College Board Suspends Plans For At-Home SATs

Wednesday, June 3rd 2020, 3:53 am
By: CBS News

With the outlook of the 2019-2020 academic year unclear because of the coronavirus pandemic, College Board announced in April that they would plan an at-home version of the SAT so high school students can take their exams safely. But on Tuesday, College Board announced that an at-home testing plan will have to wait, and students will continue to test at designated centers this fall. 

College Board announced that an at-home version of the test would require "three hours of uninterrupted, video-quality internet" access, the company said in a press release Tuesday, and that it can't guarantee all students will have that kind of access. 

"The College Board will continue to develop remote proctoring capabilities to make at-home SAT possible in the future," College Board said. "It will also continue to deliver the SAT online in some schools but will not introduce the stress that could result from extended at-home testing in an already disrupted admissions season."

The company plans to continue working on at-home tests that can be implement in the future.

"We know demand is very high and the registration process for students and families under this kind of pressure is extremely stressful," College Board CEO David Coleman said in the statement. "There are more important things than tests right now. In making these difficult decisions we focused on reducing the anxiety that students and families are experiencing this year. We therefore are asking our member colleges to be flexible toward students who can't submit scores, who submit them later, or who did not have a chance to test more than once."

College Board is also asking colleges to help the "millions of students" who couldn't take the SAT this spring due to COVID-19. College Board publicly asked colleges to accept SAT scores "as late as possible in their processes," equally consider students who cannot take the exam because of the ongoing pandemic, and recognize that "students who do submit scores may not have been able to take the test more than once," which includes students who took the test before their senior year.

Because of the numerous canceled testing dates this spring and summer, many students have rushed to sign up for the earliest planned testing dates. College Board said that in many areas, August and September testing dates are already full or getting close to being so. They tweeted Friday that students registering for a test that day could expect delays because of "a greater volume than usual of students trying tor register."

More than half of the testing seats available in August in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Washington State, and New Jersey, have been filled. 

College Board has had its fair share of criticism this year. 

Last month, the company faced significant backlash over its at-home Advanced Placement (AP) exams. The new format of the test reduced an entire academic year's worth of information down to a few questions. Thousands of students who took the tests experienced technological issues that prevented them from submitting answers, and had to sign up to retake their exams. The company blamed "outdated browsers" for the issue.

First published on June 2, 2020 / 10:08 PM

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