SAT Subject Tests: What You Need to Know

College Board Will No Longer Offer SAT Subject Tests or SAT with Essay

We live in a world that is constantly evolving and it is up to us to make the decision to “keep trying to control a storm that is not going to go away or start learning how to live within the rain.”

With the new changes that College Board, an American nonprofit organization, has implemented, we see how this quote shifts into our lives. The College Board administers the SAT, which is a standardized test that is broadly recognized for admissions in the United States.

Recently, the College Board has made the decision to discontinue the provision of SAT subject tests in the United States. As for the international students, they were offered two more administrations in the month of May and June of 2021. This is due to the fact that international students use these tests for various purposes, apart from admissions.

Such as advanced placement at universities and local credential equivalences for entering colleges or as credentials for international students planning to study in some countries. And with that, the SAT subject tests will come to an end. 

According to College the Board, the main reason for the termination of the SAT subject tests is to reduce demands on students. The extensive availability and accessibility of the Advanced Placement (AP) tests allow students to demonstrate similar results to that of the SAT subject tests, hence the repetition is unnecessary.

In other words, students’ performance on AP tests is more than sufficient to show what the student knows. In addition to this, the College Board has also decided to discontinue the optional SAT essay after the June 2021 session.

Students who are registered or planning to take up the SAT with the essay will still be able to take it up in the June 2021 session.

Whereas, students wishing to cancel can call customer service and receive a full refund. After June 2021, depending on the school you are in, you will either be required to take up the essay as well or exclude it. You will have to contact your school for further information. 

However, this does not mean that the SAT will not test your writing skills. It is still a crucial part of the test and it will continue to assess writing and editing skills via other methods throughout the test. The College Board claims that the best measure of testing the students’ skills in English is in the SAT reading and writing sections.  

Here are some commonly asked queries regarding the termination of the SAT subjects and SAT with essay:

What should I do if I have already registered for the SAT subject tests?

Those residing in the United States who have registered for the May and/or June 2021 subject tests will automatically be canceled and the entire fee will be refunded. 

Whereas, international students can still take up the subject tests in both May and June 2021. Depending on whether the colleges you wish to apply to are still willing to accept the subject test scores, you can make a decision accordingly.

If you decide not to take the test, you can simply get in contact with customer service and request to cancel your registration and you will soon receive a refund as well. Customer Service operates from 9 a.m.–6 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday.

You can find the contact details for customer service below: 

Phone number: +1-212-713-7789 (international). 

Email ID: (Ensure that you include the test month, test year, first name, last name, full address, date of birth, and name of school). 

Also Read: What is the Difference Between the SAT and the PSAT?

Would colleges still accept the SAT subject test scores if I have already taken them before? 

Yes, you would still be able to receive and send in your scores to universities as part of the application process.

However, it depends on the college. You will have to check their websites and their admissions policies to verify if there is an update regarding the submission of SAT subject test scores. 

How will I be able to showcase my skills in a specific subject area without taking up the SAT subject tests? 

Since the College Board has increased access and availability to AP exams, the necessity to take the SAT subject tests has come down.

Taking up the AP exam is a great way to strengthen your application and allows students to showcase their skills, knowledge, and interest in that specific subject area. There are also various other aspects that a college looks into when a student applies such as the SAT scores, their high school transcript, extracurricular activities, and many more. 

Why is the College Board discontinuing the optional SAT essay? 

Firstly, the SAT essay is an optional component that already establishes the fact that it is not a necessity to take it up. With college requirements and the needs of students constantly fluctuating, The College Board decided that in order to adapt to the changes, discontinuing the optional SAT essay would be a good option. 

Will this change the contents or the structure of the general SAT?

As these portions of the SAT were optional earlier, it does not change the content or the structure of the SAT. Overall, the discontinuation of the SAT subject tests and the optional SAT essay benefits the student as there is no pressure for them to prepare for these components now.

This gives the students sufficient time to prepare for other important exams such as the SAT itself, AP exams as well as the exams they take up at their high school. As for the future of the SAT, there have been some rumors.

Since most schools, including ivy league universities, have made the SAT optional during the Covid-19 pandemic, there have been rumors saying that the SAT might permanently discontinue in the future.

However, there has been no communication of this sort from the College Board, so if you are planning to apply to American universities, you must definitely prepare and take up the SAT! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1: Is it true that CollegeBoard is no longer offering SAT subject tests or SAT with essays?

A: Yes, CollegeBoard has announced that they will no longer offer SAT subject tests or SAT with essays after June 2021.

Q2: Why did CollegeBoard decide to discontinue SAT subject tests and SAT with essay?

A: CollegeBoard has stated that they made this decision to simplify the college application process and to better align with the needs of students and colleges.

Q3: How will this decision impact students who have already taken SAT subject tests or SAT with essays?

A: Students who have already taken these exams will still be able to send their scores to colleges and universities until their scores expire.

Q4: What should students do if they were planning on taking SAT subject tests or SAT with essays?

A: Students should talk to their guidance counselor or college admissions advisor to determine if they should take the SAT without an essay or explore other testing options, such as AP exams.

Q5: Will this change affect the difficulty or content of the SAT exam itself?

A: No, the discontinuation of SAT subject tests and SAT with essays will not impact the difficulty or content of the SAT exam. The SAT exam will continue to cover the same topics and skills as before.

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