College Board’s Nonsense

MIT didn’t allow students to submit SAT Subject Test scores this admissions cycle (photo credit: John Phelan).

A core objective of this college admissions blog is to debunk misconceptions about the highly selective college admissions process and proudly speak truth to power. Today, we shall speak truth to David Coleman, the chief executive of The College Board, the not-for-profit company that reported a billion dollars in revenue last year alone. The College Board, for those who don’t know, is the maker of the SAT, the AP Tests, and the now defunct SAT Subject Tests. But before we speak truth to Mr. Coleman, allow us to share the falsehoods he has relayed to The Newspaper of Record, a newspaper that rightly saw right through the deceit.

College Board Claims It Eliminated SAT Subject Tests to “Reduce the Burden on High School Students”

As Anemona Hartocollis, Kate Taylor, and Stephanie Saul report on the elimination of SAT Subject Tests and the SAT essay for The New York Times in a piece entitled “Retooling During Pandemic, the SAT Will Drop Essay and Subject Tests,” “David Coleman…said that financial concerns were not behind the decisions, and that despite the growing number of schools making the SAT optional, demand for the test was still ‘stronger than some would expect.’ He said the organization’s goal was not to get more students to take A.P. courses and tests, but to eliminate redundant exams and reduce the burden on high school students. ‘Anything that can reduce unnecessary anxiety and get out of the way is of huge value to us,’ he said.”

College Board Already Knew SAT Subject Tests Were Going Extinct

Oh please. Mr. Coleman, we’re not buying it and neither are your teenage customers and their parents who weren’t born yesterday. The SAT Subject Tests were going extinct on their own before you pulled the plug on them. Yale University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the California Institute of Technology didn’t even allow students to submit SAT Subject Test scores this admissions cycle. And we all know what happens when a few highly selective universities make a move…the rest of the schools tend to follow their lead. Yet all as College Board’s SAT Subject Tests have been going extinct, College Board’s AP Tests have only grown in popularity.

College Board’s Elimination of One Business Line Promotes Another

As The New York Times reports, “More than 22,000 schools offered A.P. courses in the 2019-20 school year, up from more than 13,000 two decades earlier, according to the College Board. There are some 24,000 public high schools in America.” So of course College Board would preemptively shutter one business line that’s going extinct — particularly when that move also happens to promote another business line. Because, yes, elite colleges will still want to see test scores. And where will they find such scores beyond the SAT or ACT? Look no further than the AP Tests.

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