Standardized testing plan for 2020

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Standardized tests are a focal point in student achievement throughout students’ school years. (Graphic/Rick McKee)

Earlier this year, the threat of COVID-19 kept high school juniors and seniors from taking their Scholastic Assessment Tests (SATs). The SATs have been a milestone in most students’ high school careers, paving the way for college. Many colleges, including high profile universities such as Stanford and Caltech are trying to adjust to the circumstances. According to CNBC, all eight Ivy League schools will not require SATs or American College Testing (ACTs) for student admission next year.

To allow students to safely take their assessments, the College Board took extra precautions. Ensuring that the testing process will run as smooth as possible.  The College Board will provide SAT and SAT Subject Tests once every month. Tests will happen Sept. 26, Oct. 3, Nov. 7, Dec. 5, Mar. 13, May 8 and Jun. 5. Heritage seniors have the option to take the test at school Oct. 14.

While testing, students must wear a mask, be seated six feet apart and answer a series of health-related questions beforehand. If a student feels sick the day of the test, they can transfer their registration to another date for no charge. A list of test centers is on the College Board website. 

As of Sept. 18, Advanced Placement (AP) testing for 2021 will be in-school. If schools close, then a backup option is also ready. The exams will be given two weeks in May beginning May 3 and ending May 14. The full list of exams and test dates are available on the College Board website.

The Preliminary SAT Test (PSAT) will be offered for juniors Oct. 14. Students’ results on the test will determine the National Merit Scholars of 2022. Oct. 17, sophomores will have the chance to take the test. Although it is optional, the scores from the test will determine which students can participate in the AHS National Merit Preparation Program. For safety reasons, only ten students may test in each room, students must wear masks and sanitation services will be provided. As the test will be administered in school, students must be in full uniform, carry only a clear bag, wear an approved face mask and bring their school ID. The focus right now for PSATs is juniors,  but freshmen will be able to take a mock PSAT sometime in spring.

Compared to earlier this year, more plans are in place for testing. It was a sudden change when education went online and testing became complicated. But now, with the modified plans, the College Board is trying to prevent a repeat of the previous SAT and AP exam cancellations.

Nithisha, a sophomore at American Heritage, is starting her first year on newspaper staff. Besides writing and reading, Nithisha enjoys many artistic hobbies, like painting, sewing and crocheting. She spends most of her time either studying, pursuing one of her hobbies or watching "Gilmore Girls." A total book nerd, she tries to read as often and as many books as possible.

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