A lot of colleges have already made the SAT optional, including the following:
- Bates College
- Bowdoin College
- Bryn Mawr College
- The George Washington University
- Hofstra University
- Pitzer College (for students with a ≥3.5 unweighted GPA or who are in the top 10% of their high school class)
- Sarah Lawrence College
- Smith College (for US citizens/permanent residents)
- University of Chicago
- University of Iowa
- Wake Forest University
- Wesleyan University
Many top colleges, including Harvard, Princeton, and MIT do not require the essay part of the SAT.
Hampshire College doesn't even want to see any of your SAT scores and will reject any reports sent to them.
I'd say there is a trend towards de-emphasizing SAT scores or providing alternate ways to measure student performance, but many schools still (and will continue to) rely on the scores.
I've always felt that the SAT is more of a memory test than anything else. This is especially true of the verbal section, where a lot of the questions are of the "either-you-know-it-or-you-don't" sort.
Taking the SAT is a skill like any other, and one way to reduce the stress level is practice, practice, practice. You can take the SAT as many times as you like and report your highest score to your colleges of choice. Another good way to prepare is to take the PSAT - it will give you exposure to the format, so that when you go to take the SAT, the experience will be familiar.