SATs and ACTs postponed amid COVID-19 pandemic

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Some high school juniors in our area are feeling additional pressure in their college application process, as their expected timelines for standardized testing are disrupted.

"I'm feeling like really stressed about it honestly," said Francesca Pavluk, who is a Williamstown High School junior.

This week, the College Board announced that the May SAT date and the March makeups were canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another standardized test, the ACTs, which were set for April, have been postponed until June.

"I'm feeling a little bit of pressure because I'm planning on doing early decision and early action for colleges, and that has to be done around September. So I'm taking my last SAT in like June, I feel like I'm not giving myself a lot of wiggle room," Pavluk explained.

We spoke to Neal Cousins, the Director of College Counseling at The Haverford School.

"I can understand that students and parents are anxious," Cousins told us, by remote interview.

But he added, now is not the time to panic.

"There's plenty of, I think, time and opportunity, and we need to know that colleges are going to be flexible. They're dealing with the same uncertainty we are," Cousins pointed out.

So far, the June date for the SATs is still scheduled.

The College Board states that they will provide future additional SAT testing opportunities.

"There's even a lot of schools that have come out and talked about having testing be optional in the fall, and that's a conversation that's been going on for quite awhile, before this whole situation even occurred, but it may speed up that conversation a little bit," Cousins explained.

Cousins added that virtual tours can be a helpful resource as students try to learn more about campuses they can't currently explore.

"They had those before, but I think they are being much more deliberate about them now, and I think it's great because it is going to reach a much wider audience than it ever has before," he said.
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