The College Board Cancels SAT Subject Tests and Optional Essay for All U.S.-based Tests This Spring

It’s been less than a month since the College Board announced it was canceling all subject tests and the optional essay that have long been connected to many student’s SAT experience. In their words, this change comes on the heels of the wide-sweeping COVID-19 pandemic, causing test centers to close and cancellation of test dates nationwide. They also announced this move would free up more time and funding to focus efforts on providing more opportunities for students needing assistance and creating a workable digital solution for increased flexibility and demand. 

What does this mean for you?

If you registered for an SAT subject test, the College Board has automatically canceled those registrations and issued refunds. If you are an international student, test dates in May and June of 2021 will continue to run, but then no other dates will be added or available after. However, if you are an international student and no longer want to take the subject test or the essay, you may contact the College Board for a full refund. 

As far as the essay goes, it is still being offered to students through the June 2021 test dates, but after that students will no longer have the option to select the optional essay component for their SAT exam. If you registered for the essay portion of the exam but no longer want to take it, you may cancel at any time and receive a full refund. 

How does this change tutoring and college prep at PES?

Although most people may not have known when exactly the College Board was going to make this move, it does not come as a surprise. With the increasing availability of AP courses offered to high school students, many people believed the SAT subject tests were becoming obsolete. Additionally, the challenges the pandemic placed on students’ access to testing centers and overall availability of seats to take the test caused the College Board to rethink its processes and offerings.

For many students, this decision won’t change anything about their test preparation plans or needs and the team at PES and Education Station continues to move forward with providing high-quality instruction and preparation to students looking to improve their skills and knowledge about the SAT. 

What about the ACT? Has anything changed there?

The ACT format still remains the same, focusing on four sections including English, Math, Reading, Science and an optional Writing section.