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Drop your Pencils: The SAT is Going Digital

26 JAN 2022

The SAT has seen its fair share of challenges and controversy in the last few years. Many people criticize the exam for its irrelevance or that it favors wealthy white students over low-income and minority students. To combat these arguments, many schools chose to make the SAT optional. Testing centers closed when the pandemic hit, only increasing the issues and concerns. But, thankfully, the College Board, the organization that develops and administers these tests, listened to the concerns and is making some positive changes!

Can you take the SAT online?

Yes! The College Board just announced the SAT, PSAT, and all of the college-entrance exams in their SAT Suite are going digital.

"The digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant," said Priscilla Rodriguez, vice president of College Readiness Assessments at the College Board.

International students can start taking the SAT online in 2023. US students can take the online PSAT in 2023 and the SAT in 2024. The College Board pilot-tested the digital SAT in the US and internationally in November 2021, and students raved about the changes, saying it was less demanding and easier to understand. When polled, nearly 80% of high school students said the online SAT was less stressful and preferred it over the traditional method. Additionally, the College Board reported that all of the educators who were part of the pilot had a positive experience.

In addition to transitioning to an online platform, the College Board also announced many other positive changes including:

  • A shorter test - two hours instead of the traditional three hours
  • Additional time given between questions
  • Shorter reading passages with only one question linked to each passage
  • Reading comprehension passages with a wider range of topics
  • Use of calculators for the entire math section
  • The choice between using their own devices or the schools' devices
  • Test results in a few days, instead of a few weeks

“We’re not simply putting the current SAT on a digital platform — we’re taking full advantage of what delivering an assessment digitally makes possible,” Rodriguez said. “With input from educators and students, we are adapting to ensure we continue to meet their evolving needs.”

While Crimson can’t guarantee admission to every college you apply for, we can help you build a robust application, including SAT prep, so you have the highest possible chance of getting into your dream school.

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Are some colleges still test-optional?

Even with the new digitalized SAT, some colleges will continue making these tests optional, at least in the near future. According to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, more than 1,800 colleges and universities did not require students applying for the Fall 2022 semester to take the SAT or ACT. At least 1,400 of those schools will not require the SAT for their Fall 2023 applicants.

Final Thoughts

While the SAT has many new and exciting changes, some aspects of the test will remain the same. For example, the test will remain on a 1,600 scale, and a proctor will still administer the test from a school or test center. Students will not be able to take the test from home.

Crimson Education offers admissions support services, including one-on-one SAT tutoring from our expert tutors, many of whom scored a perfect 1600 on their SAT. For more information about SAT tutoring or college admissions support, click the link below.

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