Seniors are given another chance to take the SAT

Erin Goya, Staff Writer

Due to COVID-19, many test centers around the island that planned to host the SAT have closed. In response, Mid-Pacific offered the test to seniors only on Oct. 16.

Schools around the island such as Punahou, Kamehameha, and Iolani have closed their doors to the thousands of students needing to take a standardized test. Even though many colleges around the nation have declared being test-optional, students are still looking for a way to take the SAT.

“In talking with Mr. Kang and Mrs. Fitzgerald, we wanted to give an option for seniors because so many of our SAT testing dates were canceled by College Board,” said Tina Rawlins, Family Liaison Assistant Manager, Student Records Department.

Mid-Pacific decided to host an SAT for their seniors to give seniors one last chance to send in scores to their desired colleges. On Oct. 16, seventy-eight seniors stepped foot on campus for the first time in six months.

“I am really grateful that Mid-Pac decided to do this extra exam for Mid-Pac seniors because, if not, I wouldn’t have gotten a second chance.””

— Jolie Kushimi

“It was pretty surreal. I forgot what it felt like to be around my friends and classmates, and what it felt like to be in an engaging environment,” said senior Maddie Au. “I felt like a duck being released after it’s been cleaned like a Dawn commercial.”

The students took the test in the Kawaiahaʻo building with the floors lined with tape to designate walking directions. Seniors wore masks and turned in health forms prior to entering the test room.

“Out of all the seniors that came, only one forgot to fill out the health form and turn it in so to me, the seniors, this is their college entrance, I think it went really smoothly for seniors as far as check-in,” said Rawlins.

Some students reported that the new social distancing measures such as masks and walkways made them less able to focus on the test.

“Obviously, the use of PPE and the walkways were marked, and the face masks during the test made it a bit more difficult to focus,” said Au.

Senior Jolie Kushimi said she needed to take the test because some of the international schools have not decided to be test-optional.

“It was interesting because I wasn’t expecting all of the tapes that they set up, I understand it, but it was kind of confusing and I don’t know if a lot of people actually followed it,” Kushimi said.

Mid-Pacific usually offers a March and August SAT on a Saturday, but due to COVID the tests were pushed back and then canceled. This was the first time Mid-Pacific offered an SAT day where the students took the test on a weekday.

“Because of the limited number of staff we would have available, we had to limit the number to 100, so we offered and opened it up to 100 students, and we had about 78 who took advantage of the opportunity,” said Rawlins.

This SAT will give the seniors an opportunity to send their scores before the early decision date of Nov. 15.

“It was definitely important and I think a lot of kids, myself included, were grateful for the opportunity after multiple cancellations on previous tests,” said Au.

Many of the seniors said they were extremely thankful to Mid-Pacific for allowing them to take one last exam.

“I am really grateful that Mid-Pac decided to do this extra exam for Mid-Pac seniors because, if not, I wouldn’t have gotten a second chance,” said Kushimi.