top of page

SAT Subject Tests and Essay are GONE! What Does This Mean for Future Applicants?

If you’re interested in studying in the United States, you’ve probably already heard the big news — CollegeBoard is dropping the SAT essay and the SAT subject tests. These changes are effective immediately for US applicants, and will occur after June for international students.

The shift away from standardized testing has been happening for several years now, and Covid-19 has only expedited the process. Accordingly, this may not come as a shock for applicants and families, but it does impact how students can (and should) demonstrate their academic prowess.


To illustrate their academic strengths — which are the most important factors in college admissions — applicants must commit themselves to taking the most rigorous course load available to them.

To do this, students should take additional AP, IB, or college-level classes, particularly if the courses support their major interests. For international students in particular, this may mean finding ways to self-teach and test for AP courses as an independent. Registration for AP exams is March 12, so sign up immediately if you haven’t already done so. You can visit the CollegeBoard website for information on signing up for AP exams as an independent.

If college-level courses are not available in your community, take classes through Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC). These courses are free for students and will demonstrate a readiness for rigorous work. MOOCs are a very good option for international students who often need to bulk up their academics due to lack of access to APs.


Year-after-year, college admissions counselors espouse the importance of civic engagement. Future applicants should use SAT subject test study time to get involved in their communities in ways that tap into their unique skill sets and allow them to develop as leaders.

bottom of page