SAT Subject Tests Cancelled

Anant Jhaveri, Online Writer

History is being made regarding the education system of the United States. High school students were recently hit with a shock as the College Board announced that the SAT Subject Tests and the SAT essay would be eliminated. Popularity of the SAT subject tests has declined immensely over the past decade due to the increased prevalence of AP exams. The college admissions process began to move away from subject tests in 2015 after the SAT was redesigned. Between 2011 and 2017, the number of students who took the SAT subject test declined by over 80,000.

In an interview with Aditya Jhaveri, the Brookfield East class of 2017 Valedictorian, new insights were displayed regarding the magnitude of the College Board’s decision. Mr. Jhaveri explained the importance of subject tests during his era, “Subject tests paved a path for our future. Colleges, at the time, still held a significant amount of respect for high scores on the subject tests.” Subject tests demonstrated early interest in a specific subject, showing ambition to colleges.

“Subject tests were especially important for certain private schools that did not teach AP material. By scrapping the subject tests, the College Board is essentially forcing a permanent shift in the curriculum to mandate AP material in all US schools.” Jhaveri believes that subject tests gave students and schools more opportunities.

Aditya Jhaveri furthers, “The College Board lost a significant amount of money over the past year with COVID-19, which is why their decision to end subject tests was a desperate move. Based on how certain colleges, like California’s UC system, have already removed the requirement for SAT/ACT tests, I expect the College Board’s standardized tests to collapse.”

Realistically, the issue of whether or not to continue pushing subject tests came down to an economic decision for the College Board. As the predominance of the subject tests decreased, so did the College Board’s revenue. By putting more emphasis on the AP exams, the College Board hopes to increase revenue and profits. This executive decision hints at the College Board’s unstable future. The College Board is creating a nationwide system that is extremely dependent on the stability and efficiency of the College Board. This opens up many uncertainties about the future. The College Board’s dependency trap makes schools reliant on their curriculum; if the College Board were to collapse, then the education system would suffer a severe blow, and a massive educational reform would occur.

With these historic changes, a multitude of obstacles arise. For instance, high school juniors who already took the subject tests may be placed at a disadvantage since colleges will not accept the subject test scores in the upcoming admissions process. Furthermore, many high school students take AP exams in the spring of their senior year, after college applications. The College Board wants AP exams to hold more weight in application processes, but they must deal with the issue of timing, so individuals are not placed at a disadvantage. Essentially, this massive educational change poses many challenges for future generations and opens up questions about the College Board’s long-term future.