College Board: Students can take SAT in August if safe

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Michigan high school students will be able to take the SAT on the weekend beginning in August if it is safe from a public health standpoint, officials with the College Board said on Wednesday.

The SAT, a college placement test, is administered to high school students in two ways: locally in their school during the day or nationally at designated test sites.

Local administration of the SAT in Michigan schools was canceled this month amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

College Board President David Coleman

Michigan students who will be high school seniors this fall will be able to take the SAT in October in school, as part of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive order closing school buildings. National administration of the test is another option.

College Board CEO David Coleman said on Wednesday that national test officials will hold a weekend SAT administration every month through the end of the calendar year beginning in August across the United States if the public health situation allows it.

Coleman said in the event schools do not reopen this fall, a digital SAT will be provided to take at home, similar to digital at-home exams Advanced Placement students will take next month.

On Wednesday, the College Board canceled administration of the nationally scheduled SAT on June 6. 

“We know students and educators are worried about how the coronavirus may disrupt the college admissions process, and we want to do all we can to help alleviate that anxiety during this very demanding time,” Coleman said.

“Our first principle with the SAT and all our work must be to keep families and students safe. The second principle is to make the SAT as widely available as possible for students who wish to test, regardless of the economic or public health circumstances.”

College Board officials said about 760,000 members of the class of 2021 received an SAT score either through a national or school-day administration test in recent months. But about one million first-time test takers were unable to test this spring due to COVID-19 related cancellations.

In Michigan, 113,724 students from the class of 2019 took the SAT in the 2018-19 school year. In all, 476,043 Michigan students completed the SAT or PSAT, which is taken by students in grades 8-10, last school year.

For national test administrations, students will be able to register beginning in May, officials said.

Students who registered for the June test and those in the high school class of 2021 who do not have SAT scores will have early access to register for the August, September and October administrations, officials said. The College Board will communicate directly with students when the exact date is available.

Weekend administration of the test includes new dates in September and previously scheduled tests on Aug. 9, Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 5, officials said.

The College Board called on local schools and colleges and local communities to open their doors and provide additional test center capacity so every student who wants to can take the SAT.

The College Board announced earlier this month students will take AP exams online at home in May, as students remain shut out of school buildings for the remainder of the school year due to the coronavirus epidemic. About three million students are scheduled to take the exam nationally.