or college list because of cancellations, our team is here to help. Contact us today for information.

 

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