The SATs Will Be Digital in 2024: What to Know

Photo credit to Depositphotos.

A school-issued chromebook is an acceptable device to take the digital SAT.
Photo credit to Depositphotos. A school-issued chromebook is an acceptable device to take the digital SAT.

The SAT, the Scholastic Assessment Test, is a national exam that is administered by the College Board. As of 2023, it is three hours long and consists of four sections: reading, writing, math (no calculator), and math (calculator). It is used yearly for college admissions as a baseline to compare students’ scores. 

The College Board started creating an IQ test for college admissions, which would first be given to students at Princeton. This version then evolved into the “SAT” in 1926. Over the next century, it would see minor changes and become the standard and requirement of college admissions. 

As of early 2022, the College Board announced that the SATs will be digital in the 2023-24 school year. This has led to some confusion or questions regarding how different the test will be in the coming years. 

I am curious as to how going digital will affect scores on the test, and also I am curious as to how a digital test will play out in the long run especially because many colleges are making SAT/ACT optional,” Brennan Sitzabee said. Sitzabee is a State High junior and will be taking the SATs in March of 2024. “I have heard something about changing a little bit of the formatting of the test, and that is something I am trying to stay aware of as I don’t want my prep to be for nothing.”

The test will be conducted in two hours while staying on the 1600-point scale. Meanwhile, nearly 2,000 universities and colleges have become test-optional according to Fairtest

“We are taking digital PSATs this year,” Jennifer Scudder, State High’s testing coordinator, said. “What that means is everyone will have to use their school device and there is a program that is installed on the device and that is what actually delivers the test.”

The digital SATs will use the Bluebook Testing App, which is supported on School-issued Chromebooks and Mac/Windows devices. Students who do not have access to a device can borrow from their school and may borrow a College Board device if necessary.

“One of the reasons the College Board is going towards the digital test is because they can make it an adaptive test,” Scudder explained. “Rather than everyone having the same questions, every student will see a different set of questions based on how they answer the previous questions and it’s supposed to make the test shorter so that you don’t have to answer as many questions for them to be able to accurately gauge your score.”

Other major changes include the math section, which will consist of only calculator sections. In addition, scores will be more accurate and available to students earlier.

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