College Board to Stop Offering SAT Subject Tests and SAT Optional Essay

https://blog.collegeboard.org/January-2021-sat-subject-test-and-essay-faq

COLLEGE BOARD January 19, 2021

As students and colleges adapt to new realities and changes to the college admissions process, College Board is making sure our programs adapt with them. We’re making some changes to reduce demands on students.

We are no longer offering SAT Subject Tests in the U.S. Because SAT Subject Tests are used internationally for a wider variety of purposes, we’ll provide two more administrations, in May and June of 2021, for international students.  

  • Students currently registered for an upcoming Subject Test in the U.S. will automatically have their registration canceled and fees refunded.
  • Students who are currently registered for, or plan to register for, an upcoming Subject Test outside the U.S. can still test through the June 2021 administration. Students who no longer want to take Subject Tests can contact Customer Service to cancel and receive a refund.

We’ve reached out to our member colleges and they’ll decide whether and how to consider students’ Subject Test scores. Students should check colleges’ websites for the most up-to-date information on their application policies.

We will also discontinue the optional SAT Essay after the June 2021 administration.

  • Students who are currently registered, or plan to register, for an upcoming SAT with Essay will still be able to test through the June 2021 administration. Students who prefer to cancel the optional Essay portion of their SAT can do so in their online account, with no change fees, until the registration deadline.
  • After June 2021, the Essay will only be available in states where it’s required as part of SAT School Day administrations. Students scheduled to take the SAT on a school day should check with their school about whether the Essay will be included.

Writing remains essential to college readiness and the SAT will continue to measure writing and editing skills, but there are other ways for students to demonstrate their mastery of essay writing, and the SAT will continue to measure writing throughout the test. The tasks on the SAT Reading and Writing and Language sections are among the most effective and predictive parts of the SAT.

What is the current 2021 SAT administration schedule?

You can find SAT test dates and deadlines here.

When will registration open for fall 2021 and spring 2022 SAT administrations?

Registration for fall 2021 and spring 2022 will open in June 2021.

Why are you discontinuing SAT Subject Tests?

We’re reducing demands on students. The expanded reach of AP and its widespread availability means the Subject Tests are no longer necessary for students to show what they know.

What should I do if I’m already registered for or was planning to take SAT Subject Tests?

Students in the U.S. who registered for the May and/or June 2021 Subject Tests will automatically have their registrations canceled and fees refunded. No further action is needed. If you were planning to submit Subject Test scores, check directly with the colleges you plan to apply to for alternative ways to strengthen your applications.

Students outside the U.S. can still take SAT Subject Tests in May and/or June 2021. Check with the colleges you plan to apply to for their SAT Subject Test policy so you can decide whether Subject Test scores will be valuable to you. If you no longer want to take Subject Tests, you can contact Customer Service to cancel your registration and get a refund or change your registration to take the SAT. The best way to contact Customer Service is to call +1-212-713-7789 (international). Customer Service hours are 9 a.m.–6 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday. If you can’t call, email customer service at sat@info.collegeboard.org and be sure to include the following information: test month, test year, first name, last name, full address, date of birth, and name of school.

When will registration for international students who want to take Subject Tests in May and June be cut off?

International SAT and SAT Subject Tests Administration dates and deadlines can be found here.

Why do international students still get to take SAT Subject Tests through June, but U.S. students don’t?

Subject Tests are used internationally for a wider variety of purposes, such as advanced standing/placement at universities and local credential equivalences for entering colleges and/or as credentials for international students planning to study in some countries.

I’m in the U.S. Should I travel abroad to take the Subject Tests internationally?

International administrations are for students who live outside the United States.

I’ve already taken SAT Subject Tests. Will colleges still accept those scores?

We’ve reached out to our member colleges, and they’ll decide whether and how to consider students’ Subject Test scores. Students should check colleges’ websites for the most up-to-date information on their application policies.

How long will score sending for SAT Subject Tests be an option?

Students can continue sending their Subject Test scores.

How can I show my skills in specific subject areas without the opportunity to take SAT Subject Tests?

We’ve continued to enrich and expand access to AP courses, which let students showcase their skills through challenging coursework. Many colleges already use AP course participation and exam score as indicators of a student’s ability and interest in a particular subject area. And colleges also have access to information about student performance in key subject areas through their SAT scores, high school transcript, course selection, and other measures. Check directly with the colleges you plan to apply to for alternative ways to strengthen your applications.

Why are you discontinuing the optional SAT Essay?

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.

What should I do if I’m already registered for or was planning to take the optional SAT Essay?

Students can still take the optional SAT with Essay through the June 2021 administration. Check with the colleges you plan to apply to for their SAT Essay policy so you can decide whether taking the optional SAT Essay will be valuable to you. If you no longer want to take the optional Essay portion of your SAT, you can cancel in your online account, with no change fees, until the registration deadline. For information on how to add the Essay to your SAT registration, visit collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/register/policies-requirements/changes.

Will colleges still consider Essay scores if I submit them?

Check with the colleges you’re interested in about their policies. If you take the SAT with Essay, colleges may consider your scores as part of their holistic review process. Students registered for the SAT with Essay can cancel the Essay portion if they choose to.

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