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Testing Updates and Summit’s Recommendations during COVID-19

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ACT registration re-opens August 3, 11am Eastern Time.*

*ACT has sent an email to students whose tests were cancelled in April, June, or July with information about fall testing. For all others, registration for the fall ACT opens today at 10am Central Time/11am Eastern Time.

Some Things to Note

  • Students will have to re-set their username and password when they register, due to ACT’s new registration system. Students might also need to answer additional survey questions. If a student has previously taken an ACT test, those scores will be available (according to ACT) under the student’s new username account as those scores carried over.
  • Even though ACT announced additional test dates in September and October, it appears that most test centers did not add those dates, so most students will not see those test date options when they register. Most students will just see the previously scheduled September 12 and October 24 testing dates.
  • Sunday testing is usually reserved for students with religious conflicts, but ACT will open that up as an option for all students this fall. Please note that just because the Sunday test dates are existing test dates, that doesn’t necessarily mean there will be wider availability.

We realize that these are extremely trying times. If you have questions about your testing plan, please call your local Summit office or email us. We are here to help in whatever way we can.

Testing Updates

SAT and Subject Tests

Registration for fall SAT and Subject Tests is open to all at this time. College Board has added School Day SAT and Subject Test administration on September 23 and October 14.

College Board has suspended its plans to offer a remote at-home SAT for the upcoming year.

Read more SAT Coronavirus Updates


ACT has sent an email to students whose tests were cancelled in April, June, or July with information about fall testing. For all others, registration for the fall ACT opens today at 10am Central Time/11am Eastern Time.

ACT added 3 national test dates to its fall schedule but it is unclear whether any test centers elected to host the test on the new dates.

Also, ACT announced a remote proctoring option for the ACT test to become available in winter 2020. ACT has cancelled its plans to offer Section retesting this year.

Read more ACT coronavirus updates


Students now have 3 options for taking the test:

SSAT At-Home (live, virtural proctor) – registration opens August 8, 2020.

Flex Tests (paper-based) – the dates for Flex tests are on EMA website. Flex test registration is OPEN.

Computer-based testing at a Prometric center – registration opens August 8.

Read the SSAT Testing Overview on EMA website.


ERB, the administrators of the ISEE assessment, has resumed its remotely-proctored testing option.

Read more ISEE coronavirus updates.

Summit’s Recommendations

Here are some general guidelines. Keep in mind that your approach should be personalized to your student. If you are a Summit client, your Program Director will make a customized recommendation based on your student and our shared history of tutoring sessions and practice tests.

High School Class of 2021

SAT VS ACTclass of 2021 who have not taken their first official SAT or ACT.

If you haven’t taken an SAT yet, you may want to consider registering for both the August and September SAT knowing that you can take it again in October if needed. For all of these 3 test dates, you will have scores back in time for a November 1 Early Decision deadline. Some colleges have extended deadlines for ED and EA to November 15, check the individual college’s website. For the regular decision deadline you could potentially test in November or December (if needed). Registration for the fall SAT dates is open. Most students test 2 or 3 times before college applications are due to make score improvements and to take advantage of superscoring and score choice options offered by some colleges.

If you are on the ACT path, we are anticipating a shortage of seats at testing centers due to COVID-19 restrictions and the uncertainty of which schools will be open. Finalize your fall testing plan and register for the September ACT as soon as possible. If you are wondering about the October 24 ACT test, keep in mind that scores aren’t expected until November 10. Taking the ACT October 24th is an option only if (1) the college you are applying to for Early Decision/Early Action has extended its application deadline beyond the traditional November 1 date, or (2) you are applying to college for Regular Decision or Early Decision II where deadlines are normally into December and January.

For those who have not taken their first official test—whether you are on an SAT or ACT path—we strongly recommend that you take a full length practice test under realistic conditions soon.

It will be easier to make decisions about how to structure the timing and content of your test preparation with a recent baseline score in hand. Summit provides a free consultation to students which includes a detailed score analysis and advice on how and when to test. Please feel free to contact one of our Program Directors for help with your test plan.

SAT SUBJECT TESTSWith the cancellation of the June SAT/SAT Subject Tests we recommend that students who have yet to take an official SAT not worry about taking Subject Tests. As with all general recommendations, there are always exceptions, please reach out to your program director for additional guidance and advice on changes to your testing plan.

Keep in mind the vast majority of students aren’t going to need Subject Tests. Only a few schools have programs that require SAT Subject Tests. Even those schools that traditionally recommend them, are stating on their websites that they are de-emphasizing them.

SAT VS ACTClass of 2021 who have taken at least one official test.

Use that score to decide what to do next. Most students test 2 or 3 times before college applications are due to make score improvements and to take advantage of superscoring and score choice options offered by some colleges. But there are a small percentage of students who scored well the first time they took it and might decide they’re done.

For students on an SAT path whose test plan was to retest, we encourage you to secure a fall SAT date as soon as possible. We anticipate high demand for all tests scheduled during fall 2020. Keep in mind that for the November 1 early decision deadlines, the August, September, or October SAT dates will get your scores back in time. You could also potentially test in November or December and still make regular decision deadlines.

For students on an ACT path, registration for fall ACT opens July 27. We are anticipating a shortage of seats at testing centers due to a combination of the restrictions during the pandemic.   As a backup plan, consider registering now for a fall SAT (August, September) which you can cancel once you have successfully registered for the September ACT.

SAT SUBJECT TESTSIf your test plan was to SAT retest in the fall, then using one of the other fall dates for SAT Subject Tests can be a good option. We want to emphasize though that taking your final SAT should take precedence over Subject Tests. If it makes sense for you go for it, but make sure you lock in your SAT score before worrying about SAT Subject Tests. ACT students who need Subject Tests, please note that they aren’t offered on the new SAT September date that was added by The College Board.

Online Tutoring
With our online programs you receive the same high-quality Summit experience and results. Our expert online tutoring services are available for:

SAT and ACT prep • AP exam prep • Academic subjects • SAT Subject Test prep • SSAT and ISEE prep

High School Class of 2022

Use the summer months to create your testing plan.

Most students in Class of 2022 were unaffected by the spring test cancellations. Both the SAT and ACT are curriculum based tests and a student’s performance correlates with age, maturity, and time spent in school. Students generally reach their peak score in spring of junior year or early fall of senior year.

Anticipating a high demand for seats at testing centers in fall 2020, we want to emphasize that having a clearly defined testing plan is important. We usually recommend that students take a practice SAT and ACT in the summer months leading up to junior year, then use these tests to decide between the SAT-ACT and create a test plan with target test dates and a study schedule. Taking these practice tests gives students an exposure to the type of content and difficulty level of the material, a sense of their strengths and weaknesses, and can uncover underlying skills that need to be improved upon.

The few situations where we diverge from our standard recommendation of targeting spring test dates are when you are strong scoring student, a recruited athlete, or know that spring of junior year is going to be too full of other commitments to make time for test preparation. These students typically move their testing timeline up to take advantage of the December test dates as their first opportunity to take the test.

These “early testers”, may want to consider registering for the December test when registration for the fall testing season opens up (at this writing, students can register for December SAT now, but wait until July to register for the December ACT). At Summit, we anticipate there will be a larger demand for seats at the fall test dates due to the seniors who were impacted by the spring 2020 cancellations. For early testers, taking an SAT and ACT practice test soon might be beneficial so they can know whether they are pursuing an SAT or ACT path, and get a jump on registering for the December test.

Virtual Proctored Practice Tests
Summit hosts free, online proctored practice tests so that students can still have the experience of a proctored full-length test. At this time, we offer SAT, ACT, and SSAT practice tests with options for regular time or extended time.

2020-2021 Test Administrations

Dates are subject to change. Always check the test administrators’ website.

The College Board and ACT now offer individual schools, districts, and states the ability to administer the SAT and/or ACT during the school day. To find out if your state, school distinct, or individual school is offering school day testing, check with your school’s counseling office.

SAT & Subject Test Dates ACT Dates
August 29 September 12
September 23 (School Day Test) September 19 (new)
September 26 (no Subject Tests) October 6 (District Test Day)
October 3 October 10 (new)
October 14 (School Day Test) October 17 (new)
November 7 October 24
December 5 December 12
March 3 (School Day Test) February 6
March 13 March 2 (District Test Day)
March 24 (School Day Test) March 30 (District Test Day)
April 13 (School Day Test) April 17
April 27 (School Day Test) June 12
May 8 July 17
June 5

Additional Resources

The National Association of College Admission Counselors (NACAC) has created a central repository of changes in college admission events, deposit deadlines, and more.


The British Council Americas has created this resource for counselors, students, and families to get updates on UK universities for the Americas‘ admissions and contact information during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Collegiate Commissioners Association announced March 15 that there would be no national letter of intent signings until April 15. NCAA Division I Committee has extended the recruiting dead period until May 31. Visit NCAA Coronavirus Resources.