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SAT Exams Canceled In June, And May Be Administered Digitally In The Fall

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Aspiring college students got big news today. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the June SAT exam has been canceled. That means, all told, about a million students will miss out on taking the test this spring. From Boston, WGBH's Kirk Carapezza reports.

KIRK CARAPEZZA, BYLINE: Many states, including Virginia, Michigan and Arizona, have closed schools for the rest of the academic year. So instead of administering the SAT in June, the College Board says it will add a testing date in the fall.

DAVID COLEMAN: There are things more important than tests.

CARAPEZZA: College Board CEO David Coleman says if schools don't reopen this fall, students will be able to take a digital SAT from home.

COLEMAN: We will ensure that the at-home SAT testing is simple, secure and fair.

CARAPEZZA: Coleman says providing the digital SAT would require remote proctoring at a scale not yet seen. Many colleges are relaxing test requirements in response to the pandemic. Even before the outbreak, about a thousand colleges had already dropped the SAT, so some experts aren't surprised the College Board is bending over backward to make the test available.

ELIZABETH HEATON: I think they are eager to remain relevant.

CARAPEZZA: Elizabeth Heaton advises families through college admissions. She says test scores tend to reflect income rather than potential.

HEATON: It would be really interesting to see this play out where they weren't a factor in the admissions process for the year.

CARAPEZZA: The College Board has struggled with security issues and some question how it could offer an online SAT and prevent students from cheating.

For NPR News, I'm Kirk Carapezza in Boston. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Kirk is a reporter for the NPR member station in Boston, WGBH, where he covers higher education, connecting the dots between post-secondary education and the economy, national security, jobs and global competitiveness. Kirk has been a reporter with Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison, Wis.; a writer and producer at WBUR in Boston; a teacher and coach at Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford, Mass.; a Fenway Park tour guide; and a tourist abroad. Kirk received his B.A. from the College of the Holy Cross and earned his M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. When he's not reporting or editing stories on campus, you can find him posting K's on the Wall at Fenway. You can follow Kirk on Twitter @KirkCarapezza.
Kirk Carapezza
Kirk is a reporter for the NPR member station in Boston, WGBH, where he covers higher education, taking the time to capture the distinct voices of students and faculty, administrators and thought leaders.