SAT Corona Edition: Taking a life-changing test during the COVID-19 pandemic


Maya Crawford, Graphics Editor

The SAT is one of the most important milestones in the life of an upperclassmen high school student. The big test, the final frontier, the number that will decide if you can attend the college of your dreams and then pursue your life career. For a regularly anxious student, this test had me in shambles the moment I became a junior at Loy Norrix. 

Then the pandemic struck, and I had to not only finish my junior year from home, but also became unable to take the SAT when I planned to. Thankfully, I was able to take it a year late without consequence, but the way life had changed up until then only increased my stress a tenfold. 

As a 17 year old, I had never experienced a global pandemic before. Honestly, before 2020, it seemed like a made up concept from a dystopian novel of some sort. It took some time to step back and view how much the world had changed and how quickly I had gotten used to it. Being kept in isolation for our own safety would’ve been absurd to me last year, but now it is the norm to only see my dear friends sparingly, and even then only their masked faces, six feet apart. 

The stress that this pandemic has put on my studies and my personal life has been indescribable. I feel overwhelmed at tasks that used to be easy, so how on earth was I going to complete the biggest test of my life?

Fortunately, this year it may not actually be as important as I was making it seem. Since the pandemic caught so many people off guard, many schools are waiving the SAT scores submitted to them this year, making it possible for kids to still be accepted into their university of choice, even if their SAT scores aren’t their best performance, according to the New York Times. This is a huge deal because as a student struggling significantly to learn and study from home, this means I still have a shot to make it into my college of choice, despite the setback from COVID. 

Another advantage I had was the fact I was allowed a 504 Plan, which is a plan to help kids with learning disabilities do their best in school and standardized testing by giving them alternate accommodations. This plan allowed me to split up my testing into two days, so my brain had a chance to rest in between. That was a huge help in making sure I succeeded, and I think it gave me the time I needed to ensure I did my absolute best, even though doing my best was not as heavily required this year.

During testing, I had to wear a mask the entire time. It wasn’t ideal, and I had to remove it during breaks to get some breaths of fresh air, but it didn’t hinder my testing experience too much besides that. My administrator was very good at being careful and making sure we were as safe as possible during testing, which was a big relief and very appreciated. 

I finished testing after two days and now I am anxiously awaiting my results. Despite the fear of not knowing, I feel a huge weight off my shoulders now that it’s over and done with. It’s scary going through the next stage of life in these uncertain times, but I feel relieved to know that the major source of my anxiety through my entire high school experience is now behind me.