SAT college admissions test going digital in 2024

Posted at 7:51 PM, Jan 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 19:52:03-05

(LEX 18) — Starting in 2024, the SAT college admissions test will be delivered digitally, according to College Board's announcement Tuesday.

The test will also be shortened from three hours to two hours, and students can expect to receive scores in days as opposed to weeks.

Other changes to the test's content can be found here.

Corbin High School sophomore Zachary Clifton said he plans to take the new digital test before he graduates in 2024.

"It's more with the times," Clifton said. "It's more modern. It's more innovative."

Clifton said he believes he will score higher because he won't be as fatigued due to the shortened length.

"Overall, I think it's a great step," he said. "I think College Board made the right choice."

Sean Smith, the President of The College Project, a college prep business, is also applauding the move to digital.

"I don't see any negatives to it at all," Smith said.

He believes the test will be more streamlined and convenient, and that students will end up preferring the digital version over the print.

"Students have taken virtual classes, online classes during COVID for a long time, so they've gotten used to taking online classes and online tests, so I don't think it will be a huge transition for them," he said.

Also aiding with the transition, College Board said a device will be provided on test day for students who don't have one.

With the shift away from paper, there's also a shift away from the test altogether. Millions of students still take the test every year, according to College Board, but more and more colleges are opting for a "test-optional" admissions process.

Here in Kentucky, our largest public schools, the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, along with others, are currently "test-optional."

Wake Forest professor and standardized testing expert, Joseph Soares said the SAT should be eliminated from the college admissions process altogether.

"The SAT is a biased and predictably weak test that has never been given us important information over and above what one can give from a high school transcript," he said.

He argues using grades makes admissions more fair and diverse, and choosing based on test scores narrows the pool and candidates to overwhelmingly rich and disproportionately white families.

"Part of the gap has to do with economics," he said. "Part of the gap has to do with the types of schools people are at. Part of the gap has to do with the fact that it's a normed scored test, and part of the gap has to do with the algorithm that kicks out the questions that mess up the bell curve. And that algorithm penalizes women and minorities more than it does white men."

Smith said he believes colleges will eventually do away with the test, but until then, he'll be preparing students like Zachary Clifton to score high on the exam that's going digital in two years' time.

Free practice exams are offered through Khan Academy.

There are three SAT dates for the rest of the school year: March 12, May 7, and June 4.