SAT Drops SAT with Essay and Subject Tests!

SAT dropping optional essay
SAT with Essay Discontinued

SAT drops the essay and subject tests! Basically, the College Board, the company that makes and administers the SAT, is dropping the optional essay portion of the SAT. Additionally, it will be dropping its subject tests.

SAT Subject tests discontinued
SAT Subject Tests Discontinued

What Does the SAT dropping the Essay Mean For You?

You can rejoice! The SAT will no longer offer the SAT with essay. While there are some exceptions to this, it means that you will no longer have to take the essay portion of the SAT.

More and more schools had been dropping this requirement in recent years. Colleges recognize that you high school students have been over-tested. So, in dropping the essay as an option, you only have to focus on the multiple-choice sections. That is a relief. Many of you have loathed having to prepare for the essay section. Now, it is dead. No need to prepare.

As this is from the College Board itself, you can expect the colleges that had still required or recommended the essay on the SAT to drop it entirely.

Other Points:

While the good news is that you can focus on just the SAT multiple choice section, there are other ways testing will become more important.

Keep in mind the background news: Covid and its impact on schools, fewer students applying to colleges in the 2020-2021 academic year; more than half the SAT tests cancelled this year; more and more colleges going SAT optional; and the UC system dropping SAT requirements in the upcoming years.

So, you needn’t worry about the SAT essay. Nor the subject tests.

The Bad News

Basically, most schools are likely to de-emphasize the importance of the SAT. But, the more competitive schools are likely to place more emphasis on AP tests. Yet, the trick is that these schools won’t have access to any AP tests you take senior year. That’s where it becomes complicated.

So, for those of you applying to the most selective schools, your junior year (and earlier) AP test scores will be what counts in place of the SAT Subject Tests. Also likely to factor into your college application will be the classes you plan to take senior year. Taking AP classes your senior year will likely count more at these most selective schools.

For most students, though, this is a welcome reprieve. You needn’t worry about the SAT with essay nor the SAT Subject Tests.


Here is the link to the New York Times article articulating the story in greater detail. Long story short: the SAT drops the SAT with essay!


By Martin

Martin McSweeney is a National Merit Finalist, Pomona College Graduate, and member of MENSA. He has worked at the Center for Talented Youth (Loyola Marymount University campus); Upward Bound (Harvey Mudd campus); various test prep companies; and Whittier High School. Now, Martin helps students of all abilities improve their relationship with math.