College Board Discontinues SAT Essay and Subject Tests

What you need to know about the College Board’s decision


Charlie Dippolito

The College Board has decided to discontinue the SAT essay and Subject test.

On January 19, the College Board announced that the SAT Subject Tests and the optional SAT essay will be permanently discontinued to fit students’ needs better and reduce the pressure and demands on their shoulders. These new modifications to the College Board bring changes to students’ school life and planning for their higher education, which has already been altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This would allow the College Board to expand their investments in 0ther alternatives to help colleges connect with students.

Here is what you need to know about these changes:

SAT Subject Tests

SAT Subject Tests will no longer be available in the U.S. The decision came after issues of accessibility for low-income students and students of color arose. In response, the College Board has made AP classes available across the country and found that the Subject Tests were no longer necessary to show what students know.

Students still registered for an SAT Subject Test will automatically have their test canceled and fees refunded. Students outside of the U.S. who are currently registered for, or plan to register for, an upcoming Subject Test outside the U.S. can still test through the June 2021 testing date. If a student no longer wishes to take the test, they can still cancel their registration by contacting the College Board customer service here and receive a full refund. 

Additionally, The College Board emphasizes that students should check their college of interest’s official websites for the most up-to-date information on their application policies on Subject Tests. 

SAT Essay

Despite already being optional, the College Board also announced that they will be permanently discontinuing the essays portion of the SAT. The essay will still be available to students who plan on taking the test through June 2021. After that, it will only be available on the school-administered SAT days depending on the school. The College Board notes that they can still assess student’s writing skills through AP English classes and the test’s reading and writing sections.