Students will soon need to put down their pencils and pick up their laptops to take the SAT, which will soon be exclusively online beginning 2024, and it will be an hour shorter.
On Tuesday, the College Board announced that it will shift to online standardized tests for American students in 2024. The shift will begin in 2023 for International students.
"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 change comes as 80 percent of students reported they found the exam to be less stressful during a piloted digital SAT administered in the U.S. and internationally in November 2021. The College Board said 100 percent of educators had a positive experience with this format.
While the method of testing will shift, many "important features" of the SAT suite will stay the same in measuring the knowledge and skills that students are learning in high school and that matter most for college and career readiness. Despite these changes, the SAT will still be scored out of 1600 and be administered in a school or test center.
Among the changes: the digital SAT will be shorter—about two hours instead of three for the current SAT, with more time per question. According to the College Board, 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 in the entire Math section.
Students and educators will receive scores in a matter of days instead of weeks. Additionally, the digital SAT Suite score reports will also connect students to information and resources about local two-year colleges, workforce training programs, and career options.
The College Board said it is working to address inequalities in access to technology with this digital transition. Students will be able to use their laptops, tablet, or school-issued device. Those without a device will be provided one by the College Board on the day of the exam.
According to the College Board, the digital SAT has been designed to ensure students won't lose their work or time in the event they lose power during the test.
Several testimonies from students who participated in the fall pilot are highlighted on the College Board's website. Many expressed how the new format lowered testing anxiety.
"I like how easy the setup was overall, the quick instructions on test day, and the VERY MUCH less stressful test format," said Danielle, a U.S. student who took the pilot digital SAT." It was way less stressful and had less cumbersome instructions."
"On the digital SAT, I can see exactly how much time I had remaining was very convenient. The reading passages were shorter but still very challenging. As an English learner, I felt like it measured my English skill better than a lengthy essay," said Rune, a Digital SAT pilot student from China.