What the Discontinuation of SAT Subject Tests and SAT Essay Means For You

The SAT is notorious for being one of the most important and tedious exams in many students’ academic careers. Being an entrance exam for college, the SAT requires students to channel the knowledge they have obtained over the years to do well and prove their ability to answer questions in a variety of fields of math, English, and reading comprehension. To learn more about the SAT and its components, click here. Aside from the main exam itself, Collegeboard also offers an optional essay and subject tests for students to further demonstrate their mastery in writing and specific subjects. However, the value of these two assessments has declined over the years due to colleges deeming them unnecessary. With this in hand, College Board announced that it will be discontinuing the distribution of the SAT essay and subject tests in the United States.

Why Exactly are They Doing This?

The cancellation of these two tests was foreshadowed by colleges showing a lack of importance for them. Many schools in the United States don’t require the essay nor do they encourage it. In addition, College Board stated that the expanded reach of AP exams was already an opportunity for students to demonstrate mastery in specific subjects, and scrapping the use of subject tests would reduce demands on students. “The pandemic accelerated a process already underway at the College Board to simplify our work and reduce demands on students,” the organization stated. With the cancellation of subject tests, AP exams are now available to more low-income students, and the various opportunities to demonstrate students’ ability to write essays make the SAT essay portion unnecessary

Although SAT Subject Tests will be unavailable to U.S students, international students will still be able to take these assessments as they are used internationally for a wider variety of purposes including university placement and college credits.

What if I am already registered for an SAT Subject Test?

If you are a U.S student who registered for the May/June 2021 Subject Tests, College Board will automatically cancel your registrations and give you a refund. If you are an international student, it is encouraged that you check with the colleges you plan on applying to in order to decide whether or not you should still take Subject Tests.

What if I am already registered for the SAT Essay?

If you are currently registered for the SAT with Essay or are planning on taking it, you will still be able to do so until June of 2021. It is encouraged that you check with your target schools in order to get an understanding of whether or not taking the essay would be the best option for you as many colleges do not find much importance in essay scores.

If I have already taken SAT Subject Tests and/or the essay, will colleges still accept my scores?

College Board stated that it has already reached out to multiple colleges that work alongside the organization, and they will decide whether or not Subject Test scores will still be considered and how they will consider them. “‘Students should check colleges’ websites for the most up-to-date information on their application policies,” the organization stated. This means that score sending is still available, and there is no current plan to get rid of the opportunity for students to send their scores to colleges.

With College Board scrapping the SAT Essay and Subject Tests, many students who were planning on taking either of these assessments can give themselves a sigh of relief knowing that they will no longer have to stress out about taking them. Not only does scrapping these two tests make AP Exams more available to low-income students, but it also allows other students to focus their time on college applications and their school work.



“College Board Will No Longer Offer SAT Subject Tests or SAT with Essay.” – College Board Blog, blog.collegeboard.org/January-2021-sat-subject-test-and-essay-faq.


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