SAT Subject Tests are Gone—Now What?


Recently the College Board announced, among other news, that they would be discontinuing the Subject SAT exams. For many students, this was met with a mix of both relief and fear. Although this news means that colleges would no longer expect students to submit Subject SAT scores, those scores can no longer provide a platform for students to demonstrate mastery of knowledge. 

The cancellations of Subject SAT exams failed to alleviate the stress of similar standardized tests. In their statement, the College Board said that the “The expanded reach of AP and its widespread availability means the Subject Tests are no longer necessary for students to show what they know.” Rather than eliminating this requirement from a college standpoint entirely, the College Board further solidified the Advanced Placement (AP) tests as a replacement.

“I think that eliminating the [SAT] subject tests will take some pressure off of students who try to pack in so many standardized tests in hope of impressing colleges,” said AP US History Teacher Ms. Leanne Rubiano. Most agree with this sentiment; not only will the elimination of SAT Subject Tests serve to be less stressful for students, it will also allow students to focus more on their GPA and the SAT/ACT, which are often deemed the more crucial factors of one’s college application.

Yet there has been much frustration with the cancellation of Subject SATs, with students seeking to submit scores to colleges to demonstrate their proficiency in a certain subject. “Although I’m relieved that I won’t be having the need to study for the subject tests I intended to take, I feel as though those scores would have better reflected that I was a fit for the major I’m choosing for college,” said Mayukha Ragimanu ‘22. 

Ishani Kunadharaju ‘22 said, “I don’t really know much about how relevant the subject SATs are to college admissions and whether they play a role in the selection process at all. That being said, however, I still would have taken them to gauge my knowledge on the subject.”

While AP exams can serve to gauge one’s knowledge on a subject, students continually believe that SAT Subject Tests were equally necessary to demonstrate their proficiency.

However, students must learn to adjust to this new development to demonstrate their proficiency in certain subjects to colleges.

“For students who wish to take AP exams on their own, I would encourage them to develop and maintain the self-motivation and discipline needed to master such a large amount of content and skills independently,” said Rubiano.

Overall, the cancellation of SAT Subject Tests will serve to change the various plans students may have held prior to this development. Regardless, students must continue to rise to the challenge and persevere.