On January 19, 2021, the College Board released three important changes that will significantly impact the standardized testing landscape for college applicants. The pandemic has accelerated the process of decreasing the testing demands on students. Here is what we can expect from the College Board going forward.

1.) SAT Subject Tests are cancelled.

Beginning immediately, SAT Subject Tests will be cancelled and registrants will receive refunds. However, two international testing dates will remain open in May and June since they are used for placement at some international universities. The College Board says that the reason for the discontinuation is that the SAT Subject Tests are no longer necessary for students to show what they know, since AP exams are more accessible and readily available. The importance of Subject Tests in the admissions process has steadily declined over the past decade. Each individual college will decide whether and how to consider students’ Subject Test scores if they have already been taken.

2.) Optional SAT Essay will not be offered after June 2021.

The SAT with Essay will remain an option through June. After that, the SAT will continue to measure students’ writing and editing skills throughout the test, just not in an essay format. For the past few decades, the essay portions of both the SAT and ACT have declined in importance, possibly due to the recognition that students’ writing and communication abilities are best expressed through their day in, day out performance in humanities classes.

3.) A more flexible, digital SAT test will be available.

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the need for all of us to be adaptable. In turn, the College Board is making the SAT more flexible and streamlined by developing a digital version of the test. The ACT has also been planning on online version of the test.  Updates should be available later this spring.

In the immediate future, College Board is continuing to devote its efforts to making sure students in the Class of 2022 have access to testing. They are expanding the capacity for testing administrations by transferring seats that would have gone to students taking Subject Tests to those taking the SAT.

The evolving landscape of college admissions and standardized testing is daunting, but whatever your question, Collegiate Gateway is happy to help you make sense of it all. Sign up for a free consultation and see our events schedule for virtual presentations geared toward high school students.