Earlier this week, the College Board made a major announcement regarding SAT Subject Tests and the optional essay portion of the SAT. So what does this mean for students applying to college in 2021 and beyond? Here’s what is changing, and perhaps more importantly, what these changes mean for students:

Announcement #1: SAT Subject Tests will no longer be offered. Any students in the US who have registered for Subject Tests will automatically have their registrations canceled and receive refunds. Because Subject Tests are used more widely internationally, the College Board will administer them twice more, in May and June of 2021, for students in international locations.What does this mean for you? For most students this is good news, as the elimination of Subject Tests will help simplify the college admissions process (particularly at highly selective schools) and reduce standardized testing requirements for many students. However, this may impact each student differently. Some students may wish to take additional AP tests or find other ways to demonstrate their mastery of subjects related to their academic areas of interest.

Announcement #2: The optional SAT Essay section will be discontinued. Students can take the SAT with Essay through the June 2021 SAT administration.What does this mean for you? This is good news for all students, period! Very few universities have required students to submit SAT Essay scores over the past several years and almost none have considered them important to the process, so this simply takes away the burden of another test section.

Announcement #3: The College Board is “investing in a more flexible SAT—a streamlined, digitally delivered test that meets the evolving needs of students and higher education.”What does this mean for you? Good question! No one really knows yet. No details have been announced regarding what changes the College Board is making to the SAT and how it is administered. Look out for more information in the coming months.

If you would like to see the College Board’s full announcement, you can find it here.

About the author
Stephen Friedfeld

Stephen is the co-founder and COO of AcceptU. He received a BA from Cornell University, an MA from Columbia University Teachers College, and a Ph.D. from Rice University. Prior to founding AcceptU, Stephen was an Assistant Dean of admissions at Cornell for four years and an Associate Dean of graduate admissions at Princeton University for six years. Stephen is an IECA Associate Member.

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