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SAT Subject Tests Are No More

In January 2021, the College Board, which is the organization that runs the SAT, announced that they will no longer offer SAT Subject Tests. Wondering what this means for you? Read on to learn what the SAT Subject Tests were, how the scoring will change as a result of their elimination, and what to do if you’ve already taken the SAT Subject Tests. We’ll also discuss the recent axing of the SAT essay section.

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What were the SAT Subject Tests?

The SAT Subject Tests were optional, more specialized tests that were part of the SAT. They tested specific skills and knowledge within a field. Some example SAT Subject Tests were:

  • Biology
  • World History
  • Chemistry
  • Literature
  • Foreign Languages

In the past, some colleges required that applicants submit subject tests from at least two of these tests. However, in recent years, they have become less and less common. Very few colleges still required SAT Subject Tests before they were cancelled.

Related: When should you take the SAT or ACT?

Why did the College Board discontinue SAT Subject Tests?

The College Board wrote on their website that they discontinued the tests due to the rising popularity of AP Tests. The two tests were focused on a similar scope of knowledge, and as a result, they were deemed redundant. The announcement was also made in tandem with an announcement of the end of the optional essay section. The College Board claims that these two changes are both with the intent of streamlining the admissions process. In an admissions climate that focuses less on test scores and more on students’ essays and GPA, these changes both make a lot of sense.

Don’t miss: ACT vs. SAT: How to decide which test to take

Can I still submit my scores if I already took SAT Subject Tests?

The College Board will still allow you to send any of your SAT Subject Test scores to colleges. You can do so through their SAT portal with your login. That being said, since the tests are discontinued, it is likely that many colleges will stop accepting them. You’ll have to look on your prospective colleges’ websites or contact an admissions officer to find out for sure.

If you scored particularly well on SAT Subject Tests, it is probably still worthwhile trying to submit them. However, don’t be too distressed if the colleges that you’re applying to have decided not to accept them. They are not an especially important part of the application. If colleges weighed them heavily in admissions decisions, they would not have been discontinued.

Also see: Top 10 tips to reduce test anxiety

How does this change affect my chances of getting into college?

Ultimately, this does not change your chances drastically. If you have not taken the test yet, then you’ve gained nothing and lost nothing! And if you earned remarkably high SAT Subject Test scores, then you might be unable to submit them and could lose an asset on your application. But don’t worry too much – SAT Subject Test scores are not weighed very heavily by colleges.

One option for students who are looking to bolster their college application with specialized test scores is to take AP Tests. You can try AP “self-studying” even if you didn’t take the corresponding class. There are many AP Tests with the exact same subject matter as SAT Subject Tests.

Related: Honors vs. AP courses: What’s the difference?

Also see: What happens if I fail an AP Exam?

How should I adjust my SAT studying?

Ultimately, this should not change your SAT study plan dramatically. If you were studying for a specific SAT Subject Test, you could try to change course and study for its corresponding AP Exam. But most likely, you should just continue to study for the main SAT exam. This score is more important to colleges than AP Exams. It’s a good idea to start studying early and make a comprehensive plan. Find a tutor if you can afford it, and after you take the test once, work to improve your score

Good luck in your studying, and make sure to check out our site for more resources to guide you through the application process! We can help you decide how many schools to apply to, how to find a financial safety school, how to get in-state tuition as an out-of-state tuition, and more. Beyond that, we can help you finance your education with scholarships and help you through the financial aid process with our FAFSA guide and rundown of student loans.

Related: What is a high SAT score?

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