How Universities Are Adapting Their Admissions During The Coronavirus Pandemic

How Universities Are Adapting Their Admissions During The Coronavirus Pandemic

The pandemic that unfolded in full force was not at all appropriate. After all, spring is in full swing. This means that there are only a few days left before the large-scale wave of final exams and admissions to educational institutions. How are things with entrance examinations, admission of documents, and passing of other tests today? Sorted this out in our material.

The Current Situation

A new dangerous and poorly understood viral infection has already made our world the way it was not before. Almost a million infected, tens of thousands of lost lives, the strictest quarantine regimes in almost all countries, the most powerful economic collapse, and thousands of canceled (or postponed) events, including:

  • All national championships and international tournaments in football and other sports;
  • Summer Olympics;
  • Cannes Film Festival;
  • Eurovision;
  • ExoMars Mission;
  • E3 Annual Gaming Conference;
  • The World Economic Forum;
  • Numerous premieres in the world of cinema;
  • Concert tours and music festivals;
  • Fashion weeks and shows.

The educational process is no exception. The coronavirus has made its own major adjustments. Now, most schoolchildren and students are homeschooled (thanks to modern technology). All educational institutions are closed. Each university or school can introduce its own additional precautions. For example, Harvard asked all students to vacate their dorms back in mid-March. And China, where the infection came from, developed a national educational online platform in a short time. Exams, tests, and even the defense of diplomas are also planned to be transferred online. While trapped at home, it’s possible to learn quite a lot, and not only your university program. Online courses open doors to a range of exciting career options (marketing course, for example).

In some countries, they have introduced long-term vacations and stopped the educational process altogether – Kuwait schoolchildren back to their desks only on October 4 (with the exception of graduates).

Admission to universities during a pandemic: entrance exams and admission to universities

COVID-19 also affected higher education institutions. All universities in the world have been quarantined and are trying to introduce new remote learning systems. As for the final and entrance exams, at the moment improvisation is read in almost all addresses to students. Administrations do not know how long the quarantine will last. Therefore, they are trying to come up with some convenient date to which all exams can be postponed.

The problem is that such a system fails since all events are clearly timed. All this action stretches for about three months. And now all this needs to be either postponed or greatly reduced in terms of time. Therefore, each university chooses its own model of overcoming the crisis. At the moment, 1 billion people in the world have switched to a remote learning system.

USA

Entrance exams in American universities were moved from April to June. The country’s most advanced universities, such as the Massachusetts University of Technology (MIT), are organizing full-length remote classes and, when the general quarantine is extended, are ready to conduct entrance exams over the Internet.

Otherwise, American higher education institutions are not yet worried about the cancellation or postponement of entrance exams, believing that the COVID-19 epidemic will end earlier. For example, Harvard University did not devote a single paragraph in its large-scale FAQ, which deals with the situation with the coronavirus. But they, along with Stanford University, announced that they would forgive students for any delay in tuition payments. And the president of the country, in turn, said that for students the interest on student loans…

Special exams

GRE

Graduate Record Examination is testing conducted in the US and UK for students entering postgraduate programs in all areas. Distinguish between General GRE and Subject GRE. The former is usually included in university-wide charters, while the latter is valid for specific specialties and faculties. The purpose of the GRE is to assess the general level of knowledge and to fairly compare different curricula around the world. The test is conducted entirely in English. The admissions offices of different universities are lukewarm about the GRE. However, his average score is taken into account if it is too low or too high.

In connection with the outbreak of the coronavirus, the development company GRE – ETS has launched an online format for its testing. To take the test at home, you will need to install two special programs on your computer: ETS Test Browser and ProctorU Systems Check. In one, you will take the test. The other will make sure you don’t cheat.

GMAT

Graduate Management Admission Test is a test for students wishing to study at a master’s degree or business school in finance, economics, business and management programs. Typically used when enrolling in an MBA program. The test was developed in the middle of the last century. Its structure is undergoing massive changes up to the present day. For example, in 2012 a big new section (Integrated reasoning) was added.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most tests around the world have been canceled. At the moment, on the official page of the GMAC organization on Facebook, it is noted that an online version of the GMAT test is being developed.

LSAT

The Law School Admission Test is a special test for law applicants created by Harvard and Yale graduates in 1943. Its results are used by admissions committees of higher education institutions in the USA, Canada, Australia, and several other countries. Hosted by LSAC. About 200,000 people undergo this testing every year.

The March LSAT test has been canceled worldwide due to the coronavirus epidemic. All those who registered for the test in March were automatically registered on April 25th. This is a new tentative testing date. 

By the way, after the February 2021 exam, more states plan to offer the bar exam remotely again (Connecticut Bar Exam, for example).

MCAT

Medical College Admission Test is a standardized exam for medical students who wish to study in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the Caribbean. Hosted by the AAMC, the Association of American Medical Colleges. It is one of the most difficult and longest examinations in the world. The last major changes to the test were made in 2015 to reflect all modern medical advances.

In connection with the coronavirus, the April MCAT exam has been completely canceled. The association has eliminated all additional cancellation and postponement fees until the situation stabilizes. The next testing date has not yet been determined. It is recommended to stay tuned for updates on this page.

TOEFL

Test of English as a Foreign Language is a well-known test of English language proficiency. Like GRE, TOEFL is developed by ETS. During the COVID-19 epidemic, it is possible to take the test online.

IELTS

The International English Language Testing System is the main competitor of TOEFL. Created mainly for admission to higher education institutions in the UK. Often used by various companies during hiring. At the moment, the IELTS test continues in some regions, if the admissions committees manage to create a competent isolation environment. But in most countries, the IELTS exam has been officially canceled. Its renewal depends on the quarantine rules of other states.

Final thoughts

The situation in the world in connection with the virus is changing not only every day, but every minute. That is why everything, including studying in schools and entering universities, can change more than once. Follow the news on the websites of the educational institution you are interested in and on the news portals of the country where you are already studying or just planning to study. Take care of yourself and your loved ones!

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