Sea Kings Trek for Tests

John Kim, Reporter

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rather significant shakeup in the college application process. As large grouping became prohibited in many states (especially in a big state like California with a high number of coronavirus cases), SAT and ACT test centers shut down, leaving those without scores quite anxious and questioning. 

After the March SAT got canceled just a few days before its date due to the sudden outbreak and despite the College Board’s attempt to hold tests starting August, test centers in California have been continually failing to go through with their plans. Understanding their circumstances, most colleges now are not requiring or not considering standardized test scores.

Still, quite a few students from PVHS–and students across the nation–are choosing to take the SAT by traveling to states like Utah or Arizona where test centers are still open due to relatively lax Coronavirus regulation as they seek any sort of competitive advantage in their college applications.

Among them are seniors Aidan Forsey, who took the September SAT and Cameron Greene, who took the SAT subject test (Math II with Calculator) in October.

Forsey is an aspiring cadet of the US Air Force Academy.

“I took the SAT because my top choice was still accepting it,” Forsey said. “I flew on there on Friday and took the test and flew back.”

He wasn’t alone in his endeavor.

 “Multiple other people I was taking it with were from California,” Forsey said.“I would only recommend it to people whose top choice in college apps still considers it and only if they think they can earn a competitive score.” 

Greene had his own unique experience with the infamous SAT Math II subject test.

“Come October, I saw that Utah had a rare open testing center, and I jumped on the opportunity,” he said. 

“College applications were only a month away, and I felt pressured to add one more achievement to my resume.”

Nevertheless, he feels as though it was not worth it as he did not achieve a satisfactory score. 

“I’m mildly frustrated at this, and I am sour about the whole ordeal.” he said. 

“It was stressful.I boarded a socially distanced airplane the afternoon before the exam and sat there for two hours, inhaling recycled air.

“I put my life at risk to cross multiple state borders and come into contact with dozens of strangers. I ran into multiple people that didn’t wear masks and put others at risk. I didn’t contract COVID, but it was scary nonetheless.”

Greene personally does not recommend the option to others. 

“Especially considering the fact that you might not be happy with your score, it’s a bad idea,” he said.

At the end of the day, for the class of 2021, standardized test scores are just the icing on the cake. 

“Seniors this year should rest assured that their applications will be just as strong without any tests because universities are giving students more wiggle-room in the COVID era,” Greene said.

Alycen Kim