Permanent Removal of SAT Subject Tests and Essay


The College Board has taken the legitimate decision to drop their SAT subject tests along with the optional SAT essay to reduce demands upon students. Along with this, the organization is working towards creating a digital form of the SAT to accommodate the needs of COVID-affected test takers. 

This is partly due to the severe number of colleges lowering their expectations and demands of test scores. With about 40% of schools across the nation have turned test-optional, it led to about an 8% drop in test-takers. While this seems like a small number, The Collegeboard has lost crucial revenue that would fund future endeavors. After facing explicit backlash in 2020 for Virtual AP Testing due to poor submission, questionable anti-cheating, and blatant monopolization methods, this organization scrambled to appease students to make up for past behaviors. 

It’s been a whirlwind of a day for students and colleges across the country and the feelings on the matter are polar. Junior Neha Chand believes that removing the subject tests, “literally saved my life…I just saved so much money and so much trouble”. Studying for these tests has proved to be a hassle for multiple students, especially piled on top of their other schoolwork. Conversely, Riddhi Gosavi, another junior at Memorial, believes that it minimizes students’ potential. “For example, a student may be exceptional in biology but mediocre in reading”, she explains, “this would mean that they’re testing in an area of established weakness”. Junior Marques has mixed feelings on the SAT with Essay, claiming that he’s, “on the fence about it” since he’s already taken the test, “It’s kind of annoying that it’s pointless now”, he elaborates. 

Up until now, both the Subject Test and the SAT with Essay have been offered in person on previously set testing days; but as America might be approaching its second lockdown, The College Board is determined to make the process go smoothly. The SAT is a piece of holistic approach that colleges use to evaluate your application, so having a high score is the aim of students. With in-person tests usually getting canceled due to COVID precautions, it’s become harder for test-takers to find the opportunity to take one. As of now, SAT Subject tests are still available for international students for May and June dates, but test takers within the US will be getting a refund. 

No matter the path this pandemic takes, the college admissions process along with its partners will only find ways to adapt to it. Current juniors and sophomores getting ready to start the process must accept that the prolonged ways of standardized test-taking have quickly been broken down and things might not revert to the olden days. While the Subjects Tests and Essay being removed offers some leeway for peace of mind, it’s important to focus on other parts of a potential college profile. For the near future, students can expect The College Board to, “adapt to new realities and changes to the college admissions process”.