A combined 4 million students took the SAT and ACT during the 2018-19 academic year. Additionally, more than 2.8 million students took almost 5.1 million AP exams in 2019.
So with COVID-19 adversely affecting millions of students’ ability to prepare for their college admission tests or AP exams, College Board and ACT have stepped up to provide a suite of free resources to help keep their college goals on track.
Gini Beran, director of CLEP (College Level Examination Program) outreach for The College Board, noted these tests are generally taken in person and administered by a proctor.
“We’ve experienced regional issues and outages, or, if we’re talking about Florida, an inability to offer exams (in person) due to weather where we’ve had to adjust,” Beran said. The College Board develops and administers standardized tests and curricula used by K-12 and postsecondary institutions. The organization has developed a suite of resources for students and educators affected by school closures. “But a national event like this is unprecedented.”
AP Student Resources
Beran said College Board recently surveyed more than 18,000 AP students to see if they still wanted a chance to take their exams this year, and the answer was a resounding yes.
“What they were telling us in their responses was, ‘We already lost prom, we already lost graduation, please don’t take AP away from us,’” Beran said. As a result, College Board has developed secure, online exams for each course.
The resources now offered by College Board to AP students include free, live AP review lessons delivered by AP teachers from all over the U.S.
“We’ve rallied some of the top AP teachers in the country to provide AP lessons on a daily basis,” Beran said. “These lessons are also being recorded because we know that a lot of students who are registered for and taking AP courses may be providing childcare for younger siblings while they are at home and may not have the ability to watch live.”
Beran added that students without access to the internet or a device are encouraged to fill out a form on College Board’s website to receive assistance by April 24.
College Board has already canceled the SAT and SAT Subject Test administration scheduled for May 2 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That followed the cancellation of scheduled exam dates in March and April.
“Our June date is still on the calendar,” Beran said of the next scheduled SAT administration during the first weekend of June. Last year, more than 2.2 million students took the SAT, the largest group ever.
In the meantime, students can keep their college readiness skills sharp with help from College Board and Khan Academy, which are providing free online resources including personalized learning tools and full practice tests. You can also view SAT-related updates from College Board.
ACT, the nonprofit organization that administers the test of the same name, is also offering free digital learning resources on its website.
“ACT is driven by our mission and unique abilities to serve students across the learning lifecycle with solutions that meet their individual learning styles, and to serve families who are grappling with the difficulties caused by school closings, the sudden shift to online learning, disruptions in college planning and career uncertainties created by record job losses,” said ACT CEO Marten Roorda, in a statement.
Last year, almost 1.8 million high school graduates (52 percent of the 2019 national graduating class) took the ACT. This year, ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test to June 13.
Among the resources offered by the nonprofit is ACT Academy, which provides free online learning for students seeking to improve their academic skills through individualized learning plans.