College Board Makes Major Changes


On Tuesday, January 19th, College Board announced its decision to discontinue SAT Subject Tests and the SAT with the essay. 

College Board explained that “the expanded reach of AP and its widespread availability for low-income students and students of color means the subject tests are no longer necessary for students to show what they know.”

The factors that could have contributed to this decision include the decline in registration for subject tests in recent years, as well as the limited capacity that testing centers have for students amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Although students will not be permitted to take SAT Subject Tests anymore, many colleges will still accept test scores if a student has taken them already. 

In terms of the elimination of the SAT with the essay, College Board noted that students are given numerous writing opportunities to showcase their skills, making the SAT essay essentially obsolete. Additionally, before this announcement, many colleges have dropped their requirements for students to take the SAT Essay. 

These changes have broad implications for underclassmen at Harriton and their college application process. Harriton Sophomore, Faye Mulder, is concerned that these new rules will disappoint people who want to demonstrate their writing strengths through the SAT Essay, but personally, she is “pretty happy” with the announcement, because she can now focus on the actual SAT exam.

Fellow Sophomore Leah Kallen expresses that she feels relief and notes that “these tests do not give an accurate depiction of the type of student someone is or how much they will be able to succeed in life, they’re a state standard and not having them won’t really matter down the line!”

Similarly, Junior Aruna Balasubramanian, says that she is feeling less pressure to do well on the SATs in general, “now that colleges are starting to renounce standardized testing in general, following the cancellation of the subject tests.”

Moreover, as a result of students’ transition to online learning due to COVID-19, College Board announced their plan to release digitally delivered SAT tests. Although they have not outlined additional details, the general sentiment is that students are now feeling more relieved about SAT requirements from colleges.