Jan 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

The SAT is going digital

A practice SAT.
A practice SAT. Photo: Alex Garcia/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The College Board announced Tuesday that the SAT will be delivered digitally in the U.S. in 2024.

Why it matters: The College Board said it's seeking to make the SAT "more relevant," as some colleges start to ditch the college admissions exam altogether.

Driving the news: The college admissions test will also shrink from three hours to two, with more time per question.

  • "The digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant," Priscilla Rodriguez, vice president of College Readiness Assessments at College Board, said in a statement.
  • Students will still be required to take the exam in a school or in a test center, not at home, and the exam will be graded on a 1600 scale.
  • The change makes the test easier to administer, and "schools will have more options for when, where, and how often they administer the SAT," according to the announcement.
  • The shift to digital will begin internationally in 2023.

The big picture: Questions mount over whether standardized testing is a necessary component of college admissions.

  • The percentage of schools that do not require standardized tests rose from about 45% before the pandemic to nearly 80% now, according to the anti-testing group FairTest.
  • Experts also point to the fact that the costs of standardized tests and the challenges people of color and lower-income students face in the college admissions process, Axios' Hope King reports.

What they're saying: "It felt a lot less stressful, and whole lot quicker than I thought it'd be," said Natalia Cossio, an 11th grade student from Fairfax County, Virginia, who participated in the digital pilot.

  • "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," Cassio said in the College Board's statement announcing the decision.

Go deeper: The decline of standardized testing

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