There have been many things about this school year that have been unexpected, including students being forced to adapt to new methods of learning left and right. Standardized tests are few and far between these days, with institutions closed and proctors in high demand. You would be hard pressed to schedule an SAT test this late in the year, but new updates from the College Board have revealed that the SAT will look a little different in the future.
Both the SAT Subject Tests and the SAT Essay have been eliminated for the future because of new practices to streamlines applications and make them easier for students to best present themselves and their skills to colleges. AP programs have spread so much that the College Board has decided to eliminate their Subject Tests after June 2021. Since paying for the expenses of smaller numbers of proctors and test centers to hold the subject tests when many schools already host AP exams, the costs must outweigh the profit.
In the case of the essay, students have increasing opportunities to display how well they can write. The personal essay is required for almost all top schools, as well as the classic “why x school” question which usually demands another long form response. Additional essays asking personal or philosophical questions may be a part of the essay. A prime example is the University of Chicago’s infamous tongue twisters and “impossible” questions made to encourage students’ critical thinking skills.
During this pandemic, the College Board has been criticized and questioned for how much of the college application industry hinges on its products. In a time where students are learning from home, under stressful circumstances and often financial disparities, tests with pricing creeping up towards the hundreds should no longer be considered mandatory. Many colleges have relaxed their standardized testing requirements for this year and the next, but these moves from the College Board will certainly mark the beginning of a new day for academia.
By Leah Ollie, Senior, Whitney Young Magnet High School