By Editors Ethan Barber and Nick Fore
Graphics by Nick Fore
Senior Steven Danielson has had to reschedule his SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) three times since March. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this seems to be a trend, with testing centers across the country canceling their tests because of the safety risks such a large gathering poses.
“The first [canceled test] was a bit annoying,” Danielson said, “but I was able to sign up for another one pretty quickly. The next two, though; those were both completely frustrating.” Currently, Danielson is signed up for the SAT in December, though he started studying at the beginning of the year when he signed up for his first test.
Anja Swenson, another Senior whose test has been cancelled more than once, believes this is for the better. “It just sets me up to study again and do better,” she said. Swenson has been studying off and on since March, when she scheduled her first SAT.
Though the College Board provides the SAT, it’s not their decision whether or not tests on certain dates will occur. Instead, that responsibility lies with the testing sites, most of which are high schools. “It’s up to each individual testing site to let the Testing Center know if [the SAT] should be held at that site or not,” said Dean of Students Marie Ratcliff, who is a supervisor for the testing site at Timberline.
“Things are different in different areas,” Swenson said about this. “Some areas might be in a good enough place [in terms of COVID-19 rates] that students can take the tests, but some are not. I don’t think it’s fair to the students who are in a good enough area to take them to not be able to [if the College Board cancels their test instead of the testing site].”
Additionally, due to the large number of students who haven’t had the chance to take the SAT, many colleges and universities no longer require SAT scores for admissions for next year’s class. Danielson and Swenson both support this. “There are so many people like me who haven’t had the opportunity and might not get the opportunity to [take the SAT],” said Danielson. “If it was required, it would take out a lot of schools you could apply to.”
Swenson touched upon the fact that some students cannot leave their homes at all due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “There are people with immunocompromised parents who cannot leave their house right now and won’t be able to for a long time,” she said. “That’s not fair to them.”
Ultimately, though it may no longer be required for many college admissions, both students still plan to take the SAT, whenever the right time may be. While Danielson is unsure as of yet whether the schools he plans to apply to will require SAT scores, Swenson will at some point attend a community college, which likely won’t require her test scores. “I’m just going to take it to take it,” she said.