Cancelled tests NOT cancelled dreams


With COVID-19’s unexpected and unwelcomed arrival, students were forced to give up many essential parts of their daily lives at school. The closing of Cherokee County schools in early March also lead to students being told their ACT and SAT tests would be cancelled with no rescheduling set.  

Senior Isabella Tedesco had taken the ACT twice before cancellations, but still hoped to take the test again.  

“I wanted to take the test one more time, but it has been cancelled three times for me. I have rescheduled for the fourth time and hope to take it in October,” Tedesco said. 

Tedesco spent three months this year trying to finally get a set test date but had no such luck. 

“I was scheduled to take the test in June, July, and September,” Tedesco said. “All of them ended up being cancelled.”  

ACT and SAT tests were even scheduled out of state by CollegeBoard in hopes to let students finally test. 

Senior Caroline Bagwell was among the students who were pushed across state lines after months of trying to reschedule. 

“My original test date was pushed two months back after getting rescheduled and was even relocated to a test center in Alabama,” Bagwell said. 

Senior Whitney Policky had never taken the test prior to the cancellations and has had many struggles with the testing process.  

“Not being able to test until now is affecting my application process,” Policky said.  I can’t apply early to some of the schools I am interested [in] since I am not taking the test and not getting my scores back until weeks later.”  

Having test dates pushed back months has led to major stress for these seniors who feel like they were not given the opportunity to achieve their best scores on the tests. 

“I was hoping to keep submitting my test scores to show colleges my progress throughout each test, but since I only had one chance to really take it before applying, I struggled to feel like my scores were going to get me where I wanted to go,” Bagwell said.  

However, due to the uncertainty of getting the proper and necessary scores, some schools have gone test optional. Test optional means students applying for the 2021 fall semester will not be required to submit ACT or SAT scores to be accepted. 

Although colleges have gone test optional, it has not alleviated all the stress for students like Bagwell. 

“Yes, [schools going test optional] has relieved a lot of stress because I know my extracurriculars and GPA are good enough to go to most schools,” Bagwell said. But I am still stressed on whether or not colleges will put me below other students who do choose to submit their scores.”  

Tedesco has also not felt entirely stress-free about the test situation and would still like to improve her scores.  

“Test optional has not relieved stress because it’s still important to me to obtain a certain score. I think my test scores will give me an advantage over other applicants, as well as leading to scholarships.” Tedesco said.  

ACT and SAT cancellations have not been ideal for students, but colleges and CollegeBoard have done what they can for students. However, in a time like this, is what they are doing enough?