How will COVID-19 affect your college admissions? Let’s turn this crisis into an opportunity for success
By Tina Wu | Senior Admissions Counselor, Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions
Chaos seems to be the right word to describe the year 2020 so far. Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, classes are moved online, public exams and standardized tests are postponed or canceled, and most extra-curricular activities have come to a halt.
It may look like your life has been turned upside down. Yet, you can turn this situation into your advantage for college admissions. Here is some advice you may find useful:
Advice 1: Don’t Pain about Test Cancellation
Panicking about test cancellation isn’t going to help! Keep calm and stay informed on what’s happening to your scheduled exam. For your reference, the below table outlines the different arrangements for global and national public examinations as of March 23, 2020:
Next Available Test Date (International) *
|SAT/ SAT Subject Tests||March and May Tests are canceled||August|
|ACT||February and April Tests are canceled||June|
|A-Level||Canceled across U.K.||N/A|
|GCSE||Canceled across U.K.||N/A|
|International Baccalaureate (IB)||Canceled globally||N/A|
|Advanced Placement (AP)||Home testing option available|
|TOFEL||Home testing option available|
|DSE||Pushed back for one month to between April 24 and May 25|
*Based on the latest announcement and are subject to further changes.
Start thinking about contingency plans and manage your timeline. If you are a junior (Grade 11/ Year 12) interested in applying to U.S. colleges, ask yourself these questions:
- How many standardized test attempts (SAT/ ACT) do I need?
- Would this affect my Early Decision strategy?
- How does this impact my study plans?
Pay attention to the latest announcement from the College Board, ACT, or other relevant examination boards. It is important to remember that test cancellations affect students globally. Your ability to plan ahead will put you in a better position!
Advice 2: Ask for Admission Counselors’ Help
Enlist the help of the admission counselor. With COVID-19 disrupting standardized testing and class progress, your profile and application will hold a lot of weight! Work with your admission counselor to:
- Reshape your admission strategies
- Stay up to date and colleges’ policies and deadline extension
- Differentiate your application and show admission officers your resilience and initiative during this difficult time.
Advice 3: Stay Healthy and Disciplined
Finally, take all the necessary precautions to stay safe and healthy. Set up a daily routine and be on top of your online classes, homework, research, and test prep, etc. Manage your time wisely and stay disciplined.
If you stay organized and play your cards right, your college application will stand out!
Ms. Tina Wu
Senior Admissions Counselor
Member of NACAC
M.B.A., Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)
BSc. In Accounting and Finance, New York University – Stern School of Business
- A passionate mentor to students
- Proven track record of securing offers of top U.S. colleges with scholarship
- Emphasis on understanding and developing her students’ strengths, positioning their potential to admissions office in the best possible light
- Over 10 years of experience in helping students gain admissions to top boarding schools and colleges in the U.S.
- Matriculation includes: New York University, University of Virginia, University of Michigan, UCLA, UC Berkeley, etc.
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