- I would be surprised if the ACT doesn’t quickly follow suit and cancel their June test date as well.
- Many colleges have already decided to go “test-optional” for the 2021 incoming class applications. Many more will follow suit given this last round of cancellations.
- It will be interesting to see the long-term impact on the admissions process. While College Board is floating the idea of “at home” SAT testing (they’re already doing it for the AP exams, so this is not a stretch), I believe that colleges will continue to move away from their heavy reliance on standardized tests and focus more on grades (which have been proven to be a more reliable indicator of college success than ACT/SAT scores), activities, and essays. In short, they will focus more on who the student is, not how well they test.
Are you a high school senior who’s no longer sure what you’ll do in the fall? Have you changed your mind about the school you’ll attend or decided to take a year off? If so, you’re not alone. According to a national survey of prospective college students conducted by the Art & Science Group, up to 1 in 6 students’ plans are changing. Some will attend a different 4-year school. Others will take a gap year. Still others will attend a local or community college.
What’s bringing about these changes? COVID-19 is upending the way students are making their decisions. “Must haves” that were so important a month ago have been supplanted by new criteria. Some seniors want to be closer to home. Others simply can no longer afford their top school. Suddenly a quality 2-year school seems like a great choice as does a gap year.
The important thing for seniors to know is that it’s ok to be unsure of your next steps. This uncertainty is to be expected given the current situation. You’re taking all of your classes online; you can’t visit the schools that accepted you; your financial situation may be markedly different than you expected; you or a family member may have health concerns.
No one could have predicted the upheaval we’re experiencing when you submitted your applications back in the fall. It’s ok to regroup and reconsider your options. It’s ok to make a different choice if you need to. It’s also ok to say “Yes” to your top choice school if that’s still the right fit for you. You need to make the choice that’s best for you given these new circumstances.
Need help deciding? Schedule time with me, and we can talk about your options.
Check out this article from The Chronicle: https://www.chronicle.com/article/How-Is-Covid-19-Changing/248316
As of April 3, AP exams will only be offered digitally as 45-minute, primarily free response, at home exams in all subject areas except for Art. AP Art portfolios will require a reduced number of pieces.
The exams will be given May 11 – May 22. Make-up test dates will be offered for each subject June 1 – June 5. Click here to find your exam times: https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/students/taking-ap-exams/ap-exam-schedule
In late April, College Board will provide information on how to access the testing system on test day and video demonstrations so that students can familiarize themselves with the system.
More things you need to know about the changes to the APs:
- The exams will only include the topics covered through early March.
- They will be open book (this does NOT mean you should cheat and look up the answers online – it means you should can use your notes to help you answer the questions).
- Most exams will have one or two free-response individually timed questions. You will need to write and submit your answers within the time allotted for each question.
- For most subjects, the exams will be 45 minutes long with an additional 5 minutes for uploading. You will need to access the online testing system 30 minutes early to set up.
- AP world language and culture exams will include two spoken tasks consistent with the current exams’ free-response questions three and four. Written responses will not be required (more to come on this).
- The following courses will use portfolio submissions and will not have a separate online exam. All deadlines for these submissions have been extended to May 26, 2020, 11:59 p.m. ET:
- 2-D Art and Design
- 3-D Art and Design
- Computer Science Principles (note: this portfolio submission is best done on a laptop)
You can check out College Board’s website for more information: https://apcoronavirusupdates.collegeboard.org/students/taking-ap-exams
College Board has announced that due to COVID-19, they are changing the way AP tests will be administered for the 2019-20 school year. Instead of in-school exams, they will be offering students the opportunity to take the test remotely. More specific details will be announced by April 3.
What are the changes?
As of now, College Board is making the following changes to the exams:
- There will be two different test dates (as yet undetermined) for each AP exam. Students can choose the date that’s better for them.
- They will be online, free-response exams.
- Students will have 45 minutes to complete the exam.
- The tests will focus on the curriculum that most schools completed by early March.
What does this mean for high school students?
Students will have the option to select one of the two test dates for their exam. The first will be given in the near future for those students who want to take the test while the information is still fresh in their minds. The second will be offered later for students that want more time to review the material.
Students will be able to use any device (computer, tablet or smartphone) to take the tests. No worries if you prefer to write your responses, you’ll still be able to handwrite your responses and submit a photo of your answers.
Will colleges still accept my AP credit for these exams?
It appears so. According to College Board, “Colleges support this solution and are committed to ensuring that AP students receive the credit they have worked to earn. For decades, colleges have accepted a shortened AP Exam for college credit when groups of students have experienced emergencies.”
The best advice, as always, is to contact the schools directly and ask them what they plan to do.
What resources are available to help me prepare for my exams?
Your teachers are the best resource to ensure you’re prepared. Stay up to date on your homework, do all the practice questions, and study as if you were taking it in person.
In addition, beginning March 25 College Board is offering free, online review classes. Click here for the schedule and more information from College Board: https://apstudents.collegeboard.org/coronavirus-updates
The Good News/Bad News/Good News for Your Acceptances
This is an unprecedented time in college admissions. Many of you have gotten the admissions decisions you were hoping for, but are faced with the cancellation of Admitted Students Day and closed campuses. So, how do you decide which school to attend when you can’t visit the school?
The good news is many schools are extending the date you need to decide by from May 1 to June 1. Check your schools to see if they’ve postponed their deadline. If some of your schools are giving extensions, but not all, and you need more time to decide, you can request an extension (no guarantee that they will give it to you, but it can’t hurt to ask).
Fortunately, even without stepping foot on campus there are steps you can take to figure out which is the right school for you.
- Attend the college’s Virtual Admitted Students Day if offered.
- Take a virtual tour. Most colleges and universities have some sort of tour available on their website. You can also visit these websites to find a virtual tour of many schools: https://www.ecampustours.com/, https://campustours.com/, https://www.youvisit.com/collegesearch/
- Contact admissions. Ask them the questions you would have asked if you had the chance to visit. Many are offering virtual meetings. All are responding to emails and/or phone calls.
- Speak with a current student at the school. If you don’t know anyone at the school, ask your family and friends if they know anyone at the school – you may find someone who’s more than willing to chat with you about their school.
- Ask yourself the following questions as you consider each school:
- What is my end-goal for college? Will this school help me reach it?
- What did I originally envisioned college to be? How closely does the school align with my vision?
- Will I fit in academically?
- Will I fit in socially?
- Is this school located in a place I want to be? (City, suburb, or rural area? Near or far from home? Warm or cold weather?)
- How do I feel about the size of the campus and student population? To quote a famous story: Is it too big, too small, or just right?
- What activities/clubs are you interested in? Are they available at the school? (If you’re not sure, check out the school’s activities, clubs, and sports on their website.)
- Do I see myself being happy here? Can I spend the next four years of my life here?
- What is my gut feeling about the school?
- If someone asks you, “Why did you pick this school?”, what will you say?
It may not be ideal, but admissions counselors are trying their best to be creative and provide you with the information you need to Find the Right Fit.