SAT College Admissions Test Will Be Fully Digital by 2024

by Victoria Santiago

The standardized SAT college admissions test will be going completely digital by 2024. The test has been being used less and less by academic institutions. In an effort to streamline the test, it’ll be taken fully online. Currently, students have to take the expansive test with a pencil, a bubble form, and a test booklet. They have to sit in a room, at a local testing site, with other test-takers and a monitor. The test is scored out of 1,600 points.

Instead of taking it on paper, in the future students will be able to take it on a range of devices. They will be able to use their own laptop or tablet, or a device loaned to them by their school or College Board. Even though the test will be online, test-takers will still have to meet at a local testing site.

Reuters reports that the online test will first become available in 2023 to international students. Starting in 2024, the test will be available for US students to take online.

The SAT Test Might Be Falling to the Wayside

Since the pandemic, fewer colleges and universities are requiring the test score to apply. This is due to a couple of different things. First off, many people are beginning to wonder how useful standardized testing really is. Of course, COVID-19 restrictions have also made it harder to take the test in person. College Board stated that the number of test-takers has gone drastically. There were 2.2 million class of 2020 students that took the test. To compare, some 1.5 million class of 2021 students took the test.

There’s also another reason that has caused lower amounts of testing – people just aren’t enrolling in college. Since the pandemic started in 2020, there have been 1 million fewer students in college. Just for the Fall 2021 semester, there was a 3.1% drop in enrollment.

College Admissions Are Stressful – A Digital SAT Test Reduces That Stress

In addition to moving online, the stressful college admissions test is also getting shorter. According to a statement that College Board released this week, test time will go from three hours to two hours. In addition to that, the reading passages will be shorter and test-takers will be able to use a calculator for the math parts of the test. “The digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant,” said Priscilla Rodriguez. “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.” Rodriguez is a VP at the nonprofit organization that develops the test.

The college admissions test, which is made up of math, reading, and writing sections, has already had online pilot tests. These pilot tests happened in November 2021. Four out of five students who took the SAT online found it to be less stressful than the paper test.