The SAT Becomes Digital


Image provided by Marco Verch Professional, used under a Creative Commons BY 2.0 license

Pranav Gonuguntla, Staff Writer 

The College Board announced that the SAT, a standardized test historically used for college admissions in the United States, will be taken digitally beginning in 2023 for international students and 2024 for domestic students. The digital test, which is no longer required in most universities as of mid-2021, will still be scored out of 1600; however, it will take two hours instead of three. 

Due to health and safety concerns, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it extremely difficult for many students to take the exam, and with most universities having gone test blind and test-optional over the course of the pandemic, the SAT has become a less necessary factor for student’s college applications. More broadly, performance on the SAT has been shown to be strongly correlated with a student’s wealth and socioeconomic background.

“It’s a step in the right direction towards making the SAT more accessible to all parties,” junior Atticus Hu said. “It’s an overall positive change, but I am concerned about the measures the college board will take to make sure the scores and students’ data [are] secure.”

The digital SAT also has other benefits including saving both time and effort on the part of the teams administering it. The lack of physical paper tests will also be more environmentally friendly.

“I think it’s a good thing for the SAT to go digital because it would reduce the amount of paper wasted and would allow those who take the SAT to know their scores earlier than those who took the SAT in previous years,” junior Lawrence Du said. “And because there will supposedly be more time per question, I believe that it will put less pressure on students when taking the test.”

A decrease in stress would additionally allow students to allocate more time to focusing on other activities. 

“I think the SAT going digital and becoming shorter by 2024 will definitely alleviate some stress for future students taking it,” senior Jasmine Nourisamie said. “As a result of this, students might be able to focus on extracurriculars and classes more than studying for a standardized test.”

Overall, most UHS students see the digitization of the SAT as a positive step in making the college application process more equitable for all students.