College Board will no longer offer subject tests, optional essay

Focus removed from standardized testing

Keira Blattberg, Reporter

WEB EXCLUSIVE The College Board announced on Jan. 19 that it will no longer offer the SAT subject tests and the SAT optional essay, forcing students to use their extracurriculars and transcripts as a substitute.

Juniors who have been preparing for subject tests and who have registered will have their registration cancelled and their fees refunded, according to the College Board website.

“I was planning on taking the math and English subject tests,” junior Mira Chawla said. “I am still taking the SAT, but now I need to try and find more extracurricular activities to compensate for the lack of test scores.”

The cancellation of subject tests offers students the opportunity to focus on extracurriculars and hobbies instead of stressing about studying and getting good scores on their subject tests, according to Cesar Guerrero Director of Academic Guidance & College Counseling. 

“This cancellation does not dramatically change things too much,” Guerrero said, “but now the resume is now a super substantial point because without subject tests, schools will have to focus on applicants’ accomplishments and creativity instead of honing in on statistics.”

Convent & Stuart Hall is offering optional AP exams for some subjects to International Baccalaureate students that can act as substitutes for other SAT subject tests students would have taken.

“I’ll be taking the AP English and chemistry exams as substitutes for other SAT subject tests I would have taken,” junior Donnalie Yap said. “This change will be good and bad for some students because students who have been studying for months now have to switch their focus to extracurriculars while students who were more immersed in their extracurriculars are now at a somewhat advantage.”

Students must now get creative with what they will substitute for the loss of the subject tests as they are left to fill a gap in their college application. 

“It is going to be interesting to see how this change will affect my grade and the grades below me,” Chawla said, “because now the focus will be more on students’ creativity, extracurriculars and their transcripts rather than a testing statistic.”