College Board Suspends SAT 2s and SAT Essay

Adam Bear, Staff Writer

On January 19, the College Board announced that it would be suspending its SAT subject tests and removing the optional essay from the standard SAT. In addition, the SAT is going to become more flexible and streamlined. In a statement, the College Board cited the pandemic as a motivating factor to simplify its SAT suite.

To specifically explain its reasoning behind ending the SAT subject tests, the College Board said that the “expanded reach of AP” makes the Subject test unnecessary for students to “show what they know.” Even before the pandemic, the subject tests were losing influence. Fewer and fewer schools were requiring them, and experts began questioning their value. In addition, the tests often overlap with AP tests, furthering their lack of popularity. During and post-pandemic, the exams seem even less valuable.

The College Board’s reasoning for ending the essay is similar. The essay’s popularity has waned, and many top colleges have dropped the requirement for it. Many schools no longer view it as useful in deciding admissions. Once again, the pandemic has shed light on the essay’s lack of necessity.

The College Board’s plans for streamlining the SAT are vague, but the corporation’s chief executive made clear that they are not pursuing an at-home option. More information will be coming in April.