COVID-19 sinks its claws into standardized testing

How the pandemic is affecting the SAT


Students taking the SAT test.

Kaeli Loung, Writer

With the pandemic causing complications across the board, it is changing the way colleges value the SAT. In March, test centers were closed rapidly with the promise of hosting an SAT every month once things got betterTime skip a few months later, the first SAT with modifications was held on August 26. However, according to College Board, over 46 percent of test centers were closed that day due to said health regulations.  

As cancellations continue to rise as each test date passes, colleges and students are left wondering, “Is it really worth it?” According to the vice president of the admissions at the University of New England, Scott Steinberg, it is not“Our research has shown that a student’s performance in high school is the most significant predictor of academic success at UNE,” Steinberg states when the university announced that it was going test blind. “Standardized tests provide very little — if any — incremental value beyond the high school record and grade point average.” Like the University of New England, a handful of colleges, such as the University of Virginia and the Virginia Military Institute chose to do a similar policy where standardized tests are not required. 

Lauren Gogal, a senior at Battlefield High School who is committed to play soccer at Virginia Tech, agrees with colleges adopting new policies concerning the SAT to an extent“Virginia Tech is not requiring the SAT due to the inconsistent pandemic restrictions in some states and how unfair for some students it would be, which I agree with.” Gogal states. However, she also says that she does think that the SAT is a good standard marker for out of state or country students but should not be the sole subject for colleges to zero in on. Personally, Gogal plans to retake her earlier SAT (which was taken her sophomore year) later this year for a potential scholarship, which is a large benefit for students to consider. 

While Gogal has only gotten to experience the non-pandemic-era SAT, another student at Battlefield High School was able to take her SAT this month. Misha Padigala, a junior, took her test on October 3rd at Battlefield. We had to wear masks the entire time,” She says when asked to describe the health and safety regulations. “There were only ten to eleven desks in the rooms that were really spread out, it was nice having less people in the room.” Padigala also claims that the test administrators followed the COVID regulations well, which is huge news for those considering registering for a future SAT at Battlefield.  

While the pandemic continues to cause destruction all over the world with standardized tests in the middle of it, the many students, who are left wondering what to do next, should consider what is best for the future.