COVID-19 and the SAT/ACT: How Rising 11th & 12th Graders Should Plan Their SAT/ACT Prep and Testing Strategy

    Posted by Kimberly Hewitt on Tuesday, April 14, 2020

     

    200319 COVID-19 SAT ACT Blog

     

     

    View our on-demand webinar: COVID-19's Impact on SAT/ACT Testing and College Admissions

     

    Updates Since Original March 18 Post:

    -8/3/2020: Fall 2020 ACT registration is open.

    -6/23/2020: The UAA Testing Center has confirmed that the July 18 ACT is happening at the UAA Social Sciences Building, 2nd floor.  Additionally, ACT has announced three additional fall 2020 test dates: September 19, October 10, and October 17.  Registration will open the last week of July.

    -6/2/2020: The College Board has suspended plans to roll out online SAT testing in fall 2020 and has publicly asked colleges to extend testing deadlines for applicants in the high school class of 2021.  See full announcement

    -5/28/2020: Priority registration has opened for fall 2020 SAT test dates.  Regular registration will open on June 3.  See full details

    -5/26/2020: According to the UAA Testing Center, the June 13 ACT administration at their Anchorage testing center has been cancelled.

    -4/23/2020: The College Board has announced that a new SAT date has been added for September 26, 2020.

    -4/15/2020: ACT will offer home-based testing beginning in late fall/early winter 2020.  See full announcement

    -4/15/2020: The College Board has cancelled the June 2020 SAT, but notes that they will add an official test date in September, meaning there will be an SAT test date every month from August through December.  Students who had been registered for the June SAT, as well as current juniors who have not yet taken the SAT, will receive early access to registration for the August/September/October SAT dates. 

     

    The rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation is affecting every facet of our lives, and SAT/ACT testing is no exception, with the May 2 SAT having been cancelled and the April 4 ACT having been rescheduled. Frontier Tutoring is continuing to operate all of our programs, including SAT/ACT prep, via online delivery until Anchorage School District resumes in-person courses (see here for our latest operational status updates). We want to help Alaska families decide how to approach their SAT/ACT testing during this unprecedented situation, so in this post we are answering the following questions:

     

    What is the status of upcoming official SAT and ACT test dates?

     

    What should I do next if I…


    What are my options for SAT/ACT prep right now?

     

    TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)


    Please navigate to the questions that apply to you. We will update this post as new information becomes available.

     


     

    What is the status of upcoming official SAT and ACT test dates?

     

    • SAT: The May 2 and June 6 SAT were cancelled. The College Board has added official test date on September 26, meaning there will be an SAT test date every month from August through December.  Students who had been registered for the June SAT, as well as current juniors who have not yet taken the SAT, will receive early access to registration for the August/September/October SAT dates.

      Registration for fall 2020 SAT test dates is now open 


    • ACT: ACT rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13; this June 13 test date was cancelled at the UAA Testing Center in Anchorage. On June 23, the UAA Testing Center confirmed that the July 18, 2020 ACT is happening at UAA (Social Sciences Building, 2nd floor).  ACT has announced three additional fall 2020 test dates: September 19, October 10, and October 17.

      Registration for fall 2020 ACT test dates is now open

     


     

    What should I do next if I…

     

    What I should do next if I was signed up for an official SAT/ACT date that was cancelled?

     

    Step 1. Register for a new test date

     

    While College Board has added a new SAT date and we expect ACT to implement similar contingency plans to handle a surge in demand, we still recommend reserving a seat now in case demand exceeds capacity for these new test dates as they are added.

     

    • SAT: Follow the guidance you received from the College Board.  In general, you should register for a new test date as soon as possible; fall 2020 test registration is open.

    • ACT: Follow guidance you received from ACT, Inc.  In general, you should register for a new test date as soon as possible; fall 2020 test registration will open at the end of July.

    Step 2. Determine your prep plan

     

    Frontier Tutoring is continuing to operate all of our programs (including SAT/ACT prep), although we are delivering these programs online until Anchorage School District resumes in-person courses.

     

    Now could be an optimal time to prepare for the SAT/ACT if you are stuck at home and have extra time because school and other activities have been cancelled.

     

     

    Reasons You Should Prepare for the SAT/ACT Now

    Caveats to Consider

    1. You have extra time because you are stuck at home and school/activities have been cancelled

     

    2. It will be easier to schedule sessions or classes now: Once school and official tests resume, there will be a significant surge in demand for both official test dates and SAT/ACT prep programs

     

    3. If you are not taking the SAT/ACT until this summer, you can complete your SAT/ACT prep program now, and we’ll provide you with a Post-Program Practice Schedule (a weekly schedule of assignments between the end of your program and your official test date so you can keep your skills sharp)

     

     

    1. If you don’t think you’ll be able to commit about 30 minutes per week to the work on the Post-Program Practice Schedule (see #3 in the column on the left), it might be better to wait until closer to your official test date to start prep.  You can (and should) still enroll in your SAT/ACT prep program now in order to save your seat, as we anticipate a significant surge in demand once school and official SAT/ACT test dates resume.

     

    2. We recognize that some families are more affected by COVID-19 than others.  If you are simply too distracted right now to focus on SAT/ACT prep, then it may be a good idea to start your SAT/ACT prep program later, though (as mentioned above) we would still recommend enrolling now to save your seat.

     

     

    Once school resumes, we anticipate a significant surge in demand for both official test dates and SAT/ACT prep programs...

    ...so whether you plan to start your SAT/ACT prep sessions now or later, we recommend enrolling now to reserve your seat.

     

    See Your Options for SAT/ACT Prep

     


     

    What should I do next if I am signed up for an official SAT/ACT that might be cancelled?

     

    Keep your existing reservation, then determine your prep plan as described above.

     


     

    What should I do next if I am a 10th or 11th grader who has not yet signed up for an official SAT/ACT date?

     

    In a nutshell, you should follow our 3 Steps to SAT/ACT Success framework as usual, which provides a summary on how you should approach the entire SAT/ACT testing process.

     

    We are continuing to offer practice SAT/ACT testing and North to My Future meetings online.  Now could be an optimal time to get your practice testing and college admissions planning out of the way if you are stuck at home and have extra time because school and other activities have been cancelled.

     

    Here’s a quick summary of the 3 Steps to SAT/ACT Success:

     

    Step 1: Determine whether to focus on the SAT or ACT, and establish your baseline score

     

    All four-year colleges accept either the SAT or ACT for admissions purposes. That means you should determine which test better suits your strengths, then focus exclusively on preparing for that test.  How do you make that determination?  Take a free practice SAT and ACT to establish your baseline score on both tests and learn which test better suits your strengths.

     

    Step 2: Set your target score

     

    Determine the score you aspire to reach based on your college admissions and scholarship goals. View average SAT/ACT scores of admitted students at a sample of nationwide colleges by downloading The Frontier 49 College Admissions Factbook.  You can also sign up for North to My Future, your free, individualized college admissions strategy session, where we can help you determine your preliminary target score.

     

    Step 3: Select your study strategy


    Evaluate your baseline score and target score in the context of your strengths and learning style preferences. Determine whether you should go pro with an expert test prep program, study on your own, or try both.  We can also help you make a decision about the best test prep plan for you during your North to My Future meeting.

     

    For step-by-step guidance see: When to Prepare for and Take the SAT/ACT (Including PSAT/National Merit Info): 3 Questions to Help You Decide

     


     

    What are my options for SAT/ACT prep right now?

     

    Frontier Tutoring is continuing to operate all of our programs (including SAT/ACT prep), although we are delivering these programs online until Anchorage School District resumes in-person courses.  Our online learning system allows us to conduct live one-to-one and group instruction, share notes and annotations, and provide recordings for students to review later if they wish.  Students are comfortable with this technology and have provided us with enthusiastic feedback regarding their experience with online sessions.

     

    200318 Zoom Session

    A Tutoring Specialist and student work out a geometry problem during an online session

     

    If you are considering enrolling in an SAT/ACT prep program:

     

    You can enroll in any SAT/ACT prep program now, with the following options:

     

    • Start prep now online, then move to in-person sessions once we resume them

    • Start prep now online and continue sessions online for the duration of your program

    • Enroll now and reserve your seat for future sessions/classes to be offered in person

     

    If you have already purchased an SAT/ACT prep program from Frontier Tutoring:

     

    You have the following options:

     

    • Start (or continue) prep as scheduled online, then move to in-person sessions once we resume them

    • Start (or continue) prep as scheduled online and continue sessions online for the remainder of your program

    • Reschedule your existing enrollment to sessions/classes to be offered in person

    • If you wish to discuss other options, schedule a call with us

     


     

    TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read)

     

    • For many students, now is an optimal time to prepare for the SAT/ACT (or take a practice SAT/ACT and complete your North to My Future meeting) if you are stuck at home and have extra time because school and other activities have been cancelled.

    • Once school resumes, we anticipate a significant surge in demand for both official test dates and SAT/ACT prep programs. So whether you plan to start your SAT/ACT prep sessions now or later, we recommend enrolling now to reserve your seat.

    • You have the following options for enrolling now: (i) Start your program online and finish it in person, (ii) Start and complete your program entirely online, or (iii) Enroll now to reserve your seat for in-person instruction at a later date.

     


     

    We recognize that COVID-19 represents an unprecedented challenge for everyone.  We are immensely proud of our team of professionals for pulling together to provide our students with uninterrupted access to the renowned programs they need in order to achieve their college admissions goals.  We wish you and your family all the best as we navigate this situation together and, as always, we are here to help.  Please contact us with any questions regarding your student's individual SAT/ACT prep, academic, or college admissions situation.

     

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    Topics: ACT, SAT, 11th Grade - Juniors, 10th Grade - Sophomores, College Admissions: Test Well