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College Board closes SAT testing centers due to safety concerns over coronavirus


Varsha Rammohan

The College Board has closed numerous testing locations for the March 14 SAT as precautionary measures for the spread of the coronavirus.

by Anna Vazhaeparambil, Co-Sports Editor

As more information is released about College Board closing centers due to the coronavirus, this article will be updated with the latest news. Check Harker Aquila for continuous coverage.

This story was last updated March 14 to reflect new information about the number of nations, U.S. states and individual centers in the Bay Area affected by the shutdowns, as well as the amount of local cases.

Due to increasing safety concerns over the spread of COVID-19 worldwide, College Board has announced that it will be closing certain testing centers for the March 14 SAT in areas that have been exposed to the virus, and offering alternative testing options for students at these sites. 

As of today, 85 nations have been affected, with China, Italy, Japan and South Korea among the list of 30 places facing entire countrywide test center cancellations. In the United States, 47 states or territories, including California, have also been impacted, and the following six testing sites in San Jose will be closing: Bellarmine College Preparatory, Lincoln High School, Saba Academy, San Jose State University, Santa Teresa High School and Yerba Buena High School.

There are 37 more centers closing in the Bay Area as a whole: Archbishop Riordan High School in San Francisco, Berkeley High School in Berkeley, Capuchino High School in San Bruno, Carlmont High School in Belmont, Christopher High School in Gilroy, Clayton Valley High School in Concord, El Camino High School in Oceanside, Encinal High School in Alameda, Everett Alvarez High School in Salinas, Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, Hayward High School in Hayward, Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto, Immaculate Conception Academy in San Francisco, James Logan High School in Union City, Jesse Bethel High School in Vallejo, Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo, Kipp King Collegiate High School in San Lorenzo and Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek.

The list goes on to include Las Positas College in Livermore, Mare Island Tech Academy in Vallejo, Monte Vista Christian School in Watsonville, Milpitas High School in Milpitas, Newark Memorial High School in Newark, Novato High School in Novato, Oakland High School in Oakland, Oakland Military Institute in Oakland, Oakland Tech High School in Oakland, Sacred Heart-Cathedral Prep in San Francisco, San Mateo High School in San Mateo, Santa Rosa Junior College in Petaluma, St Francis High School in Mountain View, St Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco, Seaside High School in Seaside, Terra Linda High School in San Rafael, Vallejo High School in Vallejo, Watsonville High School in Watsonville and Ygnacio Valley High School in Watsonville.

The complete list of cancelled testing centers is posted on the College Board website. This number is subject to change, and students are asked to check their email in the upcoming week for any updates regarding the status of their location.

“I’m very nervous for my testing date to be cancelled, because I have worked so hard to prepare,” said Emma Andrews (11), who was registered to take the March SAT at Bellarmine, where a makeup is yet to be scheduled. “I understand where [College Board] is coming from, but I feel like there are other preventative measures that could take place.”

College Board has provided alternate testing sites for those affected, and makeup tests will be scheduled at locations without any other center options if possible. Students with canceled registrations will receive a full refund.

This news comes after growing efforts to slow the spread of the virus. In Santa Clara County alone, there have been 79 confirmed cases of the virus, the most in the Bay Area so far, and in response, officials have been asking the public to suspend non-essential travel and have banned gatherings of over 100 people.

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College Board closes SAT testing centers due to safety concerns over coronavirus