Unfortunately, the current shift towards safe at home has made it difficult for 2020-2021 high school seniors to take their SAT college entrance exams.

But, in response, California universities and other colleges around the country are not making test scores mandatory for the 2021 school year. But then for high schoolers looking towards their college applications, it’s hard to know what to prioritize or include to make their application stand out.

The team at IvySmart Education in Torrance, Redondo, and Palos Verdes is here to help you through our online test prep and tutoring options. Learn more about how to overcome the SAT cancellations and help high schoolers develop a strong college application.

Overcoming SAT Cancellations

For high schoolers, the summer before senior year usually involves lots of test prep for the upcoming SAT. For most colleges, SAT scores play a large role for admittance. But since local and national colleges and universities are waiving that requirement, there are other ways these students can work to compensate for that lack of test scores in their application.

AP Test Prep

AP classes are a great way for high school students to both prepare for college. While they are more challenging than standard high school credits, students are familiarizing themselves with the type of material and level of independence that will be expected when they get to college.

On top of that, AP classes can give high schoolers college credits that count towards certain prerequisites, giving them a boost during their first year of college.

Since this next set of high school seniors won’t have test scores from the SAT to show colleges, AP classes are a great way to show that they’re performing and excelling above their peers — especially if they get good grades in those courses.

If your high schooler is concerned about tackling the rigor of an AP class online or during these uncertain times, that’s where AP test prep comes in! At IvySmart, our tutors are familiar with the AP test and can help your student through the different course material and help them feel prepared to take the AP test, giving them a further boost when it comes to their college application!


For high schoolers applying for college, GPA is a strong indicator of their overall performance in school. Without SAT scores, GPAs are going to provide college admissions with a lot of information about their potential for succeeding in a college setting.

But that doesn’t mean that students who struggled early on in high school need to worry about those bad grades poorly affecting their college applications. If your high schooler was able to raise those grades and excel in later years, colleges will take note of that. That type of personal growth is a positive indicator of what type of student they are, and their ability to overcome previous struggles or obstacles.

This also makes senior year important. While colleges won’t have the final semester of grades for the initial application, it’s important for students to prioritize the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. With online classes and a shifting social environment, strong grades will show the overall strength and determination of that student!

If there are classes that your student is worried about taking, find an online tutor through IvySmart education. We can help with individual subjects, study skills, or any other academic needs your student might have.

Strong Personal Statement

A personal statement is going to be another important aspect of their college application. This is a way to highlight accomplishments, struggles, barriers, and provide information that goes beyond their GPA and class schedule. Have your student spend some extra time making their personal statement strong, so they stand out from the other applications.

Online Test Prep at IvySmart

Just because your high schoolers are now taking their classes at home doesn’t mean they can’t work to boost their grades and make themselves stand out on their college applications.

Schedule online tutoring or AP test prep through IvySmart Education in Torrance, Redondo, and Palos Verdes today. We are here to support all students — including our 2020-2021 high school seniors — to give them the tools and skills to be successful academically.

Still struggling with helping your student with their online classes? There are certain things that parents can do to help students be successful in an online and at-home environment. Read our blog — How to Help Students With Their Online Classes — for more resources and support.