The bane of many high school students’ existence, the SAT test, will be moving to an all digital format starting in 2024, the College Board said in a release Tuesday.
The move comes after a trial run for the digital test experience in November of 2021. That run, prompted — of course — by the COVID-19 pandemic, proved to be wildly successful. Of the students who took the trial digital test, 80 percent said they thought it was less stressful. And even more pronounced, 100 percent of educators said they had a positive experience with the new SAT test in digital form. The tests will still be administered on site for most schools, but students will be allowed to use their own devices, or can use devices provided by the schools.
“The digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant,” said Priscilla Rodriguez, vice president of College Readiness Assessments at College Board. “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. With input from educators and students, we are adapting to ensure we continue to meet their evolving needs.
The SAT test is commonly used as a metric for college acceptance for many students. That’s been useful for many students, but has drawn the ire of many in the education community, as some students are shown to not test well given the format, regardless of educational ability.
“In a largely test-optional world, the SAT is a lower-stakes test in college admissions. Submitting a score is optional for every type of college, and we want the SAT to be the best possible option for students. The SAT allows every student—regardless of where they go to high school—to be seen and to access opportunities that will shape their lives and careers,” Rodriguez said. “I am one of those students. I’m a first-generation American, the child of immigrants who came to the U.S. with limited financial resources, and I know how the SAT Suite of Assessments opened doors to colleges, scholarships, and educational opportunities that I otherwise never would have known about or had access to. We want to keep those same doors of opportunity open for all students.”
Along with the transition to the digital form, the SAT will have a number of other changes that are designed to help students and educators: