Standardized testing precautions in place

How standardized testing has changed this spring due to COVID-19

Josephine Mittelberger, Page Editor

The onslaught of COVID-19 has brought changes to AP, SAT and ACT testing. This year, the tests are in-person and taking place at MHS or test centers. If a test center closes or a student has a COVID-19 risk, an online exam can be taken at home.

“I think it is awesome the tests are given here at school,” Kathleen LaPorte, AP Human Geography teacher, said. “Unlike the SAT or ACT which students have to take on a Saturday, students can take these exams in a building that is familiar to them. This helps psychologically and helps increase scores. College Board can also take some comfort in knowing our tests are administered correctly, securely and safely. On top of that, the amount of safeguards needed to run online exams is enormous. In-person is better.”

College Board, which controls SAT and AP testing, has been adamant about making sure that in-person testing remains available. To be certain of everyone’s safety, they have set up requirements: all students and staff must wear masks, students must be at least six feet apart and students will have to confirm statements that ensure they do not have COVID-19 to their knowledge. If these requirements aren’t met, the student will be dismissed, their scores will be canceled and they will not receive a refund. 

“I think that the precautions that are in place will be effective; it is the same thing we do everyday in school,” Mrs. Dawn Vidt, AP chemistry teacher, said. “I just wish it was an online test because—as a grader—I have to handle all those papers and it forces me to make indirect contact with many students.”

Alterations to the SAT have also been enacted. Due to the availability and more practical learning experiences of AP tests, SAT Subject Tests will be discontinued—registration will automatically be canceled and refunds will be given. 

The optional SAT essay will also be completely canceled after June since there are other ways for a student to demonstrate their writing skills. If registered, cancellations can be made free of charge. These cancellations will lead to more available seats for those taking the SAT while maintaining proper safety measures. A digital SAT is currently being created to accommodate for students that cannot attend test centers.

Anthony Young
Anthony Young
Anthony Young

ACT has made similar COVID-19 provisions to College Board, but has not stated what will happen to a student who doesn’t follow these restrictions. For the ACT and SAT, days have been added to make up for the lack of seating; students may want to sign up in advance—seats fill fast. Test centers closing and seats lost due to reduction will lead to rescheduling—keep an eye out for any updates.

Those taking AP courses have time to cancel their tests, for the unused fee has been removed this year. However, the late order fee still applies.  

Next year, AP tests will change. MHS has been chosen to participate in the Advanced Placement Teacher Investment Program (AP-TIP IN). This means AP courses will be created through a collaboration between Munster teachers and professors from Notre Dame University. Students not only benefit from improved curriculums, but any student that gets a score of three or higher on their AP exam will earn $100, which goes directly to the student. 

“We’re still in the introductory process of getting into this program,” Mr. Peter Gregory, AP Coordinator, said. “(We) will be working on our plan of action over the next few months and over the summer.”