The SAT Is Now Online: Here’s what You Need To Know

Hayoon Song

College Board announced that the SAT test will be taken online internationally starting in 2023 and in the U.S. from 2024. This change impacts many students, starting from this year’s sophomores. But before we get to know more details, let’s look into what exactly the SAT is.

The SAT test is what many universities and colleges use for making decisions regarding student admissions. The total number of points is 1600, and there are three sections: reading, writing and language, and math. In total, the SAT test takes about three hours to complete. Students can retake the test many times when it is offered in March, May, June, August, October, November, and December each year.

The SAT test initially had two sections: the SAT I and the SAT II. There was also an optional essay. The SAT I was similar to the current version, but the SAT II offered specific subject tests, some of which include English Literature, history, language, math, and science. Subject tests were scored on a 200 to 800-point scale, and students received one point for a correct answer and -¼ points for an incorrect answer. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SAT II and essay were canceled and are no longer available.

Starting in 2024, the SAT test will be taken online. The time will be shortened from three to two hours and the reading section will be more concise, with briefer texts and fewer questions. The results will be released more quickly, and officials of College Board believe that this change will make the exam less stressful for many students. “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,” said Priscilla Rodriguez, the vice president of College Board. She explained that their hope was to provide many choices to students.

This isn’t the only change that’s happening regarding the SAT test, though. Many colleges and universities are now adopting a policy that gives students a choice when providing test scores. There are different types of options, and two are test-optional and test-blind schools. Test-optional schools allow students to either submit or not submit their test scores. If a student chooses to leave out their test score in their application, then the admissions committee will look more closely at other portions. Test-blind schools do not look at the test scores at all. Many educational institutions believe that these choices will give opportunities to more students.

What does this mean for students? Some experts believe that this change will give students who feel disadvantaged by their SAT scores more opportunities to try out for more colleges. However, others claim that SAT tests are a crucial part of admissions that have been impacting decisions since 1926 and should continue to do so. In the end, it is important for everyone – students, families, and educators – to be aware of how these changes can affect our lives.

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