SAT Test Changes

SAT removes the optional essay portion and subject-matter tests

SAT Test Changes

By David Ramazyan, Staff Writer

The SAT is a rite of passage for most high-school students, with juniors and seniors taking the college entrance exam each year in hopes of getting a good score. The College Board declared changes to the SAT on Tuesday, including removing the optional essay portion and subject-matter tests. 

“The pandemic accelerated a process already underway at the College Board to simplify our work and reduce demands on students,” the organization said in a statement. We are investing in a more flexible SAT—a streamlined, digitally delivered test.”

With the rise of COVID-19 this year, SAT testing centers closed around the nation, leaving hundreds of thousands of students unable to take the exam, let alone submit a score to institutions.

As a result, colleges became lenient with their testing requirements, opting for test-blind/optional score submissions. 

Although the College Board was not able to resolve closed testing centers, they were able to administer AP exams remotely this year. 

In a corresponding announcement, the organization declared that AP testing provided students with the “rich and varied opportunities to showcase their knowledge and skills.” 

Its skillset is enough to eliminate the redundant SAT subject tests that students could take.

“Anything that can reduce unnecessary anxiety and get out of the way is of huge value to us,” David Coleman, chief executive officer of the College Board said. 

It is apparent that the decision to change SAT testing sprung from an attempt to reduce the stress of students applying to college. Future students would be able to take a digitally administered exam, which would be cut short by fifty minutes with the removal of the essay portion. The new plans are all configured in an attempt to ease test-takers and provide a safer alternative to pandemic testing.