College Board Drops SAT's Optional Essay And Subject Tests!


The College Board just announced that it's officially discontinuing the optional essay section and subject-area exams of the SAT for U.S. students. In a note to members the standardized testing nonprofit said, the pandemic "accelerated a process already underway" to "simplify our work and reduce demands on students." Since there are broader and more diverse access to AP courses, the SAT subject tests like biology, physics and world history are "no longer necessary for students to show what they know." SAT subject tests were optional as the multiple-choice exams demonstrate aptitude or standardized academic credentials on topics like Spanish language, biology and physics. All of these topics are not included in the general SAT exam.

Students who registered for subject tests will be refunded and the two final SAT subject tests will be administered in May and June 2021 for international locations because they "are used internationally for a wider variety of purposes." The optional SAT essay section will be discontinued after June 2021 testing dates because "there are other ways for students to demonstrate their mastery of essay writing." After June 2021, the essay will continue only in states where it’s required for SAT School Day. Other students who are registered for Spring 2021 can cancel for free at any time.

The College Board is also working on making sure the test can be "streamlined" and "digitally delivered" if the pandemic continues to impact testing this spring.

Do you think the essay and subject tests should be dropped from the SATs?

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