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SAT Test to go fully digital: College Board

SAT Test to go fully digital: College Board

January 25, 2022

College Board announced on Tuesday that the SAT® Suite of Assessments will be delivered digitally. In November 2021, College Board had piloted the digital SAT in the U.S. and internationally. 80 percent of students responded that they found it to be less stressful and 100 percent of the educators reported having a positive experience.

While the transition to digital will bring a number of student-educator-friendly changes, many important features of the SAT Suite (SAT, PSAT/NMSQT®, PSAT 10, PSAT 8/9) will stay the same. The SAT Suite will continue to measure the knowledge and skills that students are learning in high school and that matter most for college and career readiness. The SAT will still be scored on a 1600 scale, and educators and students can continue to track growth across the SAT Suite of Assessments over time. The assessments will continue to be administered in a school or in a test center with a proctor presence—not at home. Students will still have access to free practice resources on Khan Academy. And students taking the SAT Suite will continue to connect to scholarships and the College Board National Recognition Programs.

What’s Changing:

  • The digital SAT will be shorter—about two hours instead of three for the current SAT, with more time per question.
  • The digital test will feature shorter reading passages with one question tied to each and passages will reflect a wider range of topics that represent the works students read in college.
  • Calculators will be allowed on the entire Math section.
  • Students and educators will get scores back in days, instead of weeks.
  • Digital SAT Suite score reports will also connect students to information and resources about local two-year college, workforce training programs, and career options.

“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.”

With the transition to digital tests, College Board is working to address inequities in access to technology. Students will be able to use their own device (laptop or tablet) or a school-issued device. If students don’t have a device to use, College Board will provide one for use on test day. If a student loses connectivity or power, the digital SAT has been designed to ensure they won’t lose their work or time while they reconnect.

The changes will also make the SAT more secure. With the current paper and pencil SAT, if one test form is compromised it can mean canceling administrations or canceling scores for a whole group of students. Going digital allows every student to receive a unique test form, so it will be practically impossible to share answers.

The SAT will be delivered digitally internationally beginning in 2023 and in the U.S. in 2024. The PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 8/9 will be delivered digitally in 2023 with the PSAT10 following in 2024.

More information about the changes can be found at SAT.org/digital.

“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, VA 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.”

In the same pilot, every test proctor who participated responded that the experience administering the digital SAT was the same or better than administering the current paper-and-pencil test. Educators will no longer have to deal with packing, sorting, or shipping test materials. And with changes that make the SAT shorter and easier to administer, states, districts, and schools will have more options for when, where, and how often they administer the SAT—rather than adhering to a fixed schedule. 

“It’s encouraging to see the positive feedback from students and educators who participated in the pilots for the digital SAT. The changes to the test are timely and clearly centered around improving the student experience,” said Ronné Turner, Vice Provost for Admissions & Financial Aid at Washington University in St. Louis. 

Also Read:United States: End of public exams?

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