SAT Ditches Writing and Subject Area Tests for Good


Zach Persons

On Tuesday, January 19, the College Board revealed that the essay section and subject-area exams of the SAT will be abandoned. 


With the rise of Advanced Placement courses, SAT subject-area tests, like biology, history, and world languages, are “no longer necessary for students to show what they know.” These tests were optional, and not part of the overall SAT exam. The subject-area tests were chosen to show a student’s aptitude for the subject.


U.S. students registered for subject-area tests will get refunds, while the final two SAT subject tests will be administered in May and June for international locations. Internationally, the tests are used for “a wider variety of purposes.”


As for the essay section, that will be terminated after the June testing dates. This is because, according to the College Board, “there are other ways for students to demonstrate their mastery of essay writing.”


While the essay section of the SAT exam was a mandatory part of many college admissions applications, several major universities made the section optional. However, since it is still required in some states, the test will continue to be available, just optional from now on.


The College Board said that it is also working on a way to make sure the test can be “streamlined” and “digitally delivered” in case the pandemic “continues to impact testing this spring.”