The College Board broadcasted a big news on January 19, 2021: The SAT subject tests have been discontinued in the US and will be discontinued elsewhere in the world by June 2021. Forever! The optional college essays would also disappear from the scene from June 2021.
The College Board is moving forward considering adoption to new realities and variations to the college admissions process the students and colleges are also coming to terms with.
Since the SAT subject tests are globally used for a number of other things than just admissions, therefore they will be available for two more administrations (May and June, 20201) for international students.
Students in the US that are at present registered for these tests will have their registrations cancelled automatically and consequently the fees would be refunded. Students, who reside out of the US can still register and take the SAT tests through June 2021. International students who no longer want to appear for these tests are free to call the customer service for cancellation and receive a refund.
The member colleges are free to decide how and if they should consider SAT subject scores of students. Students are advised to check the particular colleges’ websites for the latest information on their college application.
Explanation Offered by the College Board
The College Board explained that the cancellations signify the students can exhibit their capabilities in different ways, in particular with the propagation of Advanced Placement (AP) classes as well as exams.
What should you do if you’re already registered for or were planning to take SAT Subject Tests?
Students who were registered for May or June 2021 SAT subject tests in the U.S. will have their registrations cancelled automatically and the fees would be refunded. You don’t need to do anything more. Just in case you were prepared to take the SAT subject tests and submit your test scores, you can check with the college on what else you can do to strengthen your applications.
As for the students outside the U.S., they can still take the SAT subject tests through June 2021. But, even they should check with the respective college(s) for their SAT subject test policy so that you can determine whether the test scores would make any difference to your college application.
This news doesn’t really come as a surprise, though it was announced suddenly. It is like the College Board is discontinuing a struggling model of examination and encouraging the students to go for its sister model, which is the AP exams. The registrations were anyways going down and during the pandemic they went down even more.