【#WhizpaLive】US College Application: Impact on the Cancellations of the SAT/ACT

Due to the COVID-19 situation, the SAT and ACT (standardized tests required for entering into most American colleges) have been cancelled this spring. With all the changes in the application process, what can you do to stand out in your college application? When test scores are optional, a well-written personal statement becomes vitally important. How can you write essays that Admissions Committees love?

Whizpa partners with Gerry Chu of Apply IVY, to provide insight into the impact of cancelled standardized tests for US college admissions and how to write a personal statement that stands out. Join us for the free webinar (conducted in English) on May 13 or 16!

Click Here to Join the Webinar

How the COVID-19 Virus Has Impacted the US College Admissions

Given these testing cancellations and school closures worldwide, some US colleges and universities have adjusted their admissions policies as a response to this public health crisis. Cancelled examinations likely means some applicants may not have a standardised test score to submit along with the applications.

Although test scores are often a crucial component of the application, many schools have decided to drop the SAT & ACT scores from fall 2021 admission requirements as a sympathetic response to students who may not have access to testing before application deadlines. Among these test-optional schools include elite universities such as Cornell, University of California, Amherst College, Boston University. You can see the full list of schools with test-optional policies here.

Furthermore, selective schools such as Columbia and Pomona have released statements that suggest leniency for future applicants in areas where affected by the physical restraints of the coronavirus. For example, participation in extracurricular activities, adjustments to online learning, reduced activities during time of social distancing.

Some of you might be wondering, if test scores are optional and there’s more leniency on extracurricular activities, what are the implications on how applications are decided by the admissions office - especially for selective schools? 

This could mean that all the other components of an application just became much more important. Course rigor and grades from Junior year / Year 12 / Form 5 become key representations of academic capabilities; a well-written, insightful Personal Statement could highlight individual attributes beyond the resume; positive recommendations from teachers and counselors would reflect your intellectual curiosity that standardised tests simply cannot; knowing a school well and demonstrating your fit to it speaks volume.

College applications alone could be manifold. With a global health crisis added on top, navigating through the process would require more resilience and support. Educational consultants such as Apply Ivy could provide the individualized advice, resources, and the stability to build a clear academic roadmap for your child. Apply Ivy will host free webinars in May to share more about how students can stand out in this changing environment. If you are interested, please register here: