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ACT Test Centers Unexpectedly Closed


FILE - A student prepares for an ACT assessment test in Springfield, Ill., April 1, 2014.

For high school students, SAT and ACT test cancellations are the latest in a string of postponed activities because of COVID-19.

Administrators of the admissions tests have announced delays at testing centers across the nation, especially in the wake of the pandemic that has closed secondary schools, colleges and universities.

Last weekend, at sites from South Carolina to Missouri, students arriving at testing centers to take the ACT found many of them shuttered. The test had been canceled without notification from the testing service.

"The ACT scheduled for today (7/18) has been CANCELED. ACT should have contacted you. We are very sorry if you were not notified," a sign stated at a testing center in South Carolina.

"I just drove an hour away only to find out that my test center was cancelled. I received no emails about the cancellation and there were many other people waiting outside the test center that were not notified either," tweeted Marian @Marian23341409. "Give me my money back @ACT."

ACT Education Solutions, the nonprofit organization that created and administers the standardized aptitude test that many colleges and universities use to assess applicants, has not released a statement regarding the closures. But it has posted a list of all official test center cancellations as well as an opportunity for students to sign up for a registration reminder.

Students will have three opportunities to take the ACT in September and four in October.

"My kid found out that the test center is cancelled today morning when he showed up. Why did you send a confirmation email on the 15th? Why no cancellation email? This is unconscionable behavior, I want an automatic refund," tweeted A S @Sobrinhofly.

Canceled standardized tests are not the only dilemma that high school students have faced because of COVID-19. Some students who took Advanced Placement (AP) tests online in May received an error message when they hit submit. Subsequently, a lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Los Angeles.

Additionally, since the pandemic struck, universities in the U.S. have altered their requirements for students' applications.

The University of California announced in May that they will drop the SAT and ACT requirements through the class of 2024. By 2025, the UC system, which has about 290,000 students, will either create their own test to replace it or get rid of it altogether.

Harvard University in Massachusetts also has dropped the standardized admission's test.

But for students still planning on attending a school with SAT and ACT testing requirements, the pandemic poses a problem.

"This is now my fourth test that's been canceled," tweeted ミ☆ @flsegd. "I found out from REDDIT that my test center was canceled because you didn't even send me an email. I almost drove 90 minutes away for the test."

For international students whose application and admissions cycle is much longer because of the time it takes to secure visas, canceled tests have become onerous. SAT tests have been canceled since April.

"Given the spring administrations canceled due to coronavirus, we are seeing very high interest in students wanting to register for the SAT," stated the College Board, a nonprofit organization based in New York that administers the SAT and other standardized tests.

The next SAT test dates scheduled for international locations are August 29, September 26, October 3, November 7 and December 5.

"As a result, there is a greater volume than usual of students trying to register. Students may expect interruptions and delays online."

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