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  • Writer's pictureReena

Update #3 COVID 19

Hey, everyone.

I hope you had a nice weekend. Initially I had a separate update for freshmen, sophomores and juniors, but since everyone is in the same boat and has mostly the same questions, I've decided to just post one. That said, while we're all in this together and there is great comfort in that, it doesn't mean we're experiencing the waters the same way. Some of you may be loving the break from normal routines where others may be overwhelmed by it. You all will be applying to college, but what makes you anxious about the process, especially now, is different. And that's more than OK. Focus on you. Focus on what you need now. Whatever that is, I'm right here with you. 

For most of you, the biggest concern is visiting and researching schools. So, I’ve made that the first question on the list this week. 

How can I learn about schools when I can't visit?? 

In my last update I shared the college visit list from NACAC. Each state also has an affiliate group. I am a member of the NY (NYSACAC) and NJ (NJACAC) groups both of which have partnered with 15 other affiliate groups from around the country to host Virtual College Exploration Week. This was announced last week and is still coming together. It will be April 20-22, and it will be free. They will share more information on April 6. Click this link and then scroll down to register for notifications.

What's going on with AP Exams??

Hopefully your teachers are communicating with you. Here is the latest from the College Board on the dates and new format.

Exam Dates

Most AP teachers and students we surveyed prefer to test earlier, while the content is still fresh.

•             Exams will be given from May 11–22.

•             Makeup test dates will be available for each subject from June 1–5.

•             Students can take exams at home or in schools, if they reopen.

•             Each subject's exam will be taken on the same day at the same time, worldwide.

Exam Format

Most exams will have one or two free-response questions, and each question will be timed separately. Students will need to write and submit their responses within the allotted time for each question.

•             Students will be able to take exams on any device they have access to—computer, tablet, or smartphone. They'll be able to type and upload their responses or write responses by hand and submit a photo via their cell phones.

•             For most subjects, the exams will be 45 minutes long, plus an additional 5 minutes for uploading. Students will need to access the online testing system 30 minutes early to get set up.

•             Certain courses—Art and Design: 2D; Art and Design: 3D; Computer Science Principles; Drawing; Research; and Seminar—will use portfolio submissions and will not have a separate online exam. All deadlines for these submissions have been extended to May 26, 2020, 11:59 p.m. ET. Teachers and students may receive separate course-specific communications.

•             Students taking world language and culture exams will complete two spoken tasks consistent with free-response questions 3 and 4 on the current AP Exam. Written responses will not be required. We'll provide additional details in the coming weeks to help students prepare.

College Credit for AP Exams Colleges have said they will honor their current policies, i.e. if they normally give credit for a 4, they will continue to give credit. As many of us have discussed, the most important thing about the AP is having the course on your transcript, not the score on the exam. So, don't add this to your list of worries. If you're a sophomore or freshman, you have even less to worry about. Colleges are always a little more forgiving about AP scores from "younger" students. For all of you, like any year, just do the best you can! Testing is one piece of the application process---it does not define you. 

Any updates on the June SAT/ACT???

It's a little too early to say officially, but the assumption is that the June dates will be cancelled. As many of us have discussed, it is likely that dates will be added in the fall. In the meantime, more and more schools are announcing test optional policies. Just after I posted last week, Tufts announced they’d be starting a 3 year test-optional trial. The next day BU announced they’d be test-optional for next year. Then Wednesday the University of California system said they’d suspend the testing requirement for current juniors. In between, a bunch of other schools made the same announcements. If you want to see the complete list, visit You can find the list of schools that have “always” been test-optional as well as those that have instituted temporary policies.

As we move further into the Spring, there will be more schools that switch to test-optional and more schools that add better virtual visit opportunities. What other things would you like to know about??? I want these updates to be as helpful as possible.

Stay safe, and please be in touch if there is anything at all you need.

Have a great week!


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