The College Board Eliminates the SAT Subject Test - Four Things You Need to Know

By Lindsey Conger

The College Board announced in January that it would stop offering SAT Subject Tests and the SAT essay. For high schoolers preparing their college applications, they might be wondering what it means. Should they still submit their scores? What if they registered but haven't taken the test yet? Here is everything you need to know about this recent decision to eliminate the SAT Subject Test.

Why Were the Tests Eliminated?

One of the official reasons the College Board gave for dropping the SAT Subject Tests was to “reduce demands on students." Due to the pandemic, students struggled to find a testing center open. By eliminating the SAT Subject Tests, it meant students didn't need to worry about preparing for yet another exam.

The College Board also said that with the rise in popularity of the Advanced Placement (AP) exams, they will replace SAT Subject Tests, which were becoming less popular. In previous admission cycles, some schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) required at least two subject tests; however, it, like all other universities, had dropped this requirement to make the admissions process more accessible.

Can You Still Take the SAT Subject Test?

For students in the U.S., you can no longer take the SAT Subject Tests, even if you registered for the next SAT Subject Test date (May 8, 2021). Your registration will be automatically canceled, and you will receive a full refund. International students will have two more opportunities to take the test: May 8 and June 5.

Can You Still Submit Your Score to Schools?

Students who have already taken the SAT Subject Tests can still submit their scores to colleges and universities. However, at this time, it is still unclear how much weight these scores will be given in the admissions decision. Because every student might not have gotten the opportunity to take the exam, the importance of the exams will likely greatly diminish this year.

What Should Students Do Instead?

Many students, especially those applying to highly competitive schools or programs, like direct medical programs, might be wondering how they can fill this gap in their academic profile. Students used the SAT Subject Test as an alternative to AP exams or to complement their resume. Now that this aspect of the admission process has been eliminated, schools will likely emphasize AP exam scores more heavily.

It is crucial to remember that tests and grades are only one part of the admission process. Students should still focus on building a strong resume built on hands-on and learning experiences to help showcase their interest and talent in a particular field.

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Lindsey Conger is a College Counselor and tutor at Moon Prep. She helps students create memorable personal statements and tutors students to increase their academic profile to universities. www.moonprep.com