Academics Athletic Recruiting Coronavirus / COVID-19

The Impact of Coronavirus on ACT/SAT Testing

This blog was last updated on March 3, 2021.

 For the latest information on COVID-19 sports and recruiting, check out our coronavirus impacts and solutions for college recruiting guide.

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted more than just the sports world—it’s also causing school closures and standardized test cancelations nationwide. For student-athletes, academics and athletics go hand in hand. College coaches are just as interested in potential recruits’ GPAs and test scores as they are in their athletic skills. However, with schools closed and struggling to develop online learning curriculums for students, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to stay on track academically.

Check out our tips for staying focused on your grades to finish the school year strong. Then, stay up to date with the latest information on school closures and SAT, ACT, AP and other standardized testing updates below.

Academic Resources

Staying on track academically is a must for student-athletes. College coaches want to make sure potential recruits are eligible to compete in college and that their grades stand on their own. Student-athletes who are impacted by school closures should:

Follow their school’s online learning curriculum—this means attending online classes, paying attention to lectures and staying on top of homework assignments. 

Check in with their high-school guidance counselor. Stay up to date on how COVID-19 will impact eligibility requirements for high-school athletes to make sure you’re taking the necessary courses and meeting or exceeding GPA requirements. NCSA’s Eligibility Center Checklist breaks down what you should be doing and when.

Utilize this extra time to study for upcoming tests. The one silver lining of standardized tests being canceled or postponed? More time to study. Recruits should set aside a few hours a week to prep for the ACT, SAT or AP tests.

Worried about how you’ll score on an upcoming AP, SAT or ACT test? In early April, free online video lessons developed by AP teachers could be found on YouTube covering topics/skills taught in the final weeks of 2020 AP courses while Method Test Prep offered FREE ACT/SAT mini-lessons on Facebook Live.

Division 1 and Division 2 Eligibility Update

Student-athletes enrolling in a D1 or D2 college program during the 2021-22 academic year are not required to take a standardized test to meet NCAA initial-eligibility requirements. However, many colleges are continuing to require the ACT or SAT test to meet admissions guidelines or be eligible for academic scholarships.  

SAT Information

The College Board canceled many of its 2020 national test dates for both the SAT and all SAT Subject Test exams. It is still holding test dates on August 29, September 26, October 3, November 7 and December 5.

For the latest announcements around rescheduling or cancelations, click here.

ACT Information

The ACT canceled many of its 2020 national test dates. It is still offering fall test dates on September 12, 13 and 19 and October 10, 17, 24 and 25. For more information, click here.

Advanced Placement (AP) Test Information

Traditional in-person AP exams did not take place in 2020. Instead, all AP students could choose to take a 45-minute online free-response exam at home or cancel their exam at no charge. The full exam schedule, example free-response questions and additional testing materials were available by April 3.

The AP Program has developed test prep resources and potential solutions that would allow students impacted by school closures to study for and take their AP exams at home. Since March 25, students could attend free, live AP review courses taught by AP teachers nationwide.

Get the latest AP updates for schools impacted by coronavirus at AP Central.

Other Standardized Test Information

The Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT 10) exams for the 2019-2020 school year were administered between February 24–March 27, 2020 and April 14–30, 2020. Districts impacted by school closures may have chosen to cancel standardized tests, including state-specific assessment tests, for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.

School Closures

Many schools were closed for the remaining academic year beginning in March 2020. To see a full list of 2020-2021 school closures, including schools recommended to close at the state or local school district level, click here.

About the author
Alex Chomik