Big changes are coming to the SAT starting in 2023-2024, the College Board recently announced. Here’s what parents need to know.
SAT Changes Next Year
The SAT changes will make the globally recognized college admission test almost unrecognizable. The biggest change is that the test will now be given online. High school students will take the test on a personal or school-issued laptop or tablet. If students don’t have a device to use, the College Board will provide one for use on test day
“The digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant,” said Priscilla Rodriguez, vice president of college readiness assessments at the College Board, the nonprofit organization that owns the SAT exam. “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. With input from educators and students, we are adapting to ensure we continue to meet their evolving needs.”
The test will be shorter, too. It will now take two hours to complete, instead of three, with more time per question. There will be shorter reading passages with one question tied to each. Passages will reflect a wider range of topics that represent the works students read in college.
Students struggling in math can breathe a sigh of relief. Calculators will be allowed through the entire math portion of the test. Test scores will be given back in days, instead of weeks.
The changes were decided upon after the College Board piloted the digital SAT in the United States and internationally in November 2021. The results showed that 80% of students responded that they found the test to be less stressful, and 100% of educators reported having a positive experience.
“It felt a lot less stressful, and whole lot quicker than I thought it’d be,” said Natalia Cossio, an 11th grade student from Fairfax County, VA, who participated in the digital pilot. “The shorter passages helped me concentrate more on what the question wanted me to do. Plus, you don’t have to remember to bring a calculator or a pencil.”
Although the SAT changes are very student-friendly, parents and educators worried about cheating can rest easy. Every test will be unique, making it almost impossible to share answers.
Unlike administering a paper-and-pencil test, educators will no longer have to deal with packing, sorting or shipping test materials, the College Board said.
Along with the changes that make the SAT shorter and easier to administer, states, districts, and schools will have more options for when, where, and how often they administer the SAT—rather than adhering to a fixed schedule, according to the College Board.
What is Staying in Place
The SAT will continue to be administered in a school or test center with a proctor present—not at home.
The test will still be scored out of a possible 1600.
The SAT will be delivered digitally internationally beginning in 2023 and in the United States in 2024. The PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 8/9 will be delivered digitally in 2023 with the PSAT 10 following in 2024.
More information about the changes can be found at SAT.org/digital.