How has Covid-19 impacted the relevance of the SAT and ACT and admissions worldwide? - Filo Blog
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With scores of Covid-19 cases popping on the surface, a lot of dilemmas regarding admissions worldwide have been appearing like a smokescreen. From news channels flashing the news to the social media handles spreading the pertinent question of whether the admissions will take place worldwide, it has spread like fire. The disruptive effects were spread far and wide in a myriad range of industries; however, the outbreak stopping the students from pursuing education on the campus looks daunting. 

Colleges and Universities Financially Strained 

Not only have campuses moved to online learning practically overnight, but they are also facing serious financial problems as the local and global economies appear to be heading for a significant downturn. Short-term unexpected costs and longer-term enrollment decreases would certainly jeopardize the viability of institutions that were already financially strained or running in a deficit prior to the pandemic, perhaps requiring multiple closures and mergers.

What is the relevance of the SAT and ACT for the assessment? 

One of the unanswered issues is how the pandemic and accompanying global recession would influence enrollment for the coming academic year and beyond in the United States and internationally.

With the 2022 admission cycle commences, the American undergraduate schools have declared that they will not need the students to take up the ACT or SAT but rather assess students on the basis of their secondary and high-school performances. It comes out as a shocking surprise considering that SAT/ ACT is the assessment criteria for most US universities. With the SAT schedules all across the globe going for a toss, the universities have decided to open up the gates for students who cannot take the exams. 

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Most of the IVY League colleges, including Harvard, Columbia, and Cornel, have waived off the SAT/ACT examination for the students appearing for the 2022 intake. The universities abroad have realized the seriousness of the pandemic and how the centres are shut. Furthermore, the educational experts have pointed out that the students who aim to apply abroad now need to focus more on their internal academics and extracurricular activities.

How Are Colleges Rethinking Legacy Admissions for 2022? 

Some universities have also examined legacy admissions, a practice that provides alumni’s family members an admissions edge. A prevalent complaint of legacy admissions is that it gives a leg up to applicants from well-off families at the expense of more competent candidates, despite the fact that the practice is not as widespread or important as recent modifications to testing rules.

In an admissions complaint filed against Harvard University in Massachusetts, it was discovered that almost 34% of legacy candidates were admitted from 2009 to 2015, compared to a roughly 6% acceptance rate for non-legacy students during the same time period. 

Some universities and state governments have reexamined legacy admissions in the face of increased scrutiny. Legacy admissions preferences are prohibited at public universities in California, and Colorado just became the first state to do so. Brigger points out that legacy preferences were phased out at the University of Colorado Boulder in summer 2020, a year before the state statute was approved.

According to Brigger, eliminating legacy admissions eliminates another barrier to college for certain candidates. Most prospective students are likely to support such a change. Inside Higher Ed and College Pulse conducted a student survey in July 2021 and found that 79 per cent of respondents supported eliminating legacy preferences in college admissions.

How and Why Testing Policies Have Changed? 

In the early months of the pandemic, access to the ACT and SAT was difficult, with many testing sessions cancelled owing to safety concerns. Colleges were forced to stop and reconsider testing requirements due to limited access to these examinations. 

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A student’s college application approach might be aided by understanding testing regulations. For example, a student applying to test-blind colleges may want to focus on other aspects of the application rather than hours of ACT or SAT preparation. When applying to a test-optional institution, a student may choose to hide a mediocre score or highlight a remarkable result. Some admissions experts worry that test-optional rules don’t live up to their billing.

With the given global uncertainty, there must be scores of questions loitering in your minds. Are these the questions, which pop into your head? Will you be able to take any required examinations or tests for your application to be accepted? Is your preferred university still accepting applications from overseas students? Will you be able to complete your degree on campus, or has the university moved to online learning?

The simple answer is that the changes brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic have impacted nearly every aspect of the educational process for students and universities alike. It’s more difficult to teach. It is unquestionably more difficult to learn. Many campuses have been mostly deserted. And, for all intents and purposes, the concept of extracurricular activity has dried up. However, some of the universities have decided to stick to their conventional methods of SAT and ACT, while the others are okay with potential students not taking the tests with the concern of rising Covid-19 cases. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is it possible that my SAT administration may be canceled because of worries about COVID-19?

Answer: All projected test dates are on track to take place as scheduled. However, the authorities will continue to prioritize student, instructor, and community health and safety. 

Schools and districts decide whether or not to give the tests based on College Board standards and local health and safety regulations. Every university has its different guidelines; thus, it is advised to visit the official website and track the examination updates. 

Furthermore, you’ll receive an email if your test center decides to close. On the morning before the exam, we recommend checking the test center closures page.

Q2. What are the 2021-22 SAT examination dates for the universities which plan on taking the examination? 

Answer: The 2021-22 SAT examination dates are as follows: March 12, 2022, May 7, 2022, and June 4, 2022.

Q3. Are there any health and safety measures taken while conducting the SAT and ACT examination? 

Answer: Yes, there are certain protocols that are followed at the centers of examination, including: 

  • During testing, students must be sitting at least 3 feet apart. 
  • Prior to entering the test center or testing room, students must confirm a set of assertions (detailed below). 
  • Students and staff must agree to wear a mask while at the test venue and throughout testing as part of the check-in process. During check-in, students will be required to remove their masks for ID verification. Students who refuse to comply with this rule will be expelled. 
  • Masks are needed for both students and employees. 
  • Students who violate the test center’s or College Board’s standards shall be removed from the test center; their results will be annulled, and they will not receive a refund if this happens.

However, it is advised to check the website before proceeding to the test center to stay on the safer side. 

Wrapping Up!

With the full impact of COVID-19 still being felt across higher education and society in the United States and all across the globe, the admission experts advise students to make the most of their time, offer a genuine image of themselves on college applications, and attempt to comprehend recent events. The pro tip for staying up-to-date is to track the colleges for updates when it comes to SAT and ACT examinations. A very good luck to you! 

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