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College Board announced two significant changes to SAT testing on January 19, 2021, causing further transformation to the college admissions process. Effective today, College Board will no longer offer SAT Subject tests in the U.S. and will provide two more administrations in May and June 2021 for international students. 

The decision was made to “reduce the demands on students,” College Board said, also citing “the expanded reach of AP and its widespread availability means the Subject Tests are no longer necessary for students to show what they know.”

Students who are currently registered for an upcoming SAT Subject test will have their registration canceled automatically and fees refunded. Students outside the U.S. who are currently registered for an upcoming Subject test can still test through June 2021.

College Board also decided to discontinue the optional SAT essay after June 2021. According to their website, students have the following options regarding the SAT essay:

  • 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,” College Board states on its website. 

“Students looking for alternatives to the SAT Subject tests can still demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of subjects by taking AP, CLEP, or DSST exams,” said Elizabeth Barry, Director of Marketing at Peterson’s. “For students wanting to showcase their writing skills, the ACT exam still includes the essay. Additionally, most colleges provide applicants with the opportunity to exhibit their writing abilities through an essay on their admissions application.”   

For more information about the new SAT Subject test or SAT essay changes, check out the announcement on College Board’s website, email customer service, or call their customer service number at (212) 713-7789.