College Board scraps key parts of SAT to 'reduce demands' on students. Expert questions that logic.
The College Board announced that it will scrap the SAT optional essay and SAT Subject Tests.
This decision comes in the wake of leading American universities lightening admissions standards.
The National Association of Scholars told Campus Reform that the College Board may be making this decision to improve its bottom line.
The College Board — which administers the SAT — announced that it will scrap the SAT optional essay and SAT Subject Tests.
The group directed Campus Reform to its official statement, which explains that the cancellation is intended to “reduce demand on students.”
The College Board explained that though “writing remains essential to college readiness,” there are “other ways for students to demonstrate their mastery of essay writing, and the SAT will continue to measure writing throughout the test.”
The group will attempt to replace measurement of writing abilities by using the SAT Reading and Writing and Language test, which, according to The College Board website "asks [students] to be an editor and improve passages that were written especially for the test—and that include deliberate errors."
“The expanded reach of AP and its widespread availability means the Subject Tests are no longer necessary for students to show what they know,” the group added.
Students who are currently registered for an upcoming SAT Subject Test — which are short exams that test skills in specific subject areas — will receive automatic refunds.
The College Board will cease offering the optional SAT essay following the June 2021 administration.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College Board faced criticism for a botched rollout of online Advanced Placement and SAT exams.
As Campus Reform reported in summer 2020, thousands of students faced technical difficulties when attempting to take their AP exams virtually.
A class-action lawsuit was filed against the College Board in May 2020.
The College Board’s decision also comes in the wake of many leading American universities electing to require fewer standardized tests.
Stanford University’s medical school — which is among the best in the nation — announced in August that it would pause consideration of the MCAT. Several additional graduate schools at Stanford temporarily or permanently lightened their standardized testing requirements.
“The College Board has decided to replace SAT Subject Tests with Advanced Placement tests,” National Association of Scholars Director of Research David Randall told Campus Reform. “On the one hand, the College Board acknowledges that its Advanced Placement tests are now no more rigorous than the SAT Subject Tests. On the other hand, this is a commercial decision by the College Board, to enhance its revenues by shifting students from the low-cost Subject Tests to the Advanced Placement tests, from which the College Board receives far more in total revenues.”
“The College Board demonstrates far more interest in the bottom line than in educational standards,” Randall continued. “The College Board's abandonment of the Essay simply registers the abandonment of the expectation of writing ability in students among our education establishment.”
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