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4 things to know about College Board’s decision to nix SAT Subject Tests

By Lindsey Conger

The College Board announced in January that it would stop offering SAT Subject Tests and the SAT essay. For high schoolers preparing their college applications, they might be wondering what it means. Should they still submit their scores? What if they registered but haven’t taken the test yet? Here is everything you need to know about this recent decision to eliminate the SAT Subject Test.

Why were the tests eliminated? 

One of the official reasons the College Board gave for dropping the SAT Subject Tests was to “reduce demands on students.” Due to the pandemic, students struggled to find a testing center open. By eliminating the SAT Subject Tests, it meant students didn’t need to worry about preparing for yet another exam.

The College Board also said that with the rise in popularity of the Advanced Placement (AP) exams, they will replace SAT Subject Tests, which were becoming less popular. In previous admission cycles, some schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) required at least two subject tests; however, it, like all other universities, had dropped this requirement to make the admissions process more accessible.

Can you still take the SAT Subject Test? 

For students in the U.S., you can no longer take the SAT Subject Tests, even if you registered for the next SAT Subject Test date (May 8, 2021). Your registration will be automatically canceled, and you’ll receive a full refund.

However, international students will have two more opportunities to take the test: May 8 and June 5.

Can you still submit your score to schools? 

Students who have already taken the SAT Subject Tests can still submit their scores to colleges and universities. However, at this time, it is still unclear how much weight these scores will be given in the admissions decision. Because every student might not have gotten the opportunity to take the exam, the importance of the exams will likely greatly diminish this year.

What should students do instead?

Many students, especially those applying to highly competitive schools or programs, like direct medical programs, might be wondering how they can fill this gap in their academic profile. Students used the SAT Subject Test as an alternative to AP exams or to complement their resume. Now that this aspect of the admission process has been eliminated, schools will likely emphasize AP exam scores more heavily.

However, it’s crucial to remember that tests and grades are only one part of the admission process. Students should still focus on building a strong resume built on hands-on and learning experiences to help showcase their interest and talent in a particular field.


Lindsey Conger
Lindsey Conger is a college counselor and tutor at Moon Prep. She helps students create memorable personal statements and applications that stand out from the masses.

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Insider advice on how to get accepted to a direct medical program

By Lindsey Conger

Direct medical programs (BS/MD) are one of the most competitive types of undergraduate programs. Designed for students who are 100% committed to medicine, the programs tend to accept a minimal number of students each year, with some programs taking as few as six students in each class. 

Despite the lengthy preparation and application process, direct medical programs remain popular because it guarantees the student a spot in the partnered medical school. Once accepted into the program, students no longer have to go through the lengthy, expensive, and stressful medical school application process. 

While the application process for BS/MD programs is more intense than for a traditional university, the pros often outweigh the cons. Many times, BS/MD programs are accelerated, allowing students to finish the undergraduate program and medical school in just six or seven years. In addition, some programs don’t require their students to take the MCAT. Because of these advantages, BS/MD programs are competitive, and students need to take extra time building their resume to stand out from the competition. Here is our insider advice on how to get accepted to a direct medical program. 

Maximize Your Time

Students accepted into BS/MD programs have similar stats: near-perfect GPAs, SAT Subject Tests, and SAT/ACT scores, 5s on AP exams, etc. Just being an honor roll student isn’t enough to get you into a direct medical program. 

To be competitive, students must take the time to develop their passions, preferably in the science or medical field. You should spend months or even years dedicated to this one activity and excel at it. By dedicating your time to just a few extracurriculars, it will look more impressive to the admission committee than if you spread yourself thin by doing ten or more activities. 

Focus on Science

As mentioned, your transcript is a vital piece of the puzzle, and essential to get your application noticed by the admission officers. However, to keep their attention, you should build your resume by narrowing your focus.

Students should: 

  • Limit the number of AP courses. There is no need to take every AP course available. Instead, focus on the ones that are science-focused. By reducing the number of AP courses you choose, you can spend more time on your extracurricular activities. 
  • Avoid grade inflation—Refrain from taking “easy” AP courses to increase your GPA
  • Concentrate on science-based classes, especially advanced AP science courses. 

Craft A Winning Personal Statement

The personal statement is one of your few chances to come alive off the page and showcase your personality to the admission officers. Your essay should also convey your deep conviction to the medical field. 

When crafting a persuasive essay, a student should: 

  • Write with emotion and purpose. We focus on the narrative form of writing because it allows you to express yourself memorably.
  • Not repeat their resume because it can easily be found in other parts of the application.
  • Start now. It will take you longer than you think to write the personal statement. 
  • Consider your response to “Why Medicine?” This prompt should showcase your maturity and desire to become a physician. Here is where you can expand on the activities you have completed in your preparation for the competitive program, such as research, volunteering, and shadowing. 

This free, 8-week course can help you get started on writing your personal statement right now. 

As there are thousands of applicants each year, take the time to craft your application and your accomplishments around your firm conviction of becoming a doctor. 

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