What the Changes to the SAT Mean For You

Samir Tusneem, Staff Writer

The SAT is without a doubt one of the most tedious and important exams in many students’ academic careers. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is an entrance exam for college in which students will have to demonstrate mastery in the fields of mathematics, reading, and the English language. In addition to the main exam itself, the College Board also offers two separate components – SAT Subject Tests and the SAT Essay. However, the College Board recently announced on their blog that they will be discontinuing the distribution of these two tests.


For some, the cancellation of these two extra components provided a sigh of relief as it meant that they would not have to worry about studying for them any longer. This also means that students will not have to worry about spending more money to take these two extra assessments. College Board stated that the reason for their decision was because of the declining degree of importance that these two components had to college admissions, especially since AP Exams are meant for testing mastery in specific subjects.


“The expanded reach of AP and its widespread availability means the Subject Tests are no longer necessary for students to show what they know,” College Board stated in their blog. When asked about the reason behind the discontinuation of the SAT Essay, the organization stated, “We’re adapting to respond to the changing needs of students and colleges. This change simply streamlines the process for students who have other, more relevant opportunities to show they can write an essay as part of the work they’re already doing on their path to college.” With the widespread opportunities that students have to demonstrate their writing skills and mastery in certain subjects, these two components will no longer be necessary.


This change was foreshadowed by the fact that many universities in the country have gradually begun to void the requirements for SAT Subject Tests and Essays. With the college application process requiring students to write essays and giving them the option to submit AP scores, there was really no need to have the extra burden of the SAT Essay and Subject Tests for students to worry about.


For students who have already taken SAT Subject Tests and the Essay, it is encouraged that they look at the websites of the colleges that they are planning on applying to for information regarding whether or not they will be able to submit their scores. 


For students who are already registered to take the Essay, they will have the opportunity to do so until the June 2021 administration, and they can cancel, with no change fees, until the registration deadline.


For students who are already registered to take subject tests, they will automatically have their registrations canceled and fees refunded. International students, on the other hand, will still have the opportunity to take these tests as they can factor into their placement at universities.


As stressful as the SAT may be for many students, the decision to void the Subject Tests and Essays will hopefully ease the stress and lift the burden of studying for many different assessments at once. As time goes by, there will most likely be more changes to standardized testing, especially given the unprecedented times we are in.