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Testing Updates and Summit’s Recommendations during COVID-19

A Letter From Summit Founder Charlie O’Hearn During the COVID-19 Crisis
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WEBINAR FOR SOPHOMORE FAMILIES - APRIL 22
College Admissions Testing: Your Road Map to the SAT and ACT REGISTER NOW
WEBINAR FOR JUNIOR FAMILIES (recording)
Testing Recommendations and Q&A (broadcast April 1)
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The college admissions process has become even more complicated and stressful in these extraordinary times. Summit has responded by moving 100% online with test prep tutoring programs and our free proctored practice tests.

We’ll use this page to share testing updates and our recommendations. Please bookmark so you can check back easily.

While there is no doubt that this is a challenging time for students, we firmly believe that:

  1. you will have the opportunity to take the standardized tests you need for your college applications, and
  2. colleges are keenly aware of this situation and will take this history into consideration when looking at academic performance.

Testing Updates

SAT and Subject Tests

The College Board cancelled the May SAT and the makeup date for the March SAT. The SAT and Subject Test administration for June 6 has not been cancelled.

At this time, the College Board has not announced any new test dates between the June test and the planned August 29 SAT and Subject Test administration.

Read more SAT Coronavirus Updates

ACT

The ACT canceled its April 4 test. As of this writing, the ACT on June 13 and July 18 have not been cancelled.

Read more ACT coronavirus updates

AP Exams

On April 3, the College Board announced the dates for the new 45-minute, online AP exams. The table on their website shows primary dates for every exam and make-up dates (i.e. secondary dates), which can be found in the table at bottom. Scroll down or click the link at the top.

They have provided access to free online AP review courses. Read more AP exam coronavirus updates.

SSAT

The Enrollment Management Association has cancelled the April 25/26 SSAT administration.

Also, all SSAT Flex and Benchmark admistrations are cancelled until May 31. They have extended the deadline for free test changes until July 31.

Read more SSAT coronavirus updates.

ISEE

ERB, the administrators of the ISEE assessment has closed testing centers through April 16 and are waiving rescheduling fees.

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 Juniors

SAT VS ACTFor juniors who have not taken their first official SAT or ACT.

If your first official SAT or ACT test was one that was cancelled, we strongly recommend that you

(1) register for the June SAT or June ACT, and

(2) take a full length practice test under realistic conditions soon.

It will be easier to make decisions about what to do next when you have a recent baseline score in hand. Most students will benefit from continuing with their test prep right up until the June test, but this practice test score will enable you to fine tune that plan. Please feel free to contact one of our Program Directors for help with your test plan.

SAT SUBJECT TESTSWe also realize that some students’ test plans called for taking their first SAT or ACT on one of the cancelled test dates and then taking any SAT Subject Tests in June. For students who are on the SAT path, our advice is to prioritize taking the SAT in June over taking SAT Subject Tests (note you cannot take the SAT and SAT Subject Tests on the same date). For students on the ACT path, the June ACT is scheduled for the Saturday after the June SAT Subject Tests, so you could potentially take both.

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. The SAT Subject Tests will be offered again in August and throughout the fall semester senior year.

SAT VS ACTFor juniors 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.

If you were targeting your retest for one of those cancelled spring test dates, use the June test as your next opportunity to improve your scores (ACT also offers a July test). Test prep should include some self study, a couple of practice tests, and possibly some tutoring closer to the test date. You won’t forget what you’ve already learned, but you need to review and practice–you don’t want to go into the June test cold.

SAT SUBJECT TESTSIf your test plan was to retest in the fall, then using June for SAT Subject Tests can be a good option. Students then have August and October as choices for a final attempt at the SAT and September and October for the ACT.

AP EXAMSFor AP Exam Prep Support

We have adapted our AP tutoring programs to match the new format set forth by the College Board. Beginning with a rigorous self-assessment, our expert tutors will customize online sessions to address the most immediate needs of the individual student. Focus will be split between content review and real practice with free-response questions that have appeared on past AP tests. Our engaging tutors work with your student in real-time on shared documents and teach strategies that help break down the free-response tasks into easier, manageable steps. Homework assignments will help bolster key content mastery and familiarity with the new test format. If your student needs the extra support and/or accountability of one-on-one tutoring please contact us to discuss your needs.

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

Live, Online 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.

High School Sophomores

Most of our sophomores should be unaffected by the recent 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, so we generally recommend that sophomores do not sit for an official SAT or ACT in the spring as it is too early for them to test.

We usually recommend that sophomores 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 build a test plan with target test dates and a study schedule. Taking these practice tests are important because students get 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 are when a sophomore is a strong scoring student, a recruited athlete, or knows that their spring of junior year is too full of other commitments to make time for test prep. These sophomores typically move their testing timeline up to take advantage of the December test dates as their first opportunity to take the test.

These sophomores, the “early testers”, may want to consider registering for the December test when registration for the fall testing season opens up in a few short weeks (at this writing, the end of April for SAT and July for 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 in the next few weeks might be beneficial so when the registration for these fall tests open, they know whether they are pursuing an SAT or ACT path.

Summit will also be broadcasting testing information webinars on April 22 and June 9. Make sure you’re on our newsletter list to learn when registration is open for these events.

Calendar of Test Administrations

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

* Fall SAT registration opens at the end of April, the College Board recently announced.
** Fall ACT registration typically opens in July and, at this writing, ACT has not announced any changes to this.

SAT & Subject Test Dates ACT Dates
June 6 June 13
August 29  * July 18
October 3 September 12 **
November 7 October 24
December 5 December 12

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.

nacac-college-admission-coronavirus

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