Within the changing landscape of college admissions, the SAT remains an important factor. Created in 1926, The Scholarship Aptitude Test (SAT) has undergone many changes since its beginning, but it is about to face the biggest yet – it is soon to be administered digitally – in a test center or school. During its pilot run last November, 80% of students found the digital SAT to be less stressful than the traditional format.

When will the change occur?

The high school Class of 2025 (current freshmen) will be the first group of students in the United States to take the SAT in the new digital format in the spring of their junior year. Prior to that, the new digital PSAT 8/9, PSAT 10, and PSAT/NMSQT will be offered starting in the fall of 2023. Students will be able to use their own device (laptop or tablet), a school-issued device, or one provided by the College Board.

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What will change?

  • The duration of the SAT will be reduced from three hours to two.
  • Questions will be more concise. Instead of lengthy reading passages with multiple follow-up questions, passages will be shorter with only one question connected to each.
  • Graphing calculators may be used throughout the math portion of the exam.
  • The test will be section-adaptive. Each subject (verbal and math) will be divided into two sections and each student’s performance on the first section will determine the appropriate level of difficulty for the second section.
  • Test scores will be available in a matter of days.
  • Test results will also include resources about local two-year colleges, career options, and workforce training programs.

What will stay the same? The SAT will continue to:

  • Measure the skills and knowledge that students are learning in high school – skills related to reading, writing, and math.
  • Consist of two sections, each scored on an 800-point scale, with the entire test remaining on a 1,600-point scale.
  • Be administered by a proctor in a testing center or school.
  • Provide test accommodations for students who qualify.
  • Coordinate with the National Merit Scholarship program.

The College Board has taken input from students and educators to create an adaptive test that meets the needs of the current population. Priscilla Rodriguez, Vice President of College Readiness Assessments at College Board said, “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.”

The Changing Landscape of Standardized Testing

We recognize that each student has unique ways of approaching standardized tests as well as preferences for the best testing format. Given the upcoming change in the SAT, students should decide whether to take the paper-based exam before the change and whether the longer paper-based non-adaptive ACT is preferred. However, the shorter, adaptive, digital format of the new SAT may suit you best!

At Collegiate Gateway, we are eager to share our expertise and guide you on your admissions strategy and the path to your “best-fit” college. Please don’t hesitate to reach out so we can support you in this exciting process!

Check out our events page for future college admissions presentations.