Changes in testing formats

Many high-stakes exams, including the SAT, are being rescheduled due to Coronavirus.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons license

Many high-stakes exams, including the SAT, are being rescheduled due to Coronavirus.

Brianna Barbadora, The Delphi Staff

With the recent transition to online education, students and teachers have found themselves in a whole new world, where schooling on computers is considered normal. But this raises a question: how will standardized testing be handled for state exams, AP tests, and SATs?

The pandemic has no-doubt forced many to make adjustments, and though they may not be ideal, both the teachers and students have to be flexible and make the best of such difficult circumstances.

As far as state testing goes, the New Jersey Department of Education filed for, and were granted, a waiver to suspend testing for the NJSLA for a year. This means that students currently in the 11th grade who have met the graduation testing requirements have nothing more to do. 11th graders who have yet to meet these requirements will have to do so by taking tests senior year. This goes for both the class of 2021 as well as 2022. However, unlike the juniors, the current freshman and sophomores are expected to take the NJLSA next year.

It has also been announced that the May 1st and June 6th SATs have been cancelled. There is discussion of adding a September date for 2020. This is open to change of course, depending on what restrictions are or aren’t still in place in the upcoming weeks.

The April ACT tests have also been rescheduled for June 13th, though the July 18th test has not been affected. These too are open to change based on how the Coronavirus situation progresses. Information and updates for both the SAT and ACT will be posted on the tests’ websites.

Another change for students has been to this year’s AP exams, which will now be taken completely online. There are two dates that students can choose from, and the tests themselves are strictly free response, rather than multiple choice. Additionally, exam questions have been adjusted to match the units covered in each class prior to school closures and will be open-book and open note.

Keeping in mind the obstacles faced by the current juniors as far as testing, colleges are being flexible with scores, and many are considering them to be optional. Mrs. Sterbenc, Del Val’s counseling supervisor and testing coordinator, made the recommendation that, “college bound juniors go to the website for any college in which they are interested to see what their admissions requirements are for the next year.”

The administration has also cancelled final exams for the 2020 school year.

While there are many unknowns for the upcoming months, and plenty for students and teachers to consider, what is most important is making the best of this situation and staying safe in the meantime.