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SAT and ACT Timeline Updates

Mid-April, the College Board and ACT announced changes to test dates and contingency plans for remote testing during fall of 2020. We know that many families are uncertain about what these shifts mean for juniors. Below is a summary of important updates, as well as recommendations for navigating these changes.    

Updates from SAT 

Starting in August, the College Board will offer national testing dates for the SAT every month until the end of the year. Registration is now open for Fall 2020 SAT test dates, though certain dates are only open for students with priority status.

Priority status is given to students who either:
  • Registered for the June SAT or SAT Subject Test and didn't cancel their registration.
  • Are in the high school class of 2020 or 2021 and do not have SAT scores.
Fall test dates and registration availability are:
  • August 29 
    • Registration is available for priority students only.
    • Registration opens for all students on June 3.
  • September 26  
    • Registration is available for priority students only.
    • Registration opens for all students on June 3.
  • October 3
    • Registration is available for priority students only.
    • Registration opens for all students on June 3.
  • November 7
    • Registration is available for all students.
  • December 5
    • Registration is available for all students. 
Students can register here. Further information and continued updates can be found on the College Board's Coronavirus Updates page.

Updates from ACT 

ACT still has two test dates scheduled for this summer, on June 13 and July 18*. The decision to hold or cancel the June 13 test will be made by test center administrators based on local and state public health guidelines. For students still registered for the June 13 test, ACT will be emailing students with updates on test center availability, as well as any options for rescheduling or refunds. A full list of June 13 test center cancelations can be found here

The next available test date is July 18, and ACT remains in close contact with testing centers regarding availability and capacity. No announcement to cancel or reschedule this testing date has been made yet. Further information and continued updates can be found on ACT's Testing Amid COVID-19 page. 

For the next school year's test dates, registration will open in July. National test dates for 2020-2021 are:
  • September 12, 2020
  • October 24, 2020
  • December 12, 2020
  • February 6, 2021
  • April 17, 2021
  • June 12, 2021
  • July 17, 2021*
*No test centers in New York are scheduled for the July test date.

Once registration opens, students can register here

Given these changes, what does StudyPoint recommend? 
  • Our view, based on 20 years of experience in the college admissions world, is that the SAT and ACT continue to be critically important data points for colleges in their admissions decisions. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to upend many pillars of the admissions process, including junior-year GPAs, extracurricular activities, sports, work experience, and summer internships. With these ongoing disruptions, a strong SAT or ACT score will be a vital piece of a strong admissions portfolio for this year's juniors. 
  • These announcements by the ACT and the College Board give this year's juniors a few pieces of certainty in a shifting landscape: the SAT and ACT will be administered this fall, and spending additional time preparing for those test dates will help ensure your student has the best opportunity to stay competitive in this year's admissions pool. 
  • StudyPoint also anticipates that merit-based financial aid and scholarships will be in higher demand, given the current global economy. That will mean that test scores to qualify for these scholarships will be more competitive than in prior years, making a strong ACT or SAT score a key element for students seeking merit-based financial assistance or athletic scholarships. 
  • Based on all of these considerations, we strongly recommend that students continue to focus on preparing themselves for upcoming summer and fall test dates. 
  • We also recognize that more and more schools continue to unveil test optional policies - for guidance on test optional policies, please see our post from earlier this month. 

Page last updated June 1, 2020. Be sure to check the College Board and ACT websites for the most up-to-date information. 

The college preparation process has been upended this spring, and StudyPoint is here to help your junior navigate these changes. Feel free to call our Enrollment Advisors at 1-87STUDYPOINT for a consultation. We also offer test preparation, subject tutoring, and admissions support options.

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