The SAT exam is ditching paper and pencils to move online and will now be shorter, the College Board revealed on Tuesday.
The upcoming changes, which will be rolled out in the US in 2024, will boost the exam’s relevancy as more colleges make standardized tests optional for admission, according to the administrators.
Those taking the college entrance exam will be allowed to use their own laptops or tablets, but will still have to sit the test at a monitored testing site or school when the changes come into effect, the College Board said.
The new online version will also shave an hour off the current exam time, bringing the reading, writing and math assessment from three hours to roughly two.
“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.”
The exam will feature shorter reading passages with one question tied to each, and calculators will now be allowed for the entire duration of the math section.
Test-takers will also get their scores back within days — instead of weeks, administrators said.
The format change is scheduled to take effect at international test sites next year and in the US in 2024.
Students who participated in a November pilot of the digital SAT said the experience was less stressful than the current paper and pencil test.
“It felt a lot less stressful, and whole lot quicker than I thought it’d be,” said Natalia Cossio, an 11th grader from Fairfax, Virginia said.
“The shorter passages helped me concentrate more on what the question wanted me to do. Plus, you don’t have to remember to bring a calculator or a pencil.”
The College Board said students without a personal or school-issued device would be provided one for test day.
Once essential for college applications, scores from admission tests like the SAT carry less weight today as colleges and universities pay more attention to the sum of student achievements and activities throughout high school.
Amid criticism that the exams favor wealthy, white applicants and disadvantage minority and low-income students, an increasing number of schools have adopted test-optional policies in recent years that allow students to decide whether to include scores with their applications.
Nearly 80 percent of bachelor’s degree-granting institutions are not requiring test scores from students applying for fall 2022, a tally by the National Center for Fair & Open Testing showed.
About 1.5 million members of the class of 2021 took the SAT at least once, down from 2.2 million in the previous year. A College Board survey found many students want to take the SAT to preserve the option of submitting the scores and qualifying for certain scholarships.
With Post wires