Administration holds SAT in person

Jones conducts third SAT during pandemic

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Graphic by Fiona Kogan ’22

After over a year of online learning, juniors returned to school on April 13 to take the SAT in person in keeping with the Jones administration’s Covid-19 safety precautions.

Jones administration held its first SAT during the pandemic last September and October. Seniors had to fulfill their graduation requirements in the fall due to lockdowns in the spring. 

“The check-in process for students coming in to take the test went mostly smoothly,” said Joanna Soltys ‘22. 

In terms of specific safety precautions, the administration sent staggered times for students to enter the building, and approximately one-third of the students took the exam in the north building, while two-thirds were in the south building.

 Students were expected to fill out and pass the Chicago Public Schools health screener before they entered the building and pass a temperature check. 

“I had extra masks and gloves for anyone that needed it or gloves if somebody wanted to feel more comfortable, and I’m in constant contact with the head custodian here,” said Assessment Coordinator Nicole Guevara. “I see he’s constantly cleaning; he makes sure there’s a huge bucket of wipes in every testing room, and there are about 50 testing rooms.” 

Many students reported serious advantages to studying for standardized tests remotely. 

“I think online learning better prepared me because I was lucky enough to afford an SAT tutor, so I spent time working on assigned homework that my tutor assigned me to prepare for the test,” said Violet Berlin ‘22. 

Without the constant commute to and from school and after-school commitments, some students said it was easier to find time to dedicate to SAT studying. 

“Even if you didn’t have a tutor, if you pushed yourself to use online resources that were free, you would definitely still have extra time while learning remotely compared to balancing sports and commuting to school,” said Berlin. 

When it came to Jones’ involvement in making the process of the SAT and other standardized tests clear and understandable, students said they wanted more. 

“I just wish they gave us more guidance with information about the ACT, speaking as a first-generation student,” said Soltys.

Jones offered a math tutoring class to students to help prepare them for the SAT; however, they did not offer any help in the reading and writing portion of the test. 

“They should have offered English tutoring as well for students like me who are good at math but need more help in the reading portion,” said Berlin. 

The only predictable thing about this year is the fact that things will be unpredictable.

 In keeping with this trend, the College Board recently dissolved the requirement of the SAT Essay portion along with SAT Subject Tests. This change may be a welcome one, but it’s just another thing for students to adapt to. 

“This exam is given without the extra 50-minute essay at the end, so I feel like that could be very much in students’ favor because it’s a long exam, and the essay’s at the end when [they’re] already tired,” said Guevara.

With all the adjusting students have had to do throughout online learning and changes in the College Board, it’s unclear at this point whether students’ standardized test scores will be affected. 

“I was able to sneak more time for the SAT and whatnot studying due to the extra time I’ve saved in online learning, but at the same time, I can’t help but wonder how much content I’ve missed simply because we’re not in school,” said Soltys.