School hosts distanced in-person SAT test


Milla Ben-Ezra

Students keep social distance between themselves while standing in line to register for their SAT tests.

Milla Ben-Ezra

Despite test center cancellations from other SAT testing locations in Los Angeles, students gathered on campus to take the SAT on March 13.

Upon their arrival, students filled out precautionary COVID-19 safety forms and lined up to have their temperatures taken. Tom Baker ’22 said the COVID-19 safety measures made him feel more secure while taking an already stressful exam.

“[The administrators] were handing KN95 masks out to everyone, and I was in a huge classroom, and there were only five or six people in it, and they took everyone’s temperature, so I felt very safe,” Baker said.

Isa Sylbert ’22 said she was happy that she took her SAT at school, which was a comfortable environment for her.

“I’m super grateful that we were able to come to campus, first of all, because I know that taking it at home would have been a lot worse, even though this was a little bit weird because we had to wear a mask,” Sylbert said. “I just know that taking it at home alone and online would’ve been worse.”

Sylbert is one of many students who, throughout the pandemic, are facing SAT test center cancellations due to unsafe testing conditions.

“I signed up for my first SAT in November, and every single one that I’ve signed up for since has been canceled until now, so it’s been several months now that I’ve been waiting to take an SAT, so I’m so happy that Harvard-Westlake was open,” Sylbert said.

The College Board recently announced the discontinuation of the SAT with Essay, effective June 2021, and eliminated the cancellation deadline to remove the essay from a test-taker’s registration .

Because of this change, students were also able to cancel their essay portions on the spot. Sophia Haynes ’22 registered to take the SAT with Essay but decided to opt out when exam day arrived. Haynes said the convenience of changing her testing plan was a big relief.

“When I got [to campus], I was signed up for the SAT with Essay,” Haynes said. “[The proctor] asked everyone in my room to raise their hand to either opt in or opt out of the essay. It was really easy and convenient.”