Unknown and Decision Making 2020
I have gotten a few calls and has some conversations with parents about this big unknown. As the College Board canceled the June test date, parents and students are becoming discourage and suspicious as to what is going to happen in the next two months. Testing is one question that many have. As of today, April 22, 2020, the June 13 ACT test is still scheduled. The registration deadline in May 8th. The July 18 ACT is open, and this is the first ACT where you can register to take one section or sections. I have applauded this move by the ACT as now more and more colleges are willing to simply score choice the ACT tests across test dates. By allowing this section option, students who have progressed nicely in one or two sections, need only continue to work on the sections they want to catch up and raise the overall average and composite. This option is particularly good for students with disabilities, especially those with concentration challenges.
My advice is that those who paid for preparation courses and were cut short in March, April, and May, depending on the summer schedule, plan to take a test in July or August. If you are unable to do one of the dates register also for September and/or October. The College Board is considering another test administration in September. ACT has July, September, and late October. SAT is scheduled now for August, October, and early November. What to do with the time in between? I am supportive of most of my clients who are just now being overwhelmed by a lot of work required by regular school online. Many students have online homework sets and so forth, which I have heard many exclaim is far more homework than when they were attending school in person. Some are exhausted because this whole episode has removed travel (no college visits or break trips), sports, clubs, activities, and such. And students are stuck at home with few options for relief. So, does studying for tests that they prepped for need to continue at the same pace? No.
Most prep companies, and private tutor services, including myself, are offering discounts and a few free sessions to brush up for the summer tests. If you want further information, please contact me, as I am always willing negotiate and discuss options. Some of us have been remotely working for years, so we did not really need to pivot or transition how we deliver our support, but even so, we are challenge with the uncertainty of testing dates, so our work schedule has become hesitant as well. I suggest that you plan, especially if you have prepped for spring tests, to decide on July/August dates. Then if you completed your prep for March or April, plan a refresher to start six weeks out from your test date. Think once or twice a week for three of those weeks, and twice or three times for the last three. Plan on this yourself if you are choosing to do independent study and preparation.
Now some parents and students, who actually have a vary narrow college list now, and who have been alerted that those college/s have made testing optional for the Class of 2025, can decide to not take the test at all. Those who are unsure, and many are at this point because scores often help in the college list selections, I urge you to continue to take the tests as planned. I recognize that this has big impact if you are going to be a senior this fall and the Early Decision option. Regardless, I urge you to continue with the plan to take the test, and I also suggest planning to take the test twice. Colleges make their decisions each year based on the pool of applicants they receive; we do not know how this pandemic will affect grades and scores of this year’s applicant pool. Colleges want you to apply and attend, I am positive that adjustments will be made accordingly.
Parents are asking since my high school student is home should he/she not be doing so much more? Well, now is the time to start your college essays! Yes, you may not be able to do any supplemental essays that are college specific, but you can do your main personal statement. Those taking AP testing, can start this in mid-May. But now is the time to draft your essay outline. I am more than happy to assist with your essay preparation. Also, now is the time to work on your student resume of activities. Get it polished up and format a nice one that can be printed out. You can do your resume without knowing 100% what you will be doing in your senior year. We often estimate activities for the fall and next spring anyway.
Now is the time to make the plan and execute what might be a stressor when you must take the tests in later summer and early fall. Essays and Resumes take time, and by finishing these before July, you have a lot off the plate that would create time challenges in September and October. For those who are taking the ACT on June 13, special note: the week after next is the six weeks out mark, so you need to get your schedule made for that refresher soon. As always, stay safe and well, and reach out for guidance and support, as I am only too happy to help.