With the June SAT canceled, students must reassess their test prep timelines.

Last week, The College Board announced the cancellation of the June 6, 2020 SAT date in light of COVID-19 concerns. We understand that, on top of everything else, this news can feel like a major wrench in students’ college timeline plans. With the June SAT canceled, here’s key information to keep in mind:

What Does This Mean?

Out of concern for public health, the June 6, 2020 SAT exam date is canceled. If your student was already signed up, you can either reschedule for a later test date (more on that below) or get a refund. If you want a refund, contact The College Board customer support via email at sat@info.collegeboard.org, or via phone at 866-756-7346.

When Can Students Take the SAT?

As of right now, the existing dates of August 29, October 3, November 7, and December 5 are still on. The College Board is adding an extra test date on September 26. So, this leaves several options. However, it is also very likely that these exam dates will not be enough to meet the current demand. We recommend you keep an eye on official exam announcements (and our emails!) and sign up for the September date ASAP to ensure your student has a seat. The same applies to test prep; we may run out of seats, so sign up early to guarantee a spot. 

Additionally, it’s possible that The College Board may offer more test dates for the fall if there proves to be a seating shortage, but this cannot be guaranteed.

Fortunately, early registration is available for two sets of students: 1) those who were already registered for the June exam date, and 2) Class of 2021 students who don’t yet have SAT scores.

Are There Any Other Options?

Possibly. Right now, The College Board is operating under the assumption that schools will be back in session in the Fall of 2020, and that it will be safe to hold in-person exam administrations. However, if schools are not open, or this approach is deemed to be unsafe, they will instead offer an online, remote version of the SAT (still just as rigorous as its in-person counterpart). This will be similar to the arrangement The College Board has created for this year’s AP Exams. For the moment, assume the exam will happen in-person, as scheduled.

How Should Students Prepare?

Most students typically plan to take the SAT in May or June, learn from the experience, engage in focused improvement over the summer, and take the exam once or twice again in the fall. With the June SAT canceled, the timeline looks different this year. Most importantly: Class of 2021 students (current juniors) may have only one shot at taking the SAT. 

The most important thing is to avoid any further learning loss or gap in test prep to avoid a skills deficit during an already challenging time. Practice good test prep (and general) study habits, continue engaging with exam strategies, and focus on looking ahead to the exam rather than getting bogged down in what could have been. Adjust the timeline for a new target date. The date might have changed, but the SAT is still the SAT, and the same principles apply. If your student has already taken the SAT or PSAT, use that performance as a baseline for how to prepare, or have your student take a practice test as soon as possible. 

Class of 2022 students (current sophomores) will see less impact; presumably, all will be “back to normal” for the 2021 testing dates. If not, there will be a new normal, but the test fundamentals will remain in place.

How Does This Affect College Admissions?

The change in exam dates doesn’t happen in a vacuum, of course. When your student can take the test and receive their scores affects when they can fill out college applications. We understand that you may be worried about how this will affect the timeline. It is likely that admissions deadlines will be moved, but these details are still up in the air. 

To learn more about how current changes may affect your student’s college timeline, and what you can do to stay on track, see our recent blog post on this topic.

You’ve also probably heard about some colleges adopting test-optional admission policies. This can be a good option for some students in some cases. However, it shouldn’t be a fall-back plan in this scenario for all students. Test scores are still a very important part of the admission process, and most students should prepare and plan to take the tests, even if the current situation makes things more complicated. In other words, don’t plan on not taking the test just because it’s difficult to arrange. College admission is still just as competitive as always, and we want students to be as prepared as possible.

What About the June ACT?

While we can’t say for sure, it’s very likely that the June 13 ACT date will also be canceled. We will update you when we know more.

We know this is a stressful time, and it’s easy to worry about so many unknowns. A lot has changed, but also, a lot remains the same. The SAT is still the SAT, and preparing for it is the same as always. Get registered early, prepare early, and focus on the future. We’re here to continue offering guidance and support every step of the way, even with the June SAT canceled. 

For more information, listen to this recording of last week’s webinar discussion Now What: How the Cancelled June SAT Impacts Your Testing Timeline and College Admissions.

Canceled test dates and school closures shouldn’t mean disruptions to your college admission goals. Take the next steps in prep with our free online SAT & ACT foundations class.