Late last week, the College Board announced that the SAT, one of the nation’s two most prominent college admission exams, will be completely digital in the US by 2024. Changes will begin internationally in 2023.
The test administration is not the only change the College Board is making. The new SAT will now be two hours instead of the previous three and include some content changes. These changes include now allowing a calculator for the entire math section and shorter, more current reading passages.
For many, these alterations come as a surprise. However, as more and more universities become test-optional, a change in the exam itself may be necessary. In a January 25 NPR story, Priscilla Rodriguez, a representative of the College Board, said The College Board hopes that its changes will make students more likely to use the test as a part of their applications.
“The digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant,” Rodriguez said.
Still, for students at RHS, the changes seem slightly out of touch.
“I think the College Board has seen that people are starting to gravitate away from the SAT and standardized testing in general,” Eva Egeghy, a Riverside senior, said, “and they saw that as ‘Oh, you want it on a computer?’ So it seems like they’re saying they’re addressing the problem without actually addressing the problem.”
The SAT has long been a stressful experience for high school juniors and seniors. The new format and content have the potential to move stress away from the SAT, like the College Board hopes, or it could alter how the exam, and others like it, are seen by students and admissions counselors alike.
Some upperclassmen felt a sense of resentment when they learned of the change.
“Though I understand the College Board’s actions, I wish they would be consistent. It just feels wrong to suddenly flip the entire system,” said senior Mackenzie Norman, who has taken the SAT on paper.