SAT/ACT Testing in School During COVID

By Swetha Madiraju, Deputy Editor

Over the course of this unique year of online learning, students have been repeatedly challenged by new obstacles as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 


Flint Hill School’s juniors are no exception to the harsh process of heavy course loads and college preparation. Not only do juniors need to participate in the SAT/ACT for college, but they also need to keep their grades up and prepare for the process of college applications all while living during a global pandemic. This has put a significant amount of stress on students, as navigating the course of college preparation in a restrictive environment, due to the pandemic, is extremely difficult. 


However, as there are negative side effects of these standardized tests, there are also positives. Flint Hill is taking the initiative to prepare students effectively for the college admissions process by offering the option to take the SAT or ACT in a familiar setting to students in the community. 

One student at Flint Hill, Ryan Kuykendall, a junior, shared his experience, both the good and bad, with taking his SAT in school during the pandemic. 


“ACT and SAT tests have been a constant source of uncertainty. Many colleges are still unsure whether or not they will require or accept scores from 2022 applicants,” Kuykendall said.


Numerous students are facing issues with the overload of work they have been receiving. As juniors, students are expected by colleges to take the most challenging courses available to them to make them an attractive applicant. In normal circumstances, achieving this balance has already been a huge issue for past students. During a pandemic, achieving this balance is virtually impossible. Fortunately, Flint Hill has alleviated some of the stress that comes along with standardized test-taking. 


On the other hand, Kuykendall shared his positive experience with testing at the school. “Knowing this, I am really happy that Flint Hill took the step of holding their own ACT and SAT tests this year. Taking the tests in a familiar environment was helpful, and I didn’t have to stress out thinking about whether the test environment would be safe. I was able to come to the test confident that Flint Hill would conduct them in a safe, spaced-out manner. Removing this concern definitely allowed me to focus more on taking the actual test. Taking the ACT and SAT at Flint Hill added an element of stability to an otherwise stressful situation,” he said.


We are almost done with the school year! Though this year has been challenging and unique, try to find ways to embrace the chaos and take time off for yourself to keep yourself happy and healthy. The Counseling Office, Peer Counselors, and the Mental Health Alliance at Flint Hill have created excellent resources available to students if your mental health is something you have been struggling with during this pandemic. Hang in there, and do not be afraid to reach out!