SAT Subjects are Cancelled - What Next?
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SAT Subjects are Cancelled - What Next?

Admission Counselling :
  • Written by UnivAdmitHelp
  • Category: Admission Application
  • Published on 01 Feb 2021

The College board has announced that SAT Subject Tests have been discontinued in the US and will be discontinued internationally after June 2021. The decision does not affect the main SAT tests.


Prima facie, the decision has been taken to help reduce the pressure on students. 


Students will notice that CollegeBoard already offers AP courses. These are specialised courses that a student can attempt to showcase his/her expertise or interest in a specific subject ranging from art history to calculus. AP has an expanded reach and a widespread availability. It claims to offer hands-on learning experiences and real-world work, as opposed to a SAT Subject Test. It is thus possibly a more suitable measure of a student’s knowledge in specific subject areas. Many courses already use AP participation and exam scores as indicators of a student’s ability and interest in a particular subject area. 


AP’s however are not the only recourse to profile building. If students are left wondering how they can strengthen their profile, let’s remember that colleges also have access to information about student performance through SAT scores, high school transcript, course selection and other measures. There are many alternative ways to strengthen your application or to develop your profile. Marks alone are not good enough to get into top colleges abroad. Colleges have to take a different approach to pick their applicants. In an attempt to differentiate between the many profiles they receive for admission, colleges have now begun to look beyond plain academics to pick the best or top-performing students. While some look for a showcase of leadership and creative skills, others look for proof of interest in the field to learn more about the candidate. An admissions officer needs to see your career orientation, area of interest, overall achievements as well as lateral and creative thinking. They will want to notice your level of persistence and commitment and evaluate you on different parameters to make sure that they are choosing only the best candidates. Choose a great mentor like where you might even find your true interest while exploring your options.

The decision to cancel SAT Subject Tests does not come as a surprise. While many colleges had already made the SAT Subject Tests optional more than a year back, 2020 saw a sea change in the norms in standardized tests. SATs themselves became optional. All colleges and institutions were forced to allow for a test-optional policy due to the inability to hold physical examinations. The UC’s announced that they would be going test-blind. This has opened a path to differentiated profile building activities. While we believe that the Subject Tests will be back on the requirement list soon, the admissions process has begun to look at other possibilities. Other than taking up AP’s to establish their proof of interest and credibility, students can now focus on various methods of developing their profile. The key is to find a good mentor, and to begin early!