SAT changes are a step in the right direction

SAT changes are a step in the right direction

Savannah Schultis

If you’re a high school student, I can almost guarantee that you’ve thought about the SAT before. Whether this exam causes feelings of anxiety, or you couldn’t care less, every high school student has to decide whether or not they want to take it. Perhaps more students will be willing to take the exam as the College Board has recently decided that the paper and pencil SAT will become digital for U.S. students in March of 2024, making the class of 2025 the first to take this digital format.

The digital version will still include the same structure and content, be graded on a 1600-point scale, and will be taken in school or at a testing center. The differences include the length of the exam (from three hours to two hours), shorter reading passages, and less wordy math questions. In addition, calculators will be allowed for the entirety of the math section and scores will be sent in days instead of weeks.

I think it’s great that the College Board is creating an exam that is more relevant and easier to take. I believe that the SAT does not always reflect the academic character of a student…A three-hour exam should not overshadow a four-year high school transcript that an individual has built.”

I took the SAT in the spring of 2021 during my junior year. Although I had previously taken the PSAT and had some sort of expectation, I was still very stressed out about the SAT. I felt as though I would run out of time, not comprehend reading passages, or get stumped on math problems.

Just from the information that the College Board has provided about the digital exam, it sounds significantly less difficult and stressful. According to Priscilla Rodriguez, the Vice President of the College Readiness Assessments at College Board, the digital SAT will be a “better, more flexible test that’s easier to take, easier to give, more secure, and more relevant.”

I think it’s great that the College Board is creating an exam that is more relevant and easier to take. I believe that the SAT does not always reflect the academic character of a student, as some students have test anxiety. A three-hour exam should not overshadow a four-year high school transcript that an individual has built. This also corresponds with the decision of many colleges which have decided to make taking the SAT optional for admission. The College Board is following their lead and placing less emphasis on the exam.

I support the College Board’s decision in making the SAT easier and more relevant and I hope it alleviates stress surrounding the exam. With all things considered, a digital SAT is definitely a step in the right direction.