SAT, AP changes announced

Testing begins on April 13


Henry Rowe

AP and SAT test prep books at the Grayslake library. Books like these have become commonplace in the lives of students hoping to better prepare for testing.

Henry Rowe, Feature Editor

Testing may not be every student’s favorite part of school, but it’s undeniably important. Like all aspects of student life, testing has undergone some major changes since the beginning of the pandemic. Many test takers may feel confused about the where, when and how of testing this year.  Luckily, Central’s testing planning team has gone out of their way to make testing dates and procedures as clear as possible.

One of these testing coordinators is Dan Erlenbaugh. Erlenbaugh, as well as others have worked to ensure SAT testing is as safe as possible this year. While this has required certain changes, the test is still similar to prior years.

“So, all SAT testing is on paper, and it has to be done in person. We ran the test in the fall, for the class of 2021, we did a practice test for the class of 2022, and we’re doing one now. We decided that the rooms will be set up how they are now, and the maximum number of students allowed in a room has been capped at 12. Obviously, everybody will be wearing masks, and all the materials used by students will be not touched by staff, who will be wearing gloves to make sure that there is no cross contamination.” said Erlenbaugh.

However, there are still a few curriculum changes, as there will no longer be an essay portion of the test. 

“There will be no essay for the test. So there’s four tests, rather than five. That’s just something the Illinois Board of Education decided on. I think it’s just so there’s one less thing for our students to worry about. This was already going to be the last year of the essay, “ said Erlenbaugh.

This year, as testing will be taking place in person, non-testing students will have an asynchronous work day.

“This year’s testing day will be on April 13th. That will just be juniors in the building, all other students will be at home, during asynchronous work, that has been assigned by their teacher,“ said Erlenbaugh.

SAT is usually a stressful time for students, even more so with recent events and irregularities. Erlenbaugh wants students to understand that while the test may be important, students should have a healthy relationship with testing. 

“Don’t stress about the test, it’s just one piece of the puzzle in a student’s goals and aspirations after high school. If they are going the college route, colleagues don’t just look at SAT scores, they also see you as a whole student. They’ll look at your grades, the classes you’ve taken, the activities you’re involved in, so it’s just one test, and if you don’t like how you did, you can always take it again,” said Erlenbaugh.

In May, AP testing in particular can bring stress to the lives of students, not only due to the mass amount of studying many students undergo during this time, but also possible confusion over what testing will actually look like. Normally, this  inexperience would be reserved for first time AP testers, but with the unconventional nature of this school year, students of all levels of experience can find themselves feeling lost.  

AP testing procedures won’t only be different this year, so will testing times.  There will be three sets of dates for AP testing, which are on May 3 to May 17, May 18 to May 28, and June 1 to June 11. AP testing this year is offered in both a virtual and in person format. In person testing will be similar to years prior, although with prior mentioned changes. Virtual is a wholly new experience, with no ability to move back after answering questions, as well as other methods to prevent cheating.