The SAT Set to Go Online in 2024

For many students, the SAT involves gathering their sharpened #2 pencils ahead of time, making sure to pack a watch and getting ready to print their admissions ticket. Many students picture themselves going into a math classroom and scribbling out their information on various sheets. All of these activities have been routine ever since the creation of this standardized test. However, CollegeBoard has made a recent announcement that the SAT will start to be offered online to all test takers. 

Starting in March of 2024, students will be taking the SAT online. According to CollegeBoard, most students take the SAT in the spring of their junior year, so “in the U.S., students in the high school class of 2025 will be the first class to take the digital test.” The online SAT will first be offered internationally during the Spring of 2023. PSAT and the U.S SAT in the spring of 2023 will still remain in-person. 

Even with the new format, there are a number of things that will be the same. Scores will still remain on a 1600 scale. In addition, all students will be required to take the SAT in a school or a test center. The CollegeBoard emphasizes that there will still be a proctor present, and students are not allowed to take the exam remotely. This is to ensure the safety of the exam and to prevent any violations of academic integrity. Khan Academy will continue to be a source of practice, and the exam will still let students connect to various opportunities. The CollegeBoard claims that with the decrease in SAT score requirements for many colleges, their primary aim is to make the testing experience easier for students and for proctors. 

The CollegeBoard promises a better testing environment, so there are some notable differences between the current version of the exam and the one to be offered soon. Students will be able to take the SAT on a laptop or a tablet. The CollegeBoard will let students take it on their personal device, or a device that the proctor will provide on the test day. Most notable is a shorter test experience. The SAT will only take about two hours instead of three. It will feature concepts more relevant to the high school curriculum, with shorter reading passages. The math problems will be less wordy and students will be allowed to use their calculator on the entire exam, something that effectively gets rid of the no calculator SAT section. A graphing calculator will be built into the testing app, but students are still allowed to bring their own calculator. Another noteworthy change is the fact that the new SAT will be more secure and flexible. Each student will be seeing a unique version of the test, so there may not be a single QAS (Question Answer Service) that goes out after the test results are released. Schools and districts will have greater flexibility as to when to offer the test as well— there may not be set test dates as there are currently.

Now that the exam is set to be digital, there will be a much faster score delivery. Students will get the information they need in days, rather than extended periods of time as before. Overall, the SAT has been redesigned to provide for a much smoother test taking experience and to promote more students to take the SAT. Although there is some wait time before the online version actually goes into effect, it is a worthwhile consideration to make for current and rising freshmen, who will be the first to take this new digital exam.