The digital SAT will be 'shorter, simpler, and perhaps easier'

·2 min read
Standardized test form.
Standardized test form. gece33/iStock.

In a monumental change for college-aspiring students everywhere, the infamous SAT admissions exam is not only moving entirely online, but also becoming a "shorter, simpler, and perhaps easier test," reports The Wall Street Journal.

"The digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant," said Priscilla Rodriguez of the College Board, the organization that runs the exam. The change will begin in 2023 for international students and 2024 for students in the U.S., per the Journal.

In addition to a drop in testing time from three hours to two, the new digital exam will "include shorter reading passages and allow students to use a calculator on the math section," adds NPR. Though the test will still be administered at a testing center or a school, students will be able to choose between provided devices or their own. Math problems will be "less wordy," and scores, which will still be out of 1,600 points, will be returned in days rather than weeks, the Journal notes.

The new format also allows for unique testing forms for every student, making it "practically impossible to share answers," the College Board said.

Executive director of Fair Test and standardized testing critic Bob Schaeffer wasn't impressed by the updates.

"Shifting an unnecessary, biased, coachable, and poorly predictive multiple-choice exam that few schools currently require from pencil-and-paper delivery to an electronic format does not magically transform it into a more accurate, fairer or valid tool for assessing college readiness," he told the Los Angeles Times.

But for international students, the changes could allow for greater test access and fewer administration roadblocks.

"Testing internationally has been very problematic," College Board Trustee John Barnhill told the Journal. "There aren't as many tests available, and sometimes there are some dramatic cancellations."

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