Imagine having your college entrance exam canceled not once but twice, consecutively at that. Sounds unimaginable, right? But that has been the case for international school students in South Korea as both the March 2020 and May 2020 Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) were canceled due to COVID-19. The College Board, the administrators of the SAT and AP tests, canceled both tests as a precaution even though certain states in America were allowed to take the March test.
[Screenshot of the College Board Twitter feed /
These sudden cancellations have thrown the college plans of junior classmen into a disarray as the college application period is drawing near in the fall. While some juniors were lucky enough to have taken the SAT early, there are still many of them who are shell-shocked with the cancellations. For me personally, the cancellation of the SAT brought some anxiety. Even before the SAT was canceled, I wasn't sure if I could get a good score on the test, but the cancellation reduced the chances for me to take the test, making the situation even more miserable. During the winter break, I had taken a three week, six days a week, 12 hours a day intensive winter SAT prep course at an academy to prepare for the exam in March. Not only did the intensive course cost millions of Korean won but I felt I was really ready for the exam. Now, all of that hard work went down the drain when the exam was cancelled.
I am sure that other juniors who are planning to apply for college will share these feelings, too. Although The College Board mentioned that they will later provide additional test opportunities, they haven’t yet announced any detailed dates or the number of tests they will provide. I am still worried since my junior year concludes in June, and my personal goal was to finish the test before senior year. It now has become impossible, and I just have to wait for The College Board's announcement. The cancellation has been a huge chaos to juniors who were planning to apply for college.
|[Photo of Jyhoon Oh/Photo Coutesy of Yunho Choi]|
To get another perspective on this issue, a junior Jyhoon Oh from Seoul Scholars International was interviewed. Jyhoon had taken all of his SAT subject tests in the first semester of his junior year and was preparing to take the SAT 1 exam in March of this year. “As the COVIS-19 crisis started to get worse in January, I actually canceled my test in South Korea and registered to take the test in Bellevue, Washington where my aunt lives. My family assumed that the exam would be cancelled in this country so the safe route was to take the test in America.”
Jyhoon’s worries began at the end of February when the virus situation began to get worse in America. But the test hadn’t been officially canceled yet so he flew to Washington by himself on March 9th to take the exam on the 14th. “I landed at Seattle–Tacoma International Airport and things were a mess. It looked like the country was preparing for war with every airport personnel in hazmat gear. Two days after landing in America, The College Board officially cancelled the SAT in the state of Washington. I basically flew to America for nothing.”
There have been no updates from The College Board yet about an extra test to be given, so students are anxiously waiting for the August exam and hoping that the situation will improve by then. There really are no other options.
Junior (Grade 11)
Seoul Scholars International
Yunho Choi Junior (Grade 11) S email@example.com
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