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Testing Updates and Summit’s Recommendations during COVID-19

Learn about the new SSAT at Home, flex testing, and other changes resulting from COVID-19 restrictions. WATCH ON-DEMAND
Learn what you need to consider when choosing your test dates and prepping for the SAT or ACT in the coming academic year.
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International ACT Tests in December and February have been cancelled.

Read the announcement from ACT

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 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.  It opened up registration for its Sunday test dates this fall to all students, instead of reserving it for students with religious conflicts.

ACT has cancelled its plans to offer Section retesting this year.

Also, ACT announced a remote proctoring option for the ACT test to become available in winter 2020.

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 your SAT yet, you’re likely registered for the August or September test dates. For the August date, you may have been notified that your test center has cancelled the test administration (if you haven’t been notified, check the College Board and/or school website). In the event August cancels, you may want to try to find an opening for both the September and October SAT. For these 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.

If you cannot get a test date until November, there is a chance, depending on the college, that they will accept your November score for Early Decision or Early Action. For the regular decision deadline you could test in November or December with plenty of time. The fall testing schedule is a moving target, so it’s important to keep in mind that many colleges have announced test optional policies for the Class of 2021.

If you are on the ACT path, you’re likely registered for the September or October test dates. ACT has added more national test dates and sites throughout both months, so hopefully students can locate a site from one of the other options. For the October 24 ACT test, 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 deadline beyond the traditional November 1 date, or (2) the college is willing to accept your scores after the November 1 deadline, or (3) you are applying to college for Regular Decision or Early Decision II where deadlines are normally into December and January. Note that the December ACT is also an option for regular decision and Early Decision II deadlines in January. We anticipate that the fall ACT schedule will continue to be a moving target, so it’s important to keep in mind that many colleges have announced test optional policies for the Class of 2021.


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 either an SAT or ACT path whose test plan was to retest, keep in mind that for the November 1 early decision deadlines, the August (SAT), September (SAT/ACT), or October (SAT) dates will get your scores back in time. For the October ACT you will need to check with individual colleges to verify whether they will accept your score past the application deadline. You could also potentially test in November or December and still make regular decision deadlines.



We recommend that students not worry about taking Subject Tests. With August test center cancellations and Subject Tests not offered on the September test date, the opportunity for students to take Subject Tests is limited. Especially due to the pandemic, colleges are not expecting students to have taken them. If students have taken them and scored well, they should still submit those scores with their application.  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.

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 this time before school ramps up to take diagnostic tests and to create your testing plan.

We want to emphasize that having a clearly defined testing plan is important and reduces some of the anxiety around standardized testing. 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.

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.

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 soon. 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 and early fall 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.