So COVID-19 Hurt Your Grades and Test Scores

2020 is unlike anything we've ever seen before, and your classroom was likely no exception. I'll break down what to bear in mind if COVID-19 had a negative affect on your upcoming application.

Shanghai's skyline.

To say that the coronavirus turned the world upside down feels like an understatement. After remote learning with new classroom dynamics and restructured (or cancelled) exams, you may find that your grades and test scores looks a bit different than it did a year ago. Of course, that doesn’t even account for the toll that a global pandemic has taken on us, especially those who have been more harshly affected by the virus in one way or another. If the virus took a toll on your grades, you may be wondering how that might impact your application. If you live in a place where the virus is still raging, then maybe you’re wondering what you should do if it does. I’ve got you covered!

Two students attending a Silver Service Learning course.

Don't panic

If your grades took a dip or your class options have changed, it’s easy to feel like you’re in trouble. Like you’re at a disadvantage. Like everyone else who applies will be in better shape. In actuality, that may not be the case – we’re all in the same boat. The virus has impacted most (if not all) of us in one way or another. We understand that this year’s pool of applications will be completely different from all those that came before. We’re committed to working with you (and your counselor) to ensure that we review your materials with all the appropriate context in mind. You’re not alone, and we understand!

Stay motivated

Don’t lose hope and motivation to finish high school strong. Your grades for your final year will be equally as important as the grades that came before. This is true even if we don’t review them until after you’re admitted. If you’re still concerned that your grades will weaken your candidacy, remember that there’s more to your application.

Does your essay need some fine tuning? Get to work on it! Have you taken a deep dive into your “Why NYU?” and the opportunities that you’re hoping to pursue with us? Get cracking. If there are ways for you to make an impact on your community while socially distancing, take advantage of it. There is no better time to give back to your community than right now. Don’t fall back on the assumption that your grades are everything. As much as we value your academics, we take more than your grades and test scores into account.

Stay updated

You may not have heard – but our testing policy has changed a bit. If you’re applying for Fall 2021 and you’re unable to take or submit standardized test scores, you won’t need to submit it. If you have concerns about being able to take English language testing, we recently added the Duolingo test to our list of options. You can take it from the comfort of your own home! Our website and social media channels are the fastest way to keep in touch with any updates that might arise. If you’re trying to find us on social media, you can find us @MeetNYU!

Two female students studying at a table in the library.

Don't be a stranger

We know this is tough – but we’re here to help you! We’re preparing an article about how to talk about COVID-19 in your application, so stay tuned for that! In the meantime, our admissions office is standing by waiting to help with any questions that you might have. Call us, email us, chat with us on social media – we’ve got your back! As the late (but arguably great?) High School Musical once said – “we’re all in this together.” Above all else, remember that you are more than the grades and test scores that you will submit to us. We know it, and we can’t wait to see it on your application.