Changes to the SAT in 2022: What you Need to Know

09 MAR 2022

The SAT is a famous and time-honored part of the US college admissions process. From films to every teen drama showing the importance of doing well in the SAT, it has become a cultural touchpoint when we think about high school. But the SAT has changed shape over time, and the last few years have seen some of the biggest changes in recent memory. So what are these changes, and how do they affect high school students? We have broken down the things you need to know right here!

Is the SAT Test-Optional?

Access to the SAT has become an issue worldwide with Covid-19 lockdowns and regulations. This left many students in a predicament: colleges required these scores to apply, but students couldn’t take the test to get those scores! This pushed many colleges to a solution that hadn’t been previously considered: make the SAT optional. A growing list of colleges don’t require an applicant to have a SAT score to apply, meaning that students can possibly be handed a small boost if it is difficult to get to a test center.


Even though the SAT is optional, Crimson Education and top US college admissions experts (like former Ivy League admissions officer Ben Schwartz) still recommend that you take it. It provides a definite yardstick that a university can use to compare you against other applicants and shows you are serious enough about academics to take the extra step.

SAT Is Going Digital

The second - and most exciting - change to the SAT is that the test is going digital! This means that you won’t need to fill out your test with a pencil, but it can instead be done on a computer at a test center. Starting in 2023, international students will be able to take the test online, and the SAT will be available digitally to the US in 2024.

This, however, does not mean that you will be able to take the test at home. A proctor will still need to administer the test at a test center or school, and it will still be scored out of 1600. It does mean that there are some welcome changes to the structure of the test, including:

  • A shorter test (Two hours instead of three hours)
  • Additional time between questions and sections
  • A wider range of topics for the comprehensions in the reading section
  • The use of calculators for the entire math section

It also means you will receive your results in a few days, rather than having to wait weeks!

There is definitely a lot to look forward to in the next few years when it comes to writing the SAT, and these changes can help make the test less challenging for many.

Interested in learning more about the SAT and the US college admissions process? Sign up today for a free consultation with one of our expert Academic Advisors, and start your journey to your dream university!

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