Why the SAT is removing their essay section

Kiara Hesse, Staff Writer

Why is the SAT taking away their essay section completely? In January, the College Board announced that they will be getting rid of the optional essay section from the SAT in addition to the SAT subject tests by June 2021. This announcement was made due to the display of students’ abilities to take a standardized test since the Covid-19 pandemic. Students have had to adapt to the new changes and restrictions put in place due to the pandemic. 


The College Board has decided to adjust to these challenging times by making adjustments to the college admission requirements. These adjustments allowed the admission of SAT scores to be optional and plan to remove the essay from the SAT by June. These changes were made to help reduce the pressure of getting the perfect score and more so focusing on other academic achievements. Marissa Daniels, an author at “College Life Today,” notes that “For students with low scoring SAT/ACT grades, this means a sigh of relief, because most of these colleges will accept essays, portfolios, and other demonstrations of academic potential in place of standardized test scores.” Furthermore, with all the barriers put up like test center closings, quarantining with minimal notice, and financial struggles, the stress during test day is at an all time high. The hours put into taking an SAT along with the essay section is a lot for one student. The essay was used as a way for students to demonstrate their abilities of essay writing, but the College Board recognizes there are other ways for students to prove their skills.


Although everyone might not agree with the removal of the essay from the SAT completely, the decision was made to alter requirements to ensure students the experience of better outcomes. This change helps to alleviate some of the stress put onto students with all they have going on like college essays, deadlines, and extra curriculars. Overall the decision made by the College Board encountered many positive reactions among a majority of students.