How Collegeboard’s cancellation of SAT Subjects/essay impacts international students

Students in the United States have AP Classes, Honors Classes, Societies, Clubs, and access to hundreds of extracurricular activities (including internships, work for pay, volunteering, research projects).

On the other hand, students in Greece have very limited access to such extracurricular activities mentioned above (especially the students who attend a public school) and no Honors, AP classes are offered. So how our students will compensate for the lack of subject tests? Where will the emphasis be placed during the admissions’ decisions?

SAT Subjects were used so that students could indicate their strong academic skills in certain fields (for example future engineers sat for Math II and Physics subject tests, Social Sciences majors sat for Literature Subject Test or Foreign Languages SAT subjects and so forth) so to strengthen their academic profiles and showcase to the universities they applied with extra academic credentials. SAT Subjects also helped compensate for a lower GPA from high school and for lack of extracurricular activities focused on a specific field of study. So how will international students will outshine their fellow American applicants?

We at CLC believe that AS A-levels may compensate for the SAT subjects. AS Levels (half of A Levels) can be taken to show a student’s inclination and academic strength in a specific subject-area. This includes the English language, Chemistry, Biology, Maths, Further Maths, and Physics just to name a few.

Online courses and courses with credit. Especially now that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected physical presence in summer schools, campus tours, online courses from websites like coursera, MIT Courseware, and EDex can also be used to indicate the interest and depth of knowledge that a student has attained towards a specific field.

SAT. Since SAT General remains the only factor that demonstrates overall academic competence in US Universities application, admissions officers will place more emphasis on students’ scores. Therefore, attaining a high score 1400+ in SAT has become more important than ever, especially for applying to Elite Universities. Let us not forget that High school GPA an SAT are the first indicators of the student’s academic level to the eyes of the admissions officers.

Essays. Once considered less important during applications now essays will play a much more important role in admissions. Essays can demonstrate a student’s command of the English language, the pathos for a major, in depth research skills for a university, humour, involvement in a community, and the emotional depth/maturity of the applicant. There is no question that a educated student can outshine not only through grades but also through sharing stories and facts that defined his/her personality and academic profile.

Focused Extra-curricular activities. We at CLC always highlighted the importance of not being a Jack of all trades. Now that an engineer cannot show his/her strength at Math and Physics through SAT Subjects, the attention will be given on how the student’s extracurricular activities, involvement in community, in projects, research, and internships “tie” with the student’s passion for attaining a certain degree on a specific field. The more focused activities on a single subject matter the more completed and competent the profile a student will demonstrate to admissions.

GPA. And above all keep in mind that academic excellence from 9th grade onwards at school is one of the major factors to show the fit for the student for a rigorous academic program at university.



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