Long story short, if you have questions about taking the ACT or the SAT during the pandemic, so does most everyone. The situation can change weekly. But here are some basic takeaways you can find if you peruse the ACT and SAT's websites.
1) When are the next exams?
The next ACT is July 18th.
The next SAT is August 29, followed by a test every month through June 2021.
2) How do I know if my local test center is still hosting it's scheduled test?
Check updates daily by logging into your account as you get close to the test date. The tests can be cancelled even the day of the test if officials consider the conditions to be unsafe near the testing location according to CDC guidelines for safety.
3) Are my ACT and SAT scores still as important given that some schools are switching to "test optional" status doing the pandemic?
Yes (and no). Even if your selected schools switch to "test optional" many merit scholarships are still based, in part, on test scores. However, as you complete your junior and senior year course it is generally recommended that you focus hard on other important admission factors besides the ACT and SAT: GPA, honors or AP level courses, extracurricular activities and essays. Colleges that switch to "test optional" will give greater weight to these other factors.
4) Do I need PPE to take my test?
Yes, you should bring your own mask and hand sanitizer. Testing centers will screen students and maintain 6 foot social distancing. Some test centers have reduced capacity to meet safety guidelines.
5) Will the ACT or SAT have at home testing?
While the College Board (SAT) has paused its plans for an at-home testing option, the ACT will start offering remote testing dates in the fall.
Please keep up-to-date by checking your email and looking at the ACT and SAT's websites. At the time of this writing, there are renewed outbreaks in certain states around the country and the safety conditions at text centers can vary greatly widely from location to location!