The essay will no longer be required on the SAT. According to today's New York Times:
The essay, required since 2005, will become optional. Those who choose to write an essay will be asked to read a passage and analyze how its author used evidence, reasoning and stylistic elements to build an argument.I'm of two minds on this.
- The old essay requirement was not a very good measure of a student's ability to write. The new one is certainly an improvement, and that is nice to see.
- I don't like seeing writing made optional on a major college admissions test. Even a flawed writing requirement is better than none.
In my ten years teaching writing, I have had to correct the misconception held by far too many young students that you can pick a major or a profession that doesn't require writing.
I am afraid this move by the College Board is going to reinforce that misconception.