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SAT/ ACT: College Entrance Exams


The pandemic accelerated a process already underway at the College Board to simplify our work and reduce demands on students. As part of this process, we're making substantial investments in the SAT® Suite of Assessments and in tools to help colleges connect with students. We are providing three updates today and will continue to consult with our members on this ongoing work.

1. We're discontinuing SAT Subject Tests.

The expanded reach of AP® and its widespread availability for low-income students and students of color mean the SAT Subject Tests™ are no longer necessary for students to show what they know. AP provides students rich and varied opportunities to showcase their knowledge and skills through college-level coursework. Courses like AP Computer Science Principles and AP Capstone™ provide the type of hands-on learning experiences and practical, real-world work that colleges want to see from students.

We'll no longer offer the SAT Subject Tests in the U.S. Students in the U.S. will automatically have their registrations canceled and receive a refund. Because SAT Subject Tests are used internationally for a wider variety of purposes, we'll provide two more administrations in May and June of 2021 for students in international locations.

We've contacted our member colleges, and they'll decide whether and how to consider SAT Subject Test scores from students who have them. Students should check colleges' websites for the most up-to-date information on their application policies.

2. We're discontinuing the optional SAT Essay.

This decision recognizes that there are other ways for students to demonstrate their mastery of essay writing. At the same time, writing remains essential to college readiness, and the SAT will continue to measure writing and editing skills. The tasks on the SAT Reading and Writing and Language tests are among the most effective and predictive parts of the SAT. Students can still take the SAT with Essay through the June 2021 SAT administration.

After June 2021, we'll continue to provide the essay only in states where it's required for SAT School Day administrations for accountability purposes. Students who are registered for the SAT with Essay this spring can cancel the Essay portion at any time, free of charge.

3. We're exploring a more flexible SAT—a streamlined, digitally delivered exam that meets the evolving needs of students and higher education.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of being innovative and adaptive to what lies ahead. We're committed to making the SAT a more flexible tool, and we're making substantial investments to do so. We are consulting with our members in K–12 and higher education and will have more to share about that work later this spring.

There's still a clear demand from students to take the SAT as a way to show their strengths to colleges. Most immediately, we're working to provide as many opportunities as possible for students in the class of 2022 to take the SAT this year by:

Allocating seats that would've gone to students taking SAT Subject Tests to those who want to take the SAT.

Being prepared to expand capacity for existing administrations and add administrations in the fall if the pandemic continues to impact testing this spring.

Through it all, we'll continue to prioritize the health and safety of students and staff; all safety requirements that were in place last fall will remain in place at least through the spring 2021 administrations.

  • Test-optional for fall 2021 and fall 2022: Campuses will have the option to use ACT/SAT test scores in selection consideration if applicants choose to submit them, and will develop appropriate policies and procedures to implement the Board’s decision.
  • Test-blind for fall 2023 and fall 2024: Campuses will not consider test scores for California public and independent high school applicants in admissions selection, a practice known as “test-blind” admissions. Test scores could still be considered for other purposes such as course placement, certain scholarships and eligibility for the statewide admissions guarantee.

Register for SAT and/or the ACT plus writing

* dates and locations subject to change
See recommended Testing Timeline on Guidance page. 
To Register for the SAT's log on to: or
  • Registration Fee – $52 
  • Fee waivers are available to those who qualify for Free & Reduced Lunches. Obtain fee waivers by emailing your counselor. 
Please watch this informational video link:
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1. UC School- By sending it to one UC all UCs receive your scores
2. CSU Code 3594- Use this code to send to all CSUs
3-6- Other colleges on your college list
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See what score you need to be eligible for the CSUs based on your eligibility index.

Free SAT Prep:

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What's the difference between the ACT and SAT?  New SAT versus ACT video (click  
Understanding your SAT score (click link)  NEW SAT Score Structure
  • Total score: 400–1600
  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing Section: 200–800
  • Math Section: 200–800
  • SAT Essay: Three scores ranging from 2–8