Because of COVID-19, the College Board recently announced the cancellation of the June test. Many colleges are responding to this pandemic by adjusting their admission requirements. Submitting a test score, for many schools, is not a requirement for current juniors.
So what does that mean for your test preparation plan? Should you just abandon ship altogether? Here are five adjustments you can make with these new changes: 1) Stay the Course Let’s face it: with fewer tests scores and weird spring GPAs for many high schools (pass/fail anyone?), colleges will be struggling to find meaningful and measurable data to compare applicants in 2021. Test optional does not mean test blind. So, stay the course, get a good ACT or SAT score on the books, and improve your chances of admission. 2) Reduce the Stress A stress brained does not perform as well as an unstressed brain. So don’t stress about the test cancellation. Instead, consider this an opportunity to spend more time getting comfortable with the testing format, the questions, the time allowed and the overall experience. With more experience comes more comfort and less stress. 3) Register Early As of today, the ACT test in June is still open for registration. But this is the only test available over the next several months. This means many will rush to register for the fall tests. So register early to avoid the mad dash. 4) Take More Full-Length Practice Tests Now that you have more time to prepare for test day, use the time to take more full-length practice tests. In all honesty, the hardest part of my job as a test prep instructor is to have students develop the stamina needed to sit for three or four hours and take a test. With the extra time you have until the fall test dates, schedule full-length practice tests every several weeks. Practice sitting and focusing for long blocks of time so that your brain can remain fresh and focused for the whole time. 5) Read Reading is the path to better scores. After all, this is a reading test. For those of you saying, “well, it’s a math test too,” then I would like to remind you that the math section is mostly reading. Word problems, the ways the questions are worded and answer choices are all set up as reading challenges. You may need math to get the solution, but you need to read to understand the question first. So really, the ACT and SAT are simply reading tests. And to get better at a reading test, read more! All in all, despite these new changes to test dates and potentially test formats (the ACT says they will have an online test ready for fall/winter), the message is to stay the course, reduce your stress, register early, take practice tests and read. If you need help with any of these, contact CROSSWALK today. CROSSWALK is the Monterey Peninsula’s local resource for test prep and academic tutoring.