The SAT will become fully digital by 2024

The SAT will soon be taken exclusively on a computer, the College Board announced Tuesday, ending an era when high school students had t...


The SAT will soon be taken exclusively on a computer, the College Board announced Tuesday, ending an era when high school students had to make sure their No. 2 pencils were sharpened and their answer bubbles filled in completely.

The exam, which students will take on laptops or tablets at test centers, will also be shortened from three hours to two hours. The changes will begin in 2024 in the United States and in 2023 in other countries.

The College Board is trying to revamp the exam that has stressed millions of students over questions about whether college admissions tests are fair or even necessary.

A growing number of colleges have eliminated the requirement for applicants to submit scores from the concurrent SAT or ACT, and the trend of “test optional” admissions has accelerated significantly during the coronavirus pandemic. According to the nonprofit organization FairTest, more than 1,800 schools did not require standardized test scores for admissions in 2022.

The number of SAT test takers has grown from 2.2 million high school graduates in 2020 to 1.5 million in the class of 2021, according to the College Board. About 1.7 million students in the Class of 2022 have taken the test so far.

In addition to its transition to a digital test, the College Board will also allow calculators on the entire math section, shorten reading passages and reflect a wider range of subjects.

In pilot tests last year, 80% of students said they found digital tests less stressful, according to the College Board, which said laptops or tablets would be provided to students who needed them. .

Priscilla Rodriguez, vice president of college readiness assessments for the College Board, said the changes would make the test more relevant.

“In a world where testing is largely optional, the SAT is a lower-stakes test for college admissions,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “Submitting a score is optional for every type of college, and we want the SAT to be the best possible option for students.”

Christal Wang, a student at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., took the digital test and pencil test last year. She said the digital version had shorter reading passages with one or two questions, while the traditional test had longer passages requiring multiple answers.

“I definitely preferred this format with the shorter passages, simply because it was much easier to read and easier to stay focused,” said 16-year-old Ms. Wang. “I also felt less drained at the end.”

In recent years, the SAT has come under increasing criticism from those who argue that standardized tests handicap poor and minority students, in part because they may not have access to Expensive test prep courses.

Bob Schaeffer, executive director of FairTest, which challenges the use of standardized tests in college admissions, said in a statement that moving to a digital SAT “doesn’t magically turn it into a more accurate, more fair, or valid for assessing college readiness.”

In response to criticism of its test, the College Board said that SAT scores serve to bolster the applications of many students who test better than their high school grade point averages would indicate.

Some college administrators have said the upcoming move to a digital platform is overdue. A year ago, the College Board announced that it would be scrapping SAT subject tests and the essay question.

“It’s time they moved away from paper and pencil,” said Kent R. Hopkins, vice president for college business enrollment at Arizona State University. Mr Hopkins, who sits on a College Board advisory committee, said he hoped the new format would improve safety and make the test less “clunky”.

The big public school has always been optional for testing, although most of its applicants submit standardized test scores, Mr. Hopkins said.

College admissions testing centers were forced to close at the start of the pandemic, and many colleges — including some of the nation’s top institutions — waived requirements, at least temporarily. Some have completely eliminated them.

The University of California System announced last year that standardized test scores would no longer be a factor in admissions decisions at its 10 schools after settling a lawsuit claiming the test created inequities in the assessment of a student’s chances of passing. university student.

After the decision of the prestigious Californian public system, Harvard, one of the most prestigious private schools in the country, announced in December that it no need for SAT or ACT over the next four years, a move that observers thought accelerate the movement to eliminate the results of standardized tests.

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Newsrust - US Top News: The SAT will become fully digital by 2024
The SAT will become fully digital by 2024
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