CollegeBoard recently announced that the SAT standardized test will imbibe a major change in its process and in the way of giving the exam. The SAT will move from a pen-and-paper mode to being completely digitized from 2024, with international students being offered the Digital SAT from 2023. The exam length will be shorter, the comprehensive passage reading part will be easier, and the test questions will be more adaptive for the students. 

The pattern of SAT usually changes once over a decade and the last change took place in 2016. But the present changing patterns of SAT carry a significant change in the exam as well as for the students who will be appearing for it.

But the question that arises is, what is the new SAT? 

The SAT is a multiple-choice exam that aims at the process of predicting “college readiness” among high school students. Many colleges and universities look at students’ scores in addition to their grades, extracurricular activities, recommendation letters, and essays to determine admissions decisions. Aside from a new digital format, other adjustments to the SAT include a shortened test, allowance of graphing calculators throughout the math portion, and faster results. 

Let’s look through the New SAT changes in-depth starting with,

  • Digital Format:  With the major changes in the digital format, the test will be adaptive, which changes the level of question difficulty for subsequent questions based on a student’s performance. Though the mode of the exam has been transformed into a digital format based, the student doesn’t get the freedom to attend it from home, it will take place under the watchful eye of the proctor. The exam will be conducted over a laptop or tablet.  Additionally, the digital test is designed in such a way that ensures that students won’t lose their work in the event of a broadband issue or power outage and will check upon their growth as well. 
  • Authorized use of calculators: The ongoing current SAT exam is divided into two parts mainly a non-calculator and a portion that can be used in one section. But with the recent changes, calculators are allowed in the entire Math section. Students carry the freedom to either bring their graphing calculator or use one that’s embedded into the exam, which experts say reduces test day barriers. 
  • Duration of the exam: Earlier the students used to get 3 hours to complete the exam, but with the major changes, the duration is cut down to 2 hours for the students as the changing pattern succumbs with that period. 
  • Availability of scores: The scores used to get available around two weeks, now with the new changing pattern scores will be available within days. Along with that score, reports were used to connect students with various scholarships, information of the colleges, and practice recommendations, but now the reports will connect students and open up the opportunity into workforce training and two-year college programs for their experience. 
  • Previously, multiple students used to appear in the same form of test, with the changing pattern, each student will be provided with unique test forms in SAT. 

With the redesign of the pattern of SAT, the exam is getting easier and along with that, the college board carries the opportunity to advertise the difference between the current SAT and the digital SAT and how it is going to be effective. 

Making the exam shorter will reduce the burden of going through each of the difficult reading passages, which will be easier and the CollegeBoard will no longer penalize the students for incorrect answers. Therefore, the major change is for the 2023 digital SAT to be a more user-friendly version of the test for the students in coping with the changing pattern.