TIMNATH, Colo. (CBS4) – As thousands of Colorado high school students experience an extended spring break as a result of coronavirus concerns, some upperclassmen are now expressing concerns over the virus’ impact on their ability to be admitted to the college of their dreams.
Upcoming SAT and ACT standardized testing exams have been canceled in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 among younger people. Students often take the exams multiple times to not only be better prepared for the future, but often times to also improve their scores.
Some universities accept the “super scoring” method, which allows students to submit their highest overall score in each category. By eliminating upcoming tests, some students who were relying on those tests to improve scores are left to wonder what their best scores will be.
Many students, like Jacob Buckendorf and Giles Pooler, said they have been studying extensively for the tests which are now cancelled. Buckendorf, a junior at Resurrection Christian School in Loveland, said attending his dream school could hinge on improving his test scores.
“I really want to go to the University of Notre Dame,” Buckendorf said. “I’ve been tutoring with some people, and been looking at specific books that should help me out.”
Buckendorf told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas he was hoping to take more tests in the coming months to assure he submitted his best application to Notre Dame.
“I take it pretty seriously. I don’t enjoy (the tests), for sure. But, it only benefits me the more I take them,” Buckendorf said.
Giles Pooler, a junior at Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, is hoping to play college football. To assure he can play at any of the universities that offer him scholarships, he has been preparing extensively for SAT and ACT exams. Pooler has also taken on tutoring, and estimated he studies more than five hours a week for the exams.
“It is a baseline for all these universities to see who gets in, and who doesn’t. The pressure is tremendous to perform well,” Pooler said.
“I am still a little too low (in preferred scoring). So, I know that every test that I take will only help me,” Buckendorf said. “Who knows what the (cancelled) April one would have been as a benefit to me.”
Julie Simon, Managing Counselor for Collegewise, told CBS4 families should not panic over the cancelled testing opportunities. As an expert of college admissions, Simon said most universities are evaluating how coronavirus could impact the application process.
“The bulk of students were planning to take (the SAT and ACT) this springs or summer,” Simon said.
Simon said the most deeply impacted students were current high school juniors, as most submit their official college applications in the fall. Simon said the companies that operate the respective exams are also evaluating how to move forward with future tests, including the possibility of some taking place at the homes of the teenagers.
“(The companies) just don’t have the capacity to test all the students who are going to want to test (at the next confirmed testing date,)” Simon said. “We are starting to hear of colleges that are saying they are not going to require SAT or ACT for this group of students.”
Simon joined Buckendorf and Pooler in believing the cancellation of tests right now provided students more opportunities to prepare.
“I think the health of the world is more important than someone taking a test,” Pooler said.