SAT and PSAT test dates postponed until end of October

October 15, 2020 — by Benjamin Li and Allen Luo

Graphic by Shaan Sridhar

 

Because of new health guidance from Santa Clara County health officials, the on-campus Oct. 14 PSAT and the Oct. 17 have been postponed until Oct. 29 for the PSAT and Oct. 27 for the SAT.

“It has always been our desire to administer these mid-October tests in a safe manner to decrease the chance of the spread of COVID,” principal Greg Louie said. “At this time, we have been told it is not advisable to risk the spread by hosting a gathering of test-takers.” 

This recommendation came after district administrators attended a webinar where the Santa Clara County Office of Education and the Santa Clara County Public Health Department stated all test-taking will be subject to county and state guidelines. 

According to Louie, the administration is working with county health officials and the county Office of Education to figure out the logistics of rescheduling these tests. The original date was decided on after heavy discussion by the school board, which encompassed reviews on county guidelines for gatherings and reopening schools. The on-campus standardized tests have also been controversial, with some staff members calling the testing inequitable and elitist.

At that meeting, administrators drafted a plan that would ensure safe test administration through volunteer proctors and social distancing guidelines. If possible, this plan will be implemented at the postponed test date. For the near majority of juniors and seniors looking to take their tests, this means that they still have a chance to go through their testing before the end of the year.

For students, the postponement has elicited mixed reactions. For some, it has been a blessing in disguise.

“The postponement actually really helps me to prepare for the PSAT,” junior Henrik Zhang said. “I have more time to practice and study now. I was stressing about it before, but the additional few weeks help a lot.”

The SAT will be taken by seniors only and the PSAT is for juniors.

For other students who worked according to the Oct. 17 and Oct. 19 deadlines, the postponement has caused added stress.

“I’ve been studying a lot for the test, and now that it’s been postponed, I feel that a lot of the effort I’ve put in has gone to waste,” junior Amitav Rawat said. “Of course, I’ll probably eventually be able to take it, but until then, I’ll have to keep on my feet and study for it all over again whereas I’d rather just get it over with.”

If the late October dates don’t work, the administrators will push the dates further to Jan. 26 for the PSAT and March 3 for the SAT, the next dates offered by the College Board. 

More information about the exams will be available as the test dates draw closer and the administration receives more information from the county. 

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Junior Daniel Jiang prepares to make a goal during an after school water polo practice at SHS's swimming pool on Sept. 16. Photo by Selina Chen

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