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The COVID-19 pandemic is leading to unprecedented changes for university admissions.


The COVID-19 pandemic is leading to unprecedented changes for the 2020-2021 university admissions cycle, but don’t worry! These changes are impacting all students equally, and the best way to prepare to succeed in uncertain times is to stay informed. This guide is a starting point to show the key things you’ll need to consider as you prepare for university applications later this year.


What to do about the SAT and ACT?

As you consider how to plan your testing schedule for the upcoming months, here are some key factors to consider:


1) Do you need to take the SAT?

It’s almost certainly advisable to take the SAT or ACT, as a good score could be a great asset to your application to many schools. At the same time, a number of universities have begun to move toward test-optional admissions policies over the past few years, including the University of Chicago, Bryn Mawr College, Pitzer College, and Wake Forest University (more info here). Due to the hardship posed by COVID-19, Boston University and Case Western Reserve University have already announced that they will go test-optional for the 2020-2021 admissions season. Tufts has decided to make tests optional for the upcoming 3 years. Watch the news closely as many more universities are likely to make announcements over the coming weeks.


2) Do you need to take the SAT with writing?

As you prepare to register for the SAT or ACT, keep in mind that the ‘optional’ writing section is actually required by many universities (most notably the University of California system, including UC Berkeley and UCLA) and recommended by many others.


3) Should you take the SAT or ACT?

The SAT tends to be much more popular than the ACT in Thailand, but now may be the time to consider preparing for the ACT as there are currently more available test dates for this exam. Keep in mind that you cannot take the SAT I and the SAT II Subject Tests on the same test date.

What about AP exams?

If you have already registered for the 2020 AP Exams in May, the good news is that the College Board is still planning to offer these tests.


  • The tests will be offered online, and each test will be 45 minutes long.

  • The guidelines about what content will be on the exams have been updated. Material that would have been covered near the end of the course has been cut from the exams.(more info on exam content here)

  • As the College Board releases further updates, check the status through the College Board website.(more info here)


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