Through a statement released on its website, The College Board announced on Jan. 19 it would discontinue the SAT Subject Tests as well as the SAT optional essay.
The statement said the COVID-19 pandemic led to the College Board’s decision as part of a continuing effort to reduce demands on students.
“The pandemic accelerated a process already underway at the College Board to reduce and simplify demands on students,” the statement said.
Paly college counselor Sandra Cernobori said the elimination of Subject Tests was inevitable.
“I think the writing was on the wall that the Subject Tests were going to go away,” Cernobori said. “I think the pandemic made more schools go test optional for (the) SAT and ACT. And, of course, those handfuls of colleges that were still requiring Subject Tests got away from them as well.”
The statement also said Advanced Placement tests would effectively replace SAT Subject Tests and allow students to demonstrate their proficiency in a specific subject area.
“AP provides students rich and varied opportunities to showcase their knowledge and skills through college-level coursework,” the statement said. “Courses like AP Computer Science Principles and AP Capstone provide the type of hands-on learning experiences and practical, real-world work that colleges want to see from students.”
Cernobori agreed and said AP classes had made Subject Tests redundant.
“Often, students who are interested in STEM take a Subject Test in math and chemistry or physics, if they weren’t already enrolled in an AP course for which they were going to take an AP exam,” Cernobori said. “(But) at Paly, many students who are considering STEM are already taking an AP course in one of those STEM classes.”
The College Board did not respond to a request for an interview.