The SAT was originally planned to take place on May 6 and June 3 but the College Board has removed the June 3 date as an opportunity to take the test internationally. The College Board announced the change in the planned dates for the SAT on February 27.
The change was due to a rise in cheating in a few different international schools believes College Counsellor Nicole Thompson. “Somehow people were getting access to tests that they had previously been administered and … it was causing widespread integrity issues,” she said.
Thompson believes the reason they canceled the SAT scheduled to take place in June was mainly due to the fact that people had the answers to certain test booklets, which mirrored the questions on the actual exam and then would use to get a score on the SAT which they were unworthy of. “I think by reducing the number of international tests that they gave, I think there was a sense that they would pull those tests booklets out of circulation,” she said.
To Thompson, the news of the date change was a shock. “I think the College Board has been planning this for a little while, but it felt abrupt. The college counseling community was pretty surprised,” she said.
Henry Leland (‘18) originally would have liked to take two SAT tests in his junior year but now only has one opportunity. “It applied more pressure to my ability to get to college because if I do not do well on the May assessment than I will have to study over the summer and take time away from doing my applications to put that effort into studying so I can take the October test,” Leland said.
In addition to Leland wanting to take the SAT more than once his junior year, the main issue for Helen Craig (‘18) with only taking the May test was she planned to have more practice prior to taking it. Her main way of practicing for the test was taking PSAT’s produced by Khan Academy, an organization with free online courses, lessons and practice. If she took the same amount of practice SAT’s before the new test date, she would have to take one every weekend, which would be an inconvenience to her.
Thompson believes the main issue with removing the June test is that it muddled with students original plans for taking standardized tests. “When you come up with a long-term plan of how you want to space out your various tests and then College Board changes it, it does kind of mess you up a little bit in terms of your planning,” she said.
Since only international dates changed, Leland would consider flying to the U.S. in order to take an extra SAT test if he didn’t receive the score he wished.
Though the change affected Craig, she would not travel to the U.S. to take the test because of the problems with taking the plane journey. “This would be a huge pain because of the flight costs, I would be sleep deprived by the time I got there, and it just adds another layer of stress,” she said.
Both the ACT and the AP tests dates were not affected whatsoever in terms of international dates.
Students within the U.S are able to take an SAT test in March, June and August in addition to one in January and May. Leland feels that having fewer opportunities is unfair to the international students. “[International students] have the same goals as the people in the U.S. but they can’t reach those goals because they don’t have the same accessibility to testing,” he said.