College Board scraps SAT optional essay, subject tests

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The College Board announced on Tuesday that it is scrapping the SAT optional essay and subject tests.

The Board, the company that administers the standardized SAT, announced the changes on Tuesday as part of a streamlining process that was in place to “simplify our work and reduce demands on students.”

The coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of SAT testing dates in 2020 as many administration sites were forced to close down.

However, The Washington Post notes that prior to the pandemic, fewer schools were requiring applicants to take the subject tests and optional essay.

The subject tests are be scrapped due to the “expanded reach” of Advanced Placement tests and its “widespread availability for low income students and students of color.”

Students in the U.S. will automatically have registrations for these tests refunded, but the Board will provide two more administrations for international locations in May and June 2021.

In addition, the Board said it is discontinuing the optional essay because there are “other ways to demonstrate their mastery of essay writing.”

The organization also said it’s investing in making a “streamlined, digitally-delivered test” that “meets the evolving needs of students and higher education.”

The College Board said in April that was working on a test that could be administered at home, but it was postponed in June due to technical challenges.

CORRECTION: The College Board administers the SAT. An earlier version of this story included incorrect information.

Tags ACT College Board Coronavirus COVID-19 SAT Standardized tests

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