FEATURE — November 16, 2020 at 12:39 pm

Schools continue to conduct testing required for graduation

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PSAT, SAT and ACT testing has changed due to COVID-19. Testing areas require social distancing and masks. Graphic by Madison Lenard

As the dates of important tests required for high school graduation come up and COVID-19 cases continue to rise, schools must find a way to successfully conduct these tests while maintaining safety guidelines. 

On Thursday, Oct. 29, the PSAT was conducted at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Students were required to wear a mask for the entirety of the exam and were seated six feet apart in order to follow social distancing mandates. 

“When I went to take the PSAT, I was placed in the mini gym,” junior Amanda Santo said. “All of our desks were spread apart and we had to wear our masks the whole time. Only a few people could use the bathroom at a time.”

The ACT and SAT remain mandatory for most college applications, some students require multiple testing dates to try and improve their scores. The PSAT testing conducted at MSD allowed students to stay safe by following the necessary precautions, while ensuring a baseline score that students could use to prepare for for future exams. 

Many students, specifically juniors and seniors, are taking the SAT on their own time.  Schools such as Monarch High School, North Broward Preparatory School and Millenium 6-12 Collegiate Academy are being used as testing sites and are also following the same safety regulations implemented by high schools.

“I took my SAT at Monarch High School,” junior Lexi Skolnick said. “It was really crowded but they did a good job at controlling it. The seats were apart and we had to bring our [own] pencils and wear a mask the whole time.”

MSD no longer offers the same PSAT and SAT practice opportunities that they previously have due to risks surrounding the COVID-19. 

On Wednesday, Nov. 4 and Thursday, Nov. 5, testing was offered to seniors who still needed a qualifying score for the reading FSA and the Algebra end-of-course exam. These were held at MSD with the same safety guidelines. 

“[Students] didn’t have an opportunity until now to retake that FSA test,” Principal Michelle Kefford said. “They also can take the SAT to get their coordinated score, but a lot of the SAT centers had been closed so a lot of our students did not have the number of opportunities that they usually would.” 

Many tests have been disrupted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Alternative dates for the tests will continue to come out. For every test done during this time, safety requirements such as using a mask and staying six feet apart will be essential in keeping everyone safe.

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Kelly Cooke is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She loves writing and being active. She also enjoys spending time with her friends and family.

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