Kaplan Issues Statement on The College Board Eliminating the SAT’s® Optional Writing Section and SAT Subject Tests

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)

Press Contact: Russell Schaffer, russell.schaffer@kaplan.com, 917.822.8190
Twitter: @KaplanEdNews, @KaplanSATACT

New York, NY (January 19, 2021) — The following statement about The College Board’s decision to eliminate the SAT’s optional Writing Section and all SAT Subject Tests comes from Isaac Botier, executive director of college admissions programs, Kaplan:

“The Writing Section was added to the SAT in 2005 as part of a broader overhaul that sought to make the test more academically relevant, but according to our tracking research, very few colleges made the SAT Writing Section a mandatory part of their own admissions process. The reality is that although there was a lot of initial interest in the Writing Section, it didn’t live up to expectations and as the years went by, colleges became less enthusiastic about it, citing their existing ability to gauge applicants’ writing skills through their own application essays. This eventually led to the Writing Section becoming an optional, separately graded part of the exam beginning in 2016. At this point, many are likely thinking, ‘What took them so long?’ Its elimination creates one less pressure point for college applicants, helping to reduce their stress as it’s one less thing to prepare for.

“SAT Subject Tests were another piece of the college admissions pie that have steadily lost favor with both colleges and prospective students. While a few decades ago, many top colleges required them, in the past decade many colleges have dropped this requirement completely, including most recently the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Not surprisingly, this has led to a decrease in the number of Subject Test takers, so it’s not a coincidence that Advanced Placement® tests have become an increasingly important part of the College Board’s business portfolio.

“Overall, we think it’s safe to say that neither colleges nor students will be disappointed to see the departures of the Writing Section and Subject Tests. For college applicants, this shift allows them to focus more on the tests that can help them secure college credit and win merit-based aid, which are the AP exams. And a strong SAT score remains an effective way for applicants to distinguish themselves in what continues to be a competitive college admissions process.”

To schedule an interview with a college admissions expert at Kaplan, contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 917.822.8190.

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About Kaplan

Kaplan is a global educational services company that provides individuals, universities, and businesses with a diverse array of services, including higher and professional education, test preparation, language training, corporate and leadership training, and student recruitment, online enablement and other university support services. With operations in nearly 30 countries, Kaplan serves nearly 1.1 million students each year and has partnerships with 2,000-plus universities, colleges, and schools/school districts, and more than 4,000 businesses globally. Kaplan is a subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). For more information, please visit www.kaptest.com.

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