Seniors offered the opportunity to take an in-school SAT

SAT statistics from the CHS Guidance Department.


SAT statistics from the CHS Guidance Department.

Ella Lukowiak

Instead of showing up to take a seat at an unfamiliar school, on Wednesday, Oct. 14, CHS seniors were given the opportunity to take the SAT at one of the places they know best: CHS.

“With all the talk about a second wave of COVID, I had no idea if I’d even be able to take it again,” said Senior Nate Riehl of Wall Township. 

Many of Riehl’s classmates found themselves in the same position: New Jersey test centers were closing left and right, many with little forewarning.

Senior Rachel Fisher of Ocean said that both her June and August SAT dates were cancelled only a few weeks prior to testing day. Senior Francesca DiMiceli of Middletown added that some test center closings were not only last minute, but also were communicated poorly to the students.

“I knew a couple of people who were finding out days before that their testing location was closed by friends… not by [the] College Board or the host school,” DiMiceli said. 

Due to these unexpected closings, many students decided to take advantage of the opportunity that not only CHS, but the entire MCVSD district was providing to them.

“It’s beyond a school decision… we wouldn’t have been able to have the SAT without the other academies being able to as well,” said guidance counselor Sandra Gidos.

Gidos went on to explain how the decision came to be.

“This is the first time that we offered it. Usually [Oct. 14] is the day for the PSAT… they are also offering a PSAT this year in January. That enabled us to be able to do a school day SAT in October and then we can offer our juniors the PSAT in January,” Gidos said. 

Gidos also explained that with a school the size of CHS, there were some complications with spacing and supervisors.

“One of the things you may not realize is that [when] enabling to do a test you need to have teachers and proctors as well, and space,” Gidos said. “We had over forty students for just the seniors.” 

Despite about half of the Class of 2021 opting to take the in-school SAT, most schools have gone test-optional for the upcoming pool of applicants. Some may see this as a way out of testing again, and Riehl explained his confusion about which path was the best course of action. 

“I disliked the fact that most of them ‘encouraged’ submitting scores,” Riehl said. “I wish it was either submit scores or don’t, not your own choice… almost all of the schools I researched and attended virtual tours at didn’t really explain the benefits or negatives to submitting or withholding test scores.” 

Whether students decided to take the test at CHS or not, Gidos explained that they will most likely not be given that opportunity again in the future. 

“Although I think it was a great opportunity for our students to take [the SAT] at a test site I think they are more comfortable with, this is a… one time decision, and it’s not something that they were planning on doing in the future.”