Seniors Travel To SAT And ACT Testing Amid COVID Restrictions

Maria Maraldo '21, Staff writer

Due to COVID-19, the class of ‘21 has been faced with many obstacles, one of the largest being the cancellation of standardized tests. Since countless schools across the nation have decided to cancel their standardized tests, many seniors have been left with no option but to travel outside of Grosse Pointe and Michigan to take the SAT and ACT. South counselor Beth Walsh-Sahutske has seen many seniors who have decided to travel long distances to have the opportunity to take these tests.
“I saw a post on Facebook post a week or so ago of many parents who were driving quite a distance to get their kids to test sites on a Saturday morning,” Sahutske said. “I also saw many who were very frustrated when the test was canceled or moved without much notice. I can’t say what someone else’s motivation was to travel that far but I can imagine the frustration.”
Daphne Irby ‘21 traveled to Fermont, Ohio to take the SAT and believes that it may not have been worth the hassle.
“It was nice to get it done and have it out of the way, but at the same time I don’t know if I will submit my scores or not depending on what I end up getting,” Irby said. “I actually think that it isn’t extremely important to take standardized tests this year because many colleges aren’t asking for your scores. I don’t think that your standardized test scores will make or break your admission into colleges.”
According to Walsh-Sahutske, the importance of having standardized scores in college applications during the “times of COVID” is lesser than that of before the pandemic.
“Standardized tests certainly used to play a big role in admissions but that is changing now as applicants do not have the same opportunity to take and retake standardized tests,” Walsh-Sahutske said. “Most colleges recognize this and are adjusting their admission requirements to modify these scores out of the process – at least for a year or so while testing remains a problem.”
Jack Corrion ‘21 took the ACT at Brother Rice and said he thinks traveling to take the test was worthwhile.
“For me, traveling to take the ACT was definitely worth it despite the drive because I ended up getting a good score that I was really happy with,” Corrion said. “I think people should at least give standardized testing this year a shot, even if the schools they’re applying to are test optional because you never know if you’ll do well or not. Some colleges are still looking for good test scores, even if they say that your scores won’t affect your admission.”
According to Walsh-Sahustske, going test optional is a source of frustration for some colleges, but they have other ways to measure student’s intelligence aside from standardized tests that some do not have the opportunity to travel and take.
“Colleges generally enjoyed the convenience of a universal standard test to attempt to put kids on a comparable scale to compare them for admission,” Walsh-Sahutske said. “However, I think every admission officer will be quick to agree that it wasn’t really a fair comparison because if you have the resources to get better test prep, take the test multiple times and even attend a high school that exposes you to better academic challenge then you are bound to do better. So again, the test is not purely a measure of a student’s ability to succeed.”