The College Board announced that the SAT will become entirely digital beginning in 2023 for international students and 2024 for students in the United States.
The SAT will still be scored on the 1600 scale and administered in a physical test center with a proctor. Students will get their scores quicker — in days, rather than weeks — and the test will be two hours instead of three. The Reading section will feature shorter passages, and a calculator will be allowed on both Math sections instead of just one.
CNBC reported that when the virtual SAT was piloted in 2021, 80% of students said it was less stressful than in person.
“The digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant,” College Board Vice President of College Readiness Assessments Priscilla Rodriguez said in the press release.
Students will be able to use their own laptop or tablet to take the exam. If students do not have access to one, College Board will provide them with a laptop to use during the test.
According to NPR, the test is designed with an autosave feature. In the event that students lose internet connection while taking the test, they will not lose any work or time.
College Board added in the press release that the digital SAT will ensure more security. Each student will have a unique test — preventing them from sharing answers with their peers.
The change comes after many colleges and universities made standardized tests optional in their admissions cycles amid COVID-19. The Common Application reported that the number of colleges that require standardized test scores decreased from 55% to 5% during the 2021-2022 academic year. In June 2020, Penn announced that standardized tests would be optional for applicants in the 2020-2021 admissions cycle.
College Board added in the press release that it believes the online SAT format will be fairer for all students.
“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,” Rodriguez said.