What is up with standardized testing?

Clara Bowman, News Editor

Last updated March 17.


Between the ACT, International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP) tests and the State of Michigan-mandated April 14 SAT, there is a lot of testing scheduled for the next two months. With the status of these tests rapidly changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns are rising for students. Already, several tests have been rescheduled or canceled, while for others the status is still to be determined, including the possibility of at-home testing options. 

As of March 16, the April 4 ACT has been rescheduled for June 13, and the March 14 (which was at first rescheduled for March 28) and May 2 SAT dates have been canceled altogether. All students who registered for these tests will be refunded. College Board, the owner of SAT and AP tests, still has not canceled the June 6 SAT and expects to start offering tests again “as soon as possible,” but is working on increasing ability and testing locations for future tests according to a March 16 statement from College board. 

Additionally, all Huron juniors are required by Michigan law to take the SAT on April 14. There are also a variety of other standardized tests for Michigan students in all grades scheduled for mid to late April, including the M-Step, ACT WorkKeys and the PSAT 8/9 and 10. As of March 16, no decisions regarding these tests have been made. However, some states, including Washington and Texas, have waived state-wide standardized tests, which are used to evaluate teacher performance, as well as college admission. 

While SAT and ACT tests rely on students’ general understanding of reading, writing, math and science (ACT only), AP and IB tests at the end of the school year test a student’s mastery of a subject that they have been learning throughout the year. AP and IB test dates are predetermined depending on the subject. With many schools closing, finishing AP and IB material before the tests becomes a concern. 

The AP and IB tests are scheduled for May 4-15 and May 5-22, respectively. In an official statement on March 16, College Board is developing “a solution that would allow students to test at home, depending on the situation in May.” They will provide additional information on March 20. In the meantime, the organization is dedicated to helping students continue learning.

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) has made no decisions regarding May testing. However, they will not reschedule tests if they are canceled. IBO has extended deadlines for coursework and assessments including CAS completion and internal assessments. IBO has also established guidelines for performing oral assessments over video conferencing. 

As is the case with all COVID-19 related issues, the situation is rapidly evolving and many things remain uncertain. Follow along at thehuronemery.com or @thehuronemery on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for updates as they come.