Coronavirus Updates for SAT and ACT Test-Takers

The global spread of COVID-19 has deeply impacted the education world. Most students have been partaking in remote learning as schools remain closed across the country.

What’s more, the coronavirus pandemic has also impacted standardized testing schedules.

If you’re an SAT or ACT test-taker, you’re likely wondering whether or not you’ll be able to even sit for the exam this summer and/or fall!

In this post, we provide ongoing coronavirus updates for 2020 SAT and ACT test-takers. We will keep this article regularly updated so that you can be confident you’re getting the latest information.

Here’s what we cover in this post:

Last updated: June 4, 2020 at 12:00 PM EST

Coronavirus Updates for SAT Test-Takers

The College Board, the organization that produces and administers the SAT, officially canceled its March, May, and June administrations of the SAT and all SAT Subject Tests.

Canceled SAT Testing Dates 
March 14, 2020
May 2, 2020
June 6, 2020

The College Board was unable to reschedule the March 25th SAT School Day administration. Schools will be able to offer two SAT School Days on September 23 and October 14 if they remain open.

What is the CollegeBoard going to do about future SAT testing dates?

Right now, it intends to provide weekend SAT administrations every month through the end of 2020, starting on August 29th. This will add one new SAT administration on September 26th. It will retain the previously scheduled tests on October 3, November 7, and December 5. The CollegeBoard might also add an administration in January 2021 “if there is demand for it.”

International students will be able to take SAT subject tests on November 7th.

Here’s what the remaining anticipated national SAT testing dates for 2020 look like now:

Anticipated SAT Testing Dates 2020 
August 29, 2020
September 26, 2020
October 3, 2020
November 7, 2020
December 5, 2020

Registration is OPEN for all of these tests, but seats at testing centers may be extra limited due to social distancing guidelines.

Note: Many students are trying to register for fall SATs right now. Expect delays and interruptions when registering online. As of now, the CollegeBoard is temporarily suspending registration for students outside of North America. 

Refunds and Makeup Exams for the SAT

You can expect a refund of all registration fees if any of these situations apply to you as an SAT test-taker:

  • Your test center for the March 14th SAT was closed
  • You were scheduled to take the March 28th makeup SAT exam
  • You were registered for the May 2nd SAT and/or SAT Subject Tests
  • You haven’t or will not receive your March scores for any reason
  • You don’t want to transfer your June SAT registration to a future date

Refunds should be issued soon, if they haven’t already.

International Students

If you are an international student taking the SAT, the next available international SAT testing date is August 29, 2020 (pending further coronavirus updates). You will also be eligible for the new September administration, fall and winter 2020 testing dates, and/or remote testing options (should the CollegeBoard institute this).

International students can take subject tests on November 7th.

Testing Accommodations

We recommend students with approved accommodations contact the College Board directly (see contact details below) for further information.

College Admissions

What about the college application process?

The College Board has asked member colleges to extend their score submission deadlines for the coming application season and give equal consideration to applicants who are not able to test due to COVID-19. It’s also encouraging colleges to recognize “that students who do submit scores may not have been able to take the test more than once.”

Additional Resources

All of these cancelations don’t have to derail your SAT prep! Students still have access to a variety of free resources online through the College Board and Khan Academy.

Families and students are welcome to reach out to the College Board for more information, too (although call wait times may be long!). Here are all the relevant contact details:

Email: [email protected]
Phone (domestic): 866-756-7346*
Phone (international): +1-212-713-7789*

*Phone support hours are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday. Expect long wait times.


Coronavirus Updates for ACT Test-Takers

The ACT canceled its April 4, 2020 administration of the ACT test and rescheduled it for June 13th.

However, some test centers have already cancelled their June 13th administrations. Students can expect emails from the ACT regarding whether or not their test center will be able to offer the test on June 13th.

We encourage all students registered for the June exam to check the ACT’s test center cancellations page.

If you were registered to take the ACT on April 4th, you should have received an email and/or mail notice with specific instructions for a free rescheduling for the June 13th exam (or another national test date).

Here are the next anticipated ACT national test dates for 2020:

Next Anticipated ACT Testing Dates 
June 13, 2020 (tentative)
July 18, 2020
September 12, 2020*
October 24, 2020*
December 12, 2020*

*Registration for these exams is not yet open.

ACT has also announced an online version of the test to be administered this fall or early winter. They’ll release more details about this soon, but in the meantime, only paper testing is available.

Refunds

If you don’t wish to reschedule your ACT exam, you’ll receive a full refund of registration fees for the April 4th exam, if you haven’t already. You’ll also be able to receive a refund if your June 13th test is cancelled.

International Students

Students scheduled for the April 4, 2020 ACT exam at an international testing center will have their exam rescheduled for June 13, 2020. International ACT test-takers can also register for the July 18, 2020 ACT exam at international testing centers.

Special Testing and Non-Saturday Exams

If you receive ACT testing accommodations or were registered to test on a non-Saturday, you’ll still be able to have Special and/or Non-Saturday Testing for the June exam (and future exams). This also applies to international students taking the ACT.

We recommend that students with Special Testing approval contact an ACT representative to ensure they receive these accommodations for the June exam if needed.

College Admissions

The ACT recognizes that some college applicants might now miss test score submission deadlines for the schools on their list. Here’s what it says specifically about this on its website:

ACT is committed to making every effort to help students impacted by this test date change, particularly seniors facing college application deadlines for this fall. More information will be released as it becomes available in the days ahead. 

For now, we recommend that high school seniors contact the admissions departments of their schools of choice to see what their guidelines are for score submission.

Keep in mind that most deadlines for traditional undergraduate applications have passed, so most students who took the ACT in the fall and/or winter of 2019 and submitted these scores to colleges will not be impacted.

Contact Information

If you’d like to talk directly to an ACT representative about rescheduling, etc., reach out by phone, email, or live chat. Expect long wait times.

ACT Customer Care

Phone: 319-337-1270, available Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM CT 

ACT Testing Accommodations

Phone: 319-337-1332, available Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM CT

*Email and live chat are available via ACT.org.


Our Recommendations

We understand that this time can be challenging in multiple respects, especially for students and families well along the path of college admissions.

Here’s what we recommend SAT and ACT test-takers keep in mind in the coming weeks and months:

1. Anticipate the possibility of additional rescheduled or canceled ACT and SAT testing dates

Given the scale and spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, our guess is that things likely won’t go back to “normal” for quite some time.

At the very least, in the middle of all of this uncertainty, it’s wise to mentally prepare yourself for additional rescheduled or canceled testing dates, for both the SAT and the ACT. 

Remember that you can still maintain your test prep during this time, even with these hiccups in testing schedules. What’s more, this can be a valuable time for high school juniors to take a deep dive into writing and preparing their college application essays. Get a head start now!

2. If your test was canceled, sign up ASAP for the next testing date

Why is it important to act fast in this regard? Testing “seats” are limited at all testing centers, so it’s vital to sign up as soon as possible for the next testing date to ensure you’ll have a spot. If you have the resources, sign up for an additional backup date to ensure another seat.

This applies to both the SAT and the ACT.

3. Sign up ASAP even if you’re planning on a testing date later in the year

Even if your testing dates weren’t impacted but you’re planning on a testing date in the fall or the winter, you’ll want to sign up ASAP.

Testing center seats are limited and there is a good chance there will still be “spillover” from the earlier testing dates that were canceled.

The ACT usually opens up registrations every July for testing dates through the next testing year (September – July). You should be able to sign up for email or text alerts here, but you’ll also want to check the website in mid-July yourself as well.

For the SAT, you can check here for SAT registration deadlines. You will be able to register if there is a “Register” button next to your desired date.

4. Keep on studying

It might feel impossible to pick up your SAT or ACT prep books right now, especially in the middle of so much uncertainty. However, effective prep for standardized tests involves consistent practice and review of content and strategies.

Furthermore, some colleges will consider going test-optional for this upcoming application season. Even if they don’t, we’re confident that college admissions officers will consider your scores in the context of COVID-19.

These developments should relieve some of the stress around testing. For some students, they’ll take these announcements as a reason to place less emphasis on the test or even stop studying altogether.

However, we urge students to continue studying consistently and diligently. In a situation that will tempt many students to slow things down, maximizing your test scores will set you apart even more so.

It’s okay to take a brief break from your prep right now, but when possible, return to your studies to ensure you don’t lose the traction you’ve gained.


Other Relevant Information

Families and students may also wish to regularly check with the World Health Organization and CDC for general updates about the pandemic’s spread in the U.S.

We’ll include other relevant details here as more coronavirus updates arise. For now, rest assured that we at PrepMaven are committed to all of our students’ success, regardless of what happens next. This means that all of our current clients and tutors will be moving their work online to ensure the safety of all involved.

We are also here to provide academic tutoring support to students who are participating in remote learning through their home institutions.

Please feel free to drop us a line if you have additional questions!


Greg & Kevin

Greg Wong & Kevin WongGreg and Kevin are brothers and the co-founders of PrepMaven and Princeton Tutoring. They are Princeton engineering graduates with over 20 years of education experience. They apply their data and research-backed problem-solving skills to the test prep and college preparation process. Their unique approach places a heavy emphasis on personal development, character, and service as key components of college admissions success.