Big Changes for SAT Exam: Going Digital, Adaptive and Shortened from 2023

The College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, PSAT, and other standardized tests announced today that the SAT will soon go all-digital.  Starting in 2023 for international students and in 2024 in the U.S., the new digital SAT will shrink from three hours to two. It will include shorter reading passages, and allow students to use a calculator on the math section.

Quick Snapshot of SAT Changes:

Starting March 2023, SAT will no longer be a paper and pencil test. While a lot will stay the same, what will change is

  • The SAT will be shorter by an hour and will only be 2 hours long (will follow the adaptive-testing approach)
  • The Reading passages will be shorter and Math problems less wordy
  • Calculators allowed for the entire Math section
  • International students will get 7 chances (instead of 5) to take the SAT 
  • Scores will be delivered in days instead of weeks

SAT Exam will Follow Adaptive Testing

This means the test changes based on the students’ answers. With the goal of reducing the time students spend answering questions that are either too easy or too hard.

Limitations of At-Home Testing

The College Board previously scrapped plans to offer an at-home digital test because of concern about students being able to access three hours of uninterrupted internet and power. Student broadband access has been a constant struggle throughout the pandemic, especially in rural and low-income areas. The new SAT will be designed to autosave, so students won’t lose work or time while they reconnect.

Testing will still take place at a test center or at a school, but students will be able to choose between using their own devices — including a tablet or a laptop — or the schools’ devices.

Standardized Tests

There has been a growing national movement to eliminate standardized testing requirements for admissions decisions. More than 1,800 colleges and universities — nearly 80% of U.S. institutions that grant bachelor’s degrees — have dropped requirements for fall 2022 applicants, with most making submission of test scores optional, according to the educational organization FairTest, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing.

The College Board says there is an overwhelming demand for it, especially since many of the nation’s most competitive universities — including the Ivy League, Stanford, and USC — have not eliminated it.

 “When surveyed, 83% of students said they want the option to submit test scores to colleges,” the board said.

California State University, the nation’s largest four-year university system, will begin debate on whether to permanently end testing requirements during Wednesday’s meeting of the Board of Trustees after an admission advisory council recommended doing so.

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