During the summer of 2020, many people had their vacation plans crushed because of the global pandemic caused by Covid-19. In addition to the looming threat of the virus, high school students had to deal with the unending and notorious College Board exams. Even in normal circumstances, the early spring months to the start of winter are stressful because of the concentration of AP, SAT, SAT Subjects, and ACT exams. But with the closing of many testing centers thrown into the mix, the situation became direr.
Usually, students try to take the SAT subject exams over the summer, while the material is still fresh in their heads. I was one of these students, as I wanted to take the SAT Chemistry exam in August, since I had recently finished an advanced placement chemistry class. I tried to sign up for the exam after AP tests were over, so that I could be one of the first students to apply, but because of the lack of test centers I was not able to take the exam. To my dismay, I had to take the exam in October, which was almost six months after my last chemistry lecture. So instead of being able to stay inside and try to enjoy my quarantined summer, my days were filled with trying to remember and relearn chemistry. The pushing back of exams and uncertainty of testing days piled onto the stress of studying, and made the experience even worse.
Rumors on important subjects, such as the SAT exams, spread like wildfire amongst my school’s student body. A few weeks before important exam dates, tales of students who had their exams canceled five times, and others who had their exams canceled the day-of quickly rose to the top of the gossip list. This situation caused by the pandemic was unbearable, but this was not even the worst grievance. Not being able to take some exams could hinder but not inhibit someone’s ability to attend a prestigious college. However, some exams that were canceled, like the PSAT, hurt students’ chances to get scholarships.
Currently, I am a junior in high school, which means that my peers and I have one shot, one opportunity at the PSAT or NMSQT. This exam is an easier version of the famed SAT exam that students take so that they can apply for a scholarship. For some students, this exam exists purely for the award that comes with it, but for others, it could give them the funding that they need to reduce the cost of college. Currently, this exam is canceled and no one knows when it will be available, which adds just a little bit more to the uncertainty and worry caused by SAT exams and Covid-19.
Almost every upperclassman in high school, throughout the United States, was hit extremely hard by the pandemic in more ways than one. By no means was the additional chaos of the SAT exams purposeful, but the effects that it had on high school students was immense and will be a memorable event.