COVID-19 Impact On Standardized Testing Explained

Elena Bai, News Editor

   Due to recent school closings, many standardized tests have been cancelled, on both the state and national level. These changes have impacted the college admissions process as well as general high school practices. 

   The End of Course exams for US Government, Algebra I, Algebra II, English II, and Biology are required by the state of Missouri. However, students that are currently enrolled in these required courses will not be able to take the EOC test. Instead, they will be provided with a test waiver to last throughout their high school career. 

   “If you were a sophomore in English II  this year, you won’t have to go back and take the English II test again. You’ll receive a waiver for that for the rest of your career. That would be true for all the required EOCs,” Said Craig Hounsom, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction. 

   This would allow students who are unable to take the EOC to graduate from high school and accounts for the disadvantages that one might suffer from not being in the classroom. 

   College admissions tests such as the ACT have also been cancelled due to school closings and health precautions. The April ACT session has been cancelled, but the ACT will provide the option of a makeup testing session on June 13 or a future date for students that wish to do so. 

   Because of this, many institutions for higher education and other programs have pushed back deadlines in order to allow students to submit their ACT scores. 

   “They have extended the deadline for students to qualify for the Bright Flight Scholarships. Typically that deadline is earlier in the year. I think ACT and higher ed has extended that timeline out till the end of July,” Hounsom said.

   Another major standardized test in the United States is the Advanced Placement, or AP, test, offered by the CollegeBoard. The decision has been made to continue testing online in students’ homes from May 11 to May 22. This year, AP tests will cover only topics that would have been reasonably covered by March of 2020. The test will consist of one or two free response questions to be completed in around 45 minutes and students will have the option to complete their tests on the computer or paper. 

   “If students choose to receive their prompt on a laptop, Chromebook, or whatever and hand write their answer, then they’re going to have to make sure within that uploading window that they can take a picture of their work, upload it into their device, and then be able to also submit it,” Stephanie Grisham, assistant principal, said. 

   Because of the lack of in-person education with normal high school teachers, the CollegeBoard has also begun to upload live streams of teachers in order to help students review for their tests. 

   “The reviews on YouTube Live are supposed to be ones that are going to be geared towards the type of problems that students are going to see. I think right now they’re doing a lot of review sessions of some of the curriculum,” Grisham said. 

   Students will also have the option to cancel their AP tests due to these changes. However, at Rolla High School, a majority of students signed up to take the AP test have not decided to cancel their tests. 

   “We had 83 students that had signed up to take an AP test. And out of those 83 I think I only have like eight that are canceling completely,” Grisham said.