The SAT is Dropping its Essay Part, Topic Matter Assessments Throughout Pandemic

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The college board announced Tuesday that it would be removing the optional essay section from the college SAT entrance exam it administers and halting subject tests in the U.S. as part of an accelerated streamlining process through the coronavirus pandemic.

The board said it will continue to develop a version of the SAT test that can be managed digitally. This tried and quickly failed last year after the pandemic closed test centers and forced the organization to abandon many test administrations. The Board did not provide a timeframe for the introduction of a digital version of the SAT.

“The pandemic accelerated a process already underway on the college board to simplify our work and reduce the demands on students,” the organization said in a statement.

The board said advanced placement tests, which it also manages, are now available to more low-income and color students, making the SAT subject tests unnecessary. And it was said that there are now many opportunities for students to demonstrate their writing skills, so that the already optional essay section of the SAT is less necessary.

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