Coronavirus Impact on SAT, ACT, and AP Testing

Coronavirus Impact on SAT, ACT, and AP Testing
Susan Dutca-Lovell

As a high school student in the midst of the standardized testing season and living through the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be wondering what the future holds for standardized test scores, AP courses, and the college admissions process. A recent survey conducted by The College Board revealed than 91 percent of 18,000 polled enrollees still want to take their AP tests. In fact, in 900 pages of comments responding to the AP survey, AP students "begged to be allowed at least one championship bout with an AP test."

Here is the most recent information on College Board, ACT, and higher education institutions are responding to the coronavirus pandemic in regards to standardized testing and Advanced Placement (AP) exams/courses:


Due to concerns about the novel coronavirus, The College Board recently announced that it will no longer administer the SAT test for the May 2 testing date. The March 25 testing date has also been canceled, and a new date has not yet been established for additional testing opportunities.

Students who have already registered for the May SAT date will receive refunds, according to College Board. So far, the June 6 SAT exam and SAT Subject Tests have not been canceled; College Board will continue to assess the situation, focusing on "student safety and ensuring all students have the tools they need to work, and opportunities to receive the credit they have earned, during this challenging time."


The ACT also announced similar measures regarding its April test. "ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the U.S. in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus." Registered students will receive an email about the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or later.

Advanced Placement (AP) Testing

The College Board also announced the following about the Advanced Placement (AP) tests it administers:

  • The two- to three- hour exams will instead be a 45-minute, online test that will be taken at home.
  • Exams will cover only questions about material that teachers are supposed to have covered through early March.
  • All questions on the shortened AP exam will be free response. No multiple-choice questions.
  • Students will be able to take their AP exams on a computer, tablet or mobile device. They can opt to take a photo of handwritten work, if they choose.
  • College Board is working with partners to ensure that students who need technology access for the online test will receive it.
  • Students can take the exam before the traditional mid-May dates – while the material is still fresh in their minds.
  • There will be two exam dates for each subject, which will be posted along with other testing information by April 3.
  • Free remote learning resources, including practice tests, are available.
  • College Board will spend a significant amount of money on anti-plagiarism programs to check millions of exam pages.

Standardized Test Scores & College Admissions

Some colleges and universities have already made standardized test scores an optional part of the college admissions process, as SAT and ACT tests are being canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Certain schools such as Tufts University, are taking a longer break from the testing requirement and will later decide whether to continue the test-optional policy or to reinstate the testing requirement. Currently, more than 1,000 colleges and universities already have test-optional admissions policies, according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing.

Check back regularly on our News section to keep up to date on the latest information on the coronavirus and higher education.

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