COVID-19’s Effect On Standardized Testing


Kate Loughran, News Editor, Junior

The junior class, Class of 2022, is now beginning to experience many of the same struggles the class of 2021 encountered in the late winter/spring of last year. A major issue that students and colleges are having to deal with is standardized testing. What has always been a controversial topic — whether tests like the SAT or ACT are even necessary or reliable gauge for college admission —  is bound to be even more disputed this year. With some schools open as testing centers and others closing, some students are able to take their SATs and ACTs, while others’ test dates are being cancelled days before taking their exam. Colleges and students are having to adjust to this unpredictable situation. 

PMHS was one of the few test centers open for the SAT held on December 5. As a student signing up to take my first SAT that Saturday, I anxiously checked the days leading up to the test, scrolling through all the other test centers that had been closed. The College Board continues to state that their first priority is the health and safety of all those involved in the test taking process, but the question still stands, what will colleges do for the Class of ‘22? This situation has also hurt the class of ‘21, as students scrambled over the summer and fall to find test centers before having to submit scores to colleges. However most schools went test optional for the class of ‘21, and many are continuing that policy for ‘22 and beyond.

Tufts University has taken the COVID-19 situation to try out the process of going test optional for the next three years. Swarthmore College is another school that has extended their test optional policy to the class of ‘22. However, there are also still many schools that are still planning on requiring test scores for ‘22 and beyond. 

Junior Eileen Mazzaro took the SAT at Pelham in December.

“I felt safe during the test because the desks were at least six feet apart and everyone wore masks…I think that so many schools going test optional has been great for the seniors because many of them didn’t get the opportunity to take an SAT or ACT,” Mazzaro said.

As test centers close, students and colleges will have to evaluate the situation for the junior class in regards to their standardized testing requirements. This situation will show the pros of test optional policies, along with the cons, as more and more colleges try this out. Even though the future is unknown, students from the class of ‘22 are still encouraged to study for and register for their SATs and/or ACTs in the hope that soon, normalcy will be reached.