The Student News Site of Gabrielino High School

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

College Board should have online SAT testing

    By Vanessa Wang | Junior Editor

    Photo by Getty Images

       With the current state of COVID-19, College Board should administer the SAT online rather than having in-person testing, as it is both safer for everyone involved and prevents stressful last-minute cancellations. 

       Ever since the coronavirus caused schools to close down and convert to virtual lessons, there have been major adjustments made by College Board to adapt its services to accommodate the limitations of quarantine. For example, last school year, the AP tests were shortened and administered virtually, which, aside from some issues with connectivity, went fairly well. This school year, however, despite the presence of the coronavirus and most schools still online, College board has been conducting the SAT in-person.

       As many people are already aware, the coronavirus is a highly contagious virus. Having many students in a room together for multiple hours while they take a test is extremely dangerous. Although there are precautions such as social-distancing and mask-wearing, it cannot be guaranteed that the students are completely safe. 

       According to Business Insider, “Indoor gatherings – in conditions just like the ones for these standardized tests – are most responsible for coronavirus transmission.”

       Large numbers of students may be testing in a test center at the same time, making it incredibly easy for viruses to spread from one person to another. 

       Additionally, online SAT testing would be far more convenient for everyone, since – as a result of safety concerns and COVID-19 conditions – many test centers have had to close last-minute, creating complications and preventing students from being able to take the exam.

       Of all the test centers this year, 46 percent have had to close. Of the 54 percent still open, many have reduced their capacity, according to Inside Higher Ed. 

       With test centers constantly closing, students have become worried about whether or not they will even get to take their SAT. It can be upsetting for them to realize that, after all their preparation and studying, they will be unable to take the test. 

       According to College Board, “Test centers make individual decisions about whether to administer the SAT, and they may close before the administration, right up until test day.”

       Finding out that the test center has closed at the last-minute adds to student stress – something that none of us need – all of which could be avoided if the SAT were online.

       Although many Gabrielino students are not too worried about the SAT, because UC colleges have recently become test-blind – meaning they do not take SAT scores into consideration – there are still plenty of people applying to colleges that still require this test. So, it is important that those students are able to do so properly and safely.  

       There are concerns with online standardized testing, such as the issue of possible cheating. Although there is no way to completely control what the students have with them during the exam, College Board can lock a student’s screen to prevent them from viewing other tabs or windows during the SAT. 

       But even without this function, College Board was able to successfully deal with this spring’s AP tests, so there should be no reason why it cannot do the same with the SAT. Compared to the risks of in-person testing, the issues of virtual testing are minimal. 

       College Board should administer SATs online, as it is the safest and most suitable option available. Student safety and mental wellness should be the highest priority in these uncertain times because, in the end, the SAT is just a test. 

    Donate to The Tongva Times

    Your donation will support the student journalists of Gabrielino High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

    More to Discover
    Donate to The Tongva Times

    Activate Search
    College Board should have online SAT testing