We’ve heard this refrain from parents quite a few times this admissions cycle: “All of the tests in our area were canceled.” We always wait a beat to see if they have anything more to add. But usually the sentence ends there. so because the SAT or ACT or SAT Subject Tests were canceled in a Vermont or New Jersey suburb, these parents just decided that their children wouldn’t take these tests that they’ve been prepping for extensively for months if not years? The logic confounds us. These parents are giving up too easily and they’re relying too heavily on the word of our nation’s elite colleges when they tell students that students who don’t submit scores will not be at any disadvantage. Because that is a bald faced lie. As we have articulated time and again on the pages of our college admissions blog this year, all else being equal, a student with great test scores will always have an advantage over a student with no test scores.
Take a Road Trip for the SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Tests
So what should these parents do? They should try to find another test center…even if it means driving dozens or hundreds or even thousands of miles from home. As we speak, we’re crisscrossing the country by car. It’s a nice time to be exploring America’s heartland, although it’s important to avoid the folks who don’t even manage to carry a mask in their pockets much less cover their faces with said masks. All you’ve got to do is grab an N95 mask, a pair of gloves, load up the gas tank, and drive to the nearest open test center twelve states away. And while it sounds like we’re kidding, we’re not. College Board and ACT are adhering to strict COVID-19 protocols at all test centers. We see no reason why healthy teenagers can’t enjoy a trip with mom or dad so they can sit for the SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Tests. Think of it as a once in a lifetime experience. Think of it as a bonding experience. Think of it as a chance to visit…Ohio.
Dare to Go to America’s Heartland
As Doree Lewak reports for The New York Post in a piece entitled “Students are traveling thousands of miles to take SAT amid COVID-19 cancellations,” “It wasn’t easy nabbing a near-perfect 1590 on the SAT, but Matthew Chekhlov earned every point. After his original March 14 test date in Manhattan was called off because of the COVID-19 lockdown, the Stuyvesant High School senior was then shut out of full or canceled exams in New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. In August, he finally traveled nine hours to Lancaster, Ohio, to take the SAT, which is used for college admissions.”
Maybe Consider Staying and Voting
Way to go, Matthew! In fact, we hope that you and your parents enjoyed your trip to Ohio for the SAT so much that you all decided to stay, rent a house, establish longterm residency, and vote in this important swing state this November 4th! Come on, mom and dad can probably work remotely. Who needs to be in New York City these days? It’s now or never. Go see Mount Rushmore. Or Graceland, the Grand Canyon, or the Ozarks. Oh the places you’ll go!
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