The College Board announced on Tuesday that it is dropping the optional essay section on the SAT and will no longer administer subject matter tests. This follows the business’s struggle during the coronavirus pandemic. The College Board hopes to create a process that is suitable for the pandemic which reduces the demand on students and simplifies the work of the board itself. Last year as testing centers closed, the College Board unsuccessfully attempted to create a version of the SAT that would be administered virtually, however, the board hopes to continue to work on this digital version with more information coming in April.
Over the past few years, an increasing number of colleges have been dropping their standardized testing requirements in response to increased awareness over issues of equity. Many have speculated, however, that changes to the SAT were not in response to the issues of equity but rather in response to financial struggle. The College Board is now placing more importance on A.P. courses for which College Board administers the final exams. In doing so, they have claimed that the newly broadened reach of A.P. courses allows opportunity for low-income students and students of color. Critics of the College Board continue to worry that the new importance placed on A.P. courses will only increase stress and pressure for many students.