Decatur High School, GA

3TEN

Decatur High School, GA

3TEN

Decatur High School, GA

3TEN

DHS evacuated due to strong gas scent

Digital SAT: What to expect

Digital+SAT%3A+What+to+expect

Starting in January of 2024, the SAT is going completely digital. Current Juniors taking the test this fall will be testing on paper, however, the digital SAT will be the only option after December. ACT/SAT tutor Diana Bush states, “This is the first big change for the SAT since 2018, as the test content, as well as format, will be very different.”

Because the test is online, students are allowed to use their own devices, including laptops and iPads. Testing sites must have devices available for students who do not own or bring personal computers, but it is not yet clear how many devices individual schools will have available on specific testing days.

“The test is also drastically shorter,” says Bush, “Students will have 64 minutes to complete the reading and writing sections and 70 minutes to complete the math section.” The math section now allows calculator use for the entirety; the non-calculator section has been eliminated. Additionally, students may use their personal calculators or use the online graphing calculator that will be available with the test. For the reading section, long passages are being replaced with short stories, sometimes only a paragraph long with one question per reading. More information regarding the condensation of the sections can be found on the College Board website. 

“Similar to standardized testing like MAP testing, the digital SAT is adaptive,” states Bush. This means students must get a certain number of questions or specific difficult questions correct on each section before they gain access to harder or higher level questions. If students miss a certain number of questions, they will be given easier questions. Not gaining access to higher-level questions translates to students not earning a higher digital SAT score. According to Bush, “The College Board has not been transparent concerning how many questions need to be answered correctly for a student to be given access to the higher-level questions.”

One main reason for the shift to digital, according to Bush, is to “make the tests easier, both for the students and the administrators.” The online SAT is considered to be more efficient as it is shorter and easier to grade. According to the College board, 80% of polled High School Students said that they preferred the digital SAT because it is less stressful. 

According to Bush, “There are both pros and cons with the new digital SAT, and students will appreciate the shortened test length.” She is concerned by College Board’s lack of transparency, as students with no idea about how many correct answers are needed to achieve a high score or even how the test is scored. Bush predicts that “more students will likely choose the ACT over the digital SAT while they work out their system.”

 

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Kate Sherwood, Writer
Kate Sherwood (class of 2025) is in her third year of the Convergence Media program. She loves running, hanging out with friends, and reading.