Continuing with the last year’s policy of keeping test-optional, several colleges of the US have decided to keep the policy going in the forthcoming application cycle for 2022. The colleges implementing this policy include Stanford University, Williams College, Amherst College, and Cornell.
Now, the College Board is not continuing the SAT subject tests as well as the SAT optional essay. Moreover, SAT is now moving online. Students outside the USA will still be able to take SAT subject tests in May 2021 and/or June 2021.
With this move, the College Board is reducing demands on students. The reach of Advanced Placement (AP) has been expanded and now that it’s available in a more widespread manner, subject tests won’t be necessary anymore for students to display their knowledge.
This new policy will mean that there will be a marked increase in difficulty from what students have learned so far. To do well in AP exams, students will have to prepare at a whole new level. The fact that AP exams happen only once a year increases the challenge it poses for the students who will have to plan and prepare much better than before.
As there’s a shift towards AP tests from SAT lately, it’s yet to be seen whether its outcome will be positive or negative. Students have said to have faced issues with taking the test this year. But going forward, this will possibly be solved effectively.
As for students of Grade 12, they should focus on SAT subject test of May and June 2021. The reason is that the old SAT format has been discontinued. Students of Grade X and XI should now begin with familiarizing themselves with their chosen AP exam. This is because the AP exam scores will be crucial to prove the student’s knowledge in the subject to US universities.
Also, as the SAT essay portion has been scrapped, there will be a more rigorous Writing and Language section in order to evaluate your grammar and proof-reading skills. However, college essays will play a bigger role in evaluating the students’ communication skills.
Even though test-optional is allowed by educational institutions, students willing to study in USA should keep in mind that the same institutions will consider the scores from these optional tests during admission. So, taking the test will give the students an edge in admissions to courses.
Also, if international students prefer to bypass SAT/ACT tests, their academic performance will be scrutinized more intently. This means that the student’s academic scores must be exceptional in case he/she is not using the SAT/ACT tests.
It will be a good choice to write SAT/ACT tests as their scores will showcase a student’s reasoning ability, which will get high weightage in most merit scholarships.
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