What should I do if my SAT test center is closed?
My SAT test center is closed, and I’m really worried about being on the disadvantage side when applying to colleges. My grades are good, but I didn’t take the many AP classes, only 5 AP classes and one college-level (dual credit, I guess that’s what people call it) class. And I’m applying to those selective colleges, but I don’t know if my college applications will be overwhelmed by other applicants who took the SAT. I really need help! Thank you for reading this.
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First, take a deep breath and think about the fact that the SAT is only 1 out of many components for reviewing your application file. So if there are like 10 or 15 pieces at a college and all of them are saying that you will not be disadvantaged or penalized for not submitting a test score, then they will evaluate your application on the 9 to 14 components of your file correct? They still have lots of things to consider that are important and relevant.
If your test center is closed, there is nothing you can do about it. In fact, in certain parts of the country like Washington, Oregon, California there are fires burning 24 hours a day so all the test centers are closed. There's nothing you or the college board can do to reopen them right now.
If you come to some conclusion that you absolutely have to take an SAT because a.) you don't have an SAT score, b.) you have an SAT score but want to improve it or c.) you have an ACT score but think you should take the SAT instead, then you have to use the Collegeboard registration search feature and look up different zip codes around the country you can drive to or fly to take the test.
When my ACT was canceled for 3 times, the closest test center was in another state like 600 miles away. My dad and I decided the risks were too great to drive 10 hours each way, stay in a janky motel, eat terrible food, and be stressed out to take a 4-hour test with a mask on. So we didn't book the date and risk getting COVID in a town where they have a lot of COVID, no mask mandate, and no social distancing.
You have to decide for yourself how badly you want the test versus the cost and risks of getting COVID-19.
Take a look at your entire file and see if you would be better off re-writing and working on your essays more or just polishing up your essay. Perhaps you can still take some kind of online college course that will look good on your application that supports your academic narrative.
You are only 1 of perhaps millions who do not have an SAT/ACT score so this is not personal. This is purely a function of how poorly our government handled the pandemic and how ill-prepared the testing bureaus were to create a safe environment to implement their products and their lack of ability to quickly create an online test that had integrity and safeguards.
Best of luck in your decision either way.