The College Board, which develops and administers the SAT and PSAT exams, has announced it will move to a fully online format in the future.
The standardized testing world was dealt a major blow with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as test sites around the world shut their doors and students were unable to sit for the exams. Colleges, universities, the NCAA, the NAIA, and other higher education entities waived their testing requirements in response, but in many cases, it was a temporary measure until the world “opened up again.”
The College Board responded by overhauling the format and delivery of the SAT, its second major change to the exam in less than a year. Last February, the College Board eliminated the single-topic SAT Subject Tests as well as the essay portion of the SAT.
This time, the College Board has created an entirely digital format. The exam will be approximately two hours long, instead of three, and the content will be dynamic – meaning that a student’s performance on earlier questions in the test will determine the degree of difficulty of subsequent questions. Reading passages will be shorter with only one question per passage. Calculators will be permitted for all math questions. Students will be allowed to take the test on their own computers, although only at school or a test center, and scores will be available in days, not weeks.
“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 digital SAT will debut in 2023 with the PSAT and the international SAT, and in 2024 with the domestic SAT. International students in the class of 2024 (current 10th graders) and U.S. students in the class of 2025 (current 9th graders) will be the first to be affected by the changes.