The College Board announced on Tuesday that it will discontinue the optional essay component of the SAT, and it will no longer offer subject-specific tests in U.S. history, languages and math, among other topics. The organization, which administers the college entrance exam in addition to several other tests, including AP exams, will instead focus efforts on a new digital version of the SAT.
In the announcement, the organization cited the pandemic for these changes: “The pandemic accelerated a process already underway at the College Board to simplify our work and reduce demands on students.”
College entrance exams have had a hard go of it during the pandemic. Many in-person testing dates for the SAT were canceled due to social distancing and closed high school buildings, a previous digital version of the SAT was scrapped in June after technical difficulties, and hundreds of colleges have removed the exam from admissions requirements, in some cases permanently.