Students shocked over news of SAT Subject Exams being cancelled

The term SAT has gotten a great deal of attention recently. Many students know that when they enter high school, they will ultimately have to take the SAT subject exam in order to apply to different colleges. Ever since the college board ceased offering them, a variety of students were struck with extreme anxiety, stress, and an overall sense of being overwhelmed. Due to COVID-19 setting in and lasting for over a year, it has provoked great disruption in being able to schedule exam dates. This has caused college admissions to completely remove the scores as part of their admissions criteria leading to additional problems that students have to face.

The college board eliminating the SAT subject exams, SAT essays becoming optional to take, and the wave of over 2.2 million students that were preparing to take these exams had the audience in shock. The reason behind why they canceled the subject exams was due to the fact that the college board simply wanted to reduce demands among students. Due to the pandemic, many SAT dates were continuously being postponed or completely canceled. This had a large body of students intimidated that the exam dates that they had signed up for may result in one of those two options.

Advanced Placement tests, otherwise known as AP tests, have been continuously favored more than the SAT subject exams for several years. This is due to the fact that admissions committees view completed AP courses as college-level work insinuating that high school students are ready for college-level courses once they pass the AP exam. As the college board saw those analytics, it gave them another reason to eliminate the subject exams. With these changes in place, colleges have started to make changes to their applications as well, in order to alleviate stress for students.

Jaylah Bennett, a current senior at CHS shared her thoughts and feelings about whether or not the college board was making the right decision.

“I definitely do think they made the right decision. A student is not a test score and as much as colleges want to say ‘It’s holistic and we look at everything, a lot of the acceptances have been how high you scored on the SAT and how much money you have.” Bennett said, “If someone is the smartest person at their school, but gets a low SAT score because they have test anxiety, that’s not a reflection of who they are. I think that colleges need to start realizing that.”

However, there allegedly will be another new and improved SAT coming in Spring of 2021. According to the college board, this new SAT will reportedly have content changes as well. Throughout the English vocabulary portion, students will not be tested on their knowledge of intricate or difficult words. Instead, that section will focus on vocabulary that is used on a daily basis in college. Additionally, more content changes such as including further interactive readings will be implemented as well.

Whilst the brand new content changes to the SAT are said to be easier, there will undeniably be certain issues that students will struggle with. A current CHS junior, Madeline Arriaga, speaks out about her frustration with the current situation.

“Honestly, it’s just so hard changing things during a time that’s already so unexpected and difficult,” Arriaga said, “though it being easier will be very helpful, that doesn’t change the fact that it’ll be even more stressful at the end of the day.”

With colleges removing SAT subject exams from their decision-making of accepting students into their schools; students have been greatly affected negatively as an outcome. Dealing with the stress of scheduling those exam dates and having them canceled left and right was only the tip of the iceberg. Colleges may now be using AP exam scores to weigh their decision on prospective students in replacement of removing the SAT subject exams.