Due to social distancing requirements, and the possibility of further school closures, parents and students are struggling to provide college admission test scores to colleges. You can expect more flexible test options, and most testing sites will try to provide social distancing take-home, high school tests at least for a while. And, while high school tests may not be as prevalent in the college admission process, colleges will be FORCED to look at each student as an individual.
The College Board® has had to make changes because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The AP® exam is changing because of social distancing guidelines, and will essentially now be a take-home exam with a 45 minute essay, rather than a 3+ hour test. It will have only open response answers, not multiple choice questions like tests have had in the past. Students can use any online device, even a smartphone, and may take a photo of their handwritten work. To avoid cheating, particularly after the college admission scandal of 2019, students will have a remote proctor, watching you electronically from your device at home. They will keep a full digital record of your test experience and if any inconsistency is identified, they will review your "digital record" and look for plagiarism.
College Readiness Format
The change in this style of test is more like a college essay test. In college, a test may have one essay prompt, "In 45 minutes, tell me what you know about this topic." In college, a test may have one long calculus problem. That means they are testing what the student DOES know, rather than asking hundreds of multiple choice questions that the student may have missed in their studies. This test allows them to say what they DO know about the topic. While it does require a student to write well in order to score well, I think it's an improvement to the test, and a better preparation for college.
SAT®, SAT Subject Tests™ and ACT®
Because these test companies have changed the GRE and GMAT for graduate school, and now they have changed the AP® exam, too, I think the other College Board® tests will be changed to this format, as well. I'm guessing the SAT Subject Tests™ will be next, and then if we remain under 'stay at home' orders, it's possible that the SAT® test will be the next to be a take-home test. The current College Board® statement on Covid-19 says, "We'll be flexible in making the SAT® available within and outside of school as soon as possible. We're exploring multiple solutions to address increased demand." If that happens, and the SAT® is taken at home, then the ACT® will need to do the same. The CLT exam is already a computer-based test, so I'm sure they will quickly switch to a take-home option if they can figure out how to have a proctor available for at home testing. Only time will tell on the remaining high school tests. Learn more: CollegeBoard.org and ACT.org.
I encourage you to consider the CLT as an alternative to the SAT® or ACT®. The CLT appears to have a headache-free transition to online take-home high school tests. Since they have always been a computer-based test, they have swiftly moved to allowing the CLT at home. Rather than canceling any tests due to COVID-19, CLT has tripled the testing dates available for this spring. The CLT test is available to students via remote proctoring at home, similar to how the AP® will be proctored. CLT has been developing and piloting this technology for nearly a year, because they wanted to be able to provide testing for students living in extremely rural areas. Because of the pandemic, they were able to easily make it available to all students given the current situation. Learn more: CLTexam.com
If you need help guiding your student through the college admission process, my free Master Class will give you a play-by-play plan on how to enable your teen to succeed in the college application and launch process. Each session highlights common challenges you will meet at every stage of the launch process, then gives you precise solutions so you can spend less time trying to find answers and more time enjoying the final few years of your homeschooling career.
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Session 1: The 5 Fundamentals of College and Launch
Session 2: The 10 C's of College and Career Success
Session 3: Fears and Tears, Cheers, or Wet-Behind-the-Ears
Session 4: How to Be Your Child's Best College Coach
Originally intended for homeschool families, this Master Class is a perfect fit for public and private school parents facing the college admission process without the support of their usual high school guidance counselor. Welcome to the homeschool club, where parents suddenly realize they are it - the only guidance counselor available. I'm happy to help you with that steep learning curve.
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