New SAT changes and challenges amidst Covid-19 pandemic

Katrina Machetta, Copy Editor


In Jan. 2021, College Board announced that the company would no longer offer the essay portion of the popular United States college-entrance examination, the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT.) Along with the no essay option, College Board canceled all SAT subject tests for students effective immediately for domestic students, while international students can test through June of 2021.

These changes have been contentious. Some students are relieved of this weight taken off of them, while other students consider this to be a downfall, hoping to have been differentiated by other students with high scores on these SAT subject tests.

“My concerns regarding the new SAT changes lie in the essay portion,” junior Anabella Gramling said. “Writing has always been one of my strong suits, so I am slightly concerned that I may not do as well overall on the test without this portion of the SAT.”

In response to these changes, many colleges have decided to go test-optional this fall for the 2021-2022 admission cycle, including the University of Texas, Rice University, Williams College, and Duke University, among many others. 

Other colleges have decided to go test-optional permanently, including Washington and Jefferson College, Wesleyan University, and Whittier College, among many others. To find the whole list of test-optional colleges, click here.

“I am actually very grateful for the changes on the SAT,” junior Nataly Cardoza said. “I feel that with no essay, I can better prepare for and focus on the timed questions.”

For many students in the United States entering college, they either take the ACT or SAT. If you are considering which one to take after these changes, this is a helpful resource  to determine the differences between the two tests and help you decide which one is best for you.

Amid the Texas winter storms last week, the SAT was supposed to be administered at many Texas High Schools on March 3 but was postponed to Wednesday, March 24 due to logistical issues emanated from delayed shipments of testing materials.  This new timeline would provide Texas test-takers more time to prepare for this important exam.