Whitman cancels free SAT, provides redeemable vouchers


Graphic by Ivy Xun.

By Ivy Xun

MCPS canceled a free SAT test for juniors scheduled for Wednesday, March 7, primarily because the test didn’t offer a writing portion. Whitman planned to administer the test during the school day.

Due to the lack of a writing portion, the practice test wouldn’t have served its intended purpose of benefiting students, assistant principal Rainer Kulenkampff said.

“We recommend that students take the writing section,” Kulenkampff said. “If we don’t provide it and we recommend they do it, it would not be advantageous or very helpful for our students to take away class time and disrupt teachers’ schedules.”

MCPS originally planned to provide the test and waive its fee to fulfill its goal of covering the cost of one SAT or ACT test per student. Currently in its trial period, this initiative aims to increase countywide standardized test participation. Although this year’s test was cancelled, MCPS hopes to offer a free SAT test for all juniors in the county next year.

Some juniors said the free SAT would’ve still proven helpful.

“College Board prices are going up and APs are at around 100 bucks at this point,” junior Audra Fried said. “I think the SAT would’ve been pretty beneficial for the majority of students at Whitman.”

For now, in lieu of the cancelled test, juniors can sign up for vouchers for one SAT or ACT test. Although the vouchers still don’t cover the cost of the writing portion, they enable students to pay only an additional essay fee.

In light of the cancellation, Kulenkampff said he believes the vouchers are a beneficial alternative for both staff and students.

“I think people like to have their schedule sorted out and not miss class and school,” he said. “Especially with the vouchers, where they have an opportunity to still get it for free, but also add the essay if they want to, I think for everyone it kind of works out.”