3 big changes should simplify SATs for students

SAT essay and subject tests have been eliminated by the College Board
By: | January 20, 2021
The SAT will be streamlined as a digital test by the College Board and its K-12 and higher ed partners. (GettyImages/sgursozlu)The SAT will be streamlined as a digital test by the College Board and its K-12 and higher ed partners. (GettyImages/sgursozlu)

The disruptions of COVID have accelerated a slate of changes design to simplify the SATs for students and colleges, the College Board announced Tuesday.

First, SAT Subject Tests will be discontinued in the U.S.

“The expanded reach of (advanced placement) 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 College Board said in a statement.

AP courses provide sufficient opportunities for students to showcase their knowledge in college-level coursework and also offer hands-on and real-world learning experience, the College Board says.

Second, the optional SAT Essay has been eliminated. 

While writing remains essential to college readiness, the College Board has determined there are other ways for students to demonstrate mastery.

The SAT Reading and Writing and Language tests are among the most effective and predictive parts of the SAT, the College Board says.


From DA’s FETC: Introducing the Top Ed Tech Products of 2020


After June 2021, the essay will only be offered in states where it’s required for SAT School Day administrations for accountability purposes.

Third, the SAT will become more flexible.

The College Board says it is consulting with its members in K-12 and higher education to develop a streamlined, digital SAT.

“The pandemic has highlighted the importance of being innovative and adaptive to what lies ahead,” the College Board said. “We are committed to making the SAT a more flexible tool, and we are making substantial investments to do so.”

The Board also aim to provide several opportunities for students the class of 2022 to take the SAT this year.

Seats that would have gone to students taking subject tests will be allocated to students who want to take the full SAT.

The Board will also add test dates in the fall if the pandemic prevents testing this spring.


FETC Preview: What do you really know about your school’s cybersecurity?