The College Board announced this week that they will no longer offer SAT Subject Tests to U.S. students, and will discontinue the optional SAT Essay after the slated June 2021 test date. In an effort to soften the impact of an already stressful school year, this decision will reduce the testing requirements demanded of college applicants and streamline the application process for students and colleges alike. With the growing availability and popularity of subject-specific AP courses, SAT Subject Tests no longer remain necessary to demonstrate students’ mastery of certain academic disciplines. Further, sections of the SAT exam, such as the Reading and Writing & Language portions, as well as other components of the typical college application, are able to showcase students’ writing skills without the additional SAT Essay.
Students registering for the May or June 2021 exams will still be able to sign up for the optional SAT Essay. This option will be fully suspended for all exam dates beyond June 2021. Those already registered for SAT Subject Tests in the coming months will have their registration automatically canceled and fully refunded.
The College Board is certainly not alone in sending shockwaves through the landscape of standardized testing. These newest changes come on top of decisions from hundreds of colleges to make all test score submissions optional, or even eliminate them altogether as an admissions requirement for this year’s applicants. Such widespread changes certainly show the continuing impact of COVID-19 on the world of higher education and leave a number of questions unanswered for this year’s soon-to-be rising seniors. Should your student still prepare for and take standardized exams? How might this announcement impact test preparation strategies? What other recent changes and updates are impacting college admissions today?
Get the answers to all of these and your own college planning questions at our upcoming webinar and Q&A, Parent’s Guide to College Planning, on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. Register today at the link below!