SAT Subject Tests and Optional Essay Cancelled

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Kaikoha De Brum, OwlFeed News Reporter

The College Board announced in January that they will be removing the SAT’s subject tests and optional essays for U.S. college-bound students. Many students, including myself, feel like this announcement is a weight lifted off our shoulders. 

The organization told NBC News that the recent coronavirus pandemic “accelerated a process already underway” to relieve its demand on students. The SATs are a series of multiple-choice exams to test the knowledge of students. Some general subjects that students were tested on include English, history, mathematics, and science. 

Refunds will be provided for students who are already signed up for this year’s SAT. However, the College Board will continue its May and June SAT exams for international locations because the tests “are used internationally for a wider variety of purposes” according to a statement given to 

Students, on the other hand, have expressed their relief on hearing the news. Ray Alade, a senior attending Agua Fria High School, was planning on possibly taking the SATs before the cancellation. Alade said, “This cancellation was bound to happen, I didn’t know many people who were actually planning on taking the SATs.”

Teachers and school officials were not shocked to hear the news. Esperanza Borrero, associate director of college counseling at The Master’s School, an independent 5 – 12 school in Westchester, New York, told, “The subject exams were already a dying practice with only a few colleges breathing air into their lungs (we all know who you are…) and as a college counselor I only saw them as barriers put in front of candidates, especially if they were from underrepresented groups or international students.” 

This cancellation does not come as a surprise since many universities have stopped requiring SAT scores from incoming freshmen. Before the pandemic, less than five colleges required Subject tests for admissions and only twelve colleges recommended it. It is likely the College Board removed the tests because fewer students were taking them as years passed.