The Big SAT Change

As we all know, taking the SAT’s is an important part of applying for and getting into colleges. This year, the College Board has made a change that is especially important to know about if you will be a rising Junior or Senior getting ready for college applications. If you don’t know, the SAT is a multiple-choice standardized test that is administered by the College Board. It focuses on two subjects, math and reading/writing, and also includes an optional essay. It is supposed to be a test that reflects your learning from high school to prove that you are ready for college. Many students spend weeks to months studying to do well for the SAT, making college applications very competitive.

This month, the College Board announced that they are making a change to the SAT. On January 19, 2021, the College Board explained “We are no longer offering SAT Subject Tests™ in the U.S. Because SAT Subject Tests are used internationally for a wider variety of purposes, we’ll provide two more administrations, in May and June of 2021, for international students.” They continue to state how they will also be canceling the optional essay portion of the test, so students will no longer have the option to take it, even if they wanted to. They also explain how anyone who signed up for the upcoming subject tests will be refunded as their test will be canceled. The College Board did leave an option for those who want to take the subject test anyway to continue to sign up through June 2021.

This may come as a surprise for many people as this test has always been mandatory for students to take in order to apply and get accepted into college, excluding this previous year due to COVID-19. The College Board states that the reasoning behind this change is to try to decrease the demands put on the students and that they believe there are other ways for students to show their learning and understanding. NBC News believes that this change to the SAT will make it more equitable for students to apply for colleges and that families will no longer have to pay hundreds of dollars on tutors and fees for their students to succeed on this test. They also believe that this change could be due to the fact that this year submitting tests to colleges was optional because of COVID-19 or since last year the University of California stated it no longer required test scores, starting the downfall of the SATs.

Regardless of the reasons, future students will no longer have to stress over this standardized test. Many people thought that the tests were unfair to begin with because some smart students with high grades would do bad on the SATs because they were bad test takers. Now, they will have a more equitable chance to get into colleges without worrying about doing bad on one test. What do you think? Do you like this new change, or do you think that using SAT scores is better for students to get into college? Do you think this new change is more fair to students or more unfair?

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