Out with the old, in with the new


The days of paper SAT will be gone by 2024 for US students. The College Board will now proctor exams that are more relevant to the evolving times. Photo courtesy of The New York Times

Orlyanka Tantchou, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The SAT is a standardized test sent to colleges that evaluates students’ abilities in Reading, Writing and Language, and Math.

The test has been on paper for over 90 years, until now.

On January 25, 2022, College Board announced that the SAT will be all-digital by 2024, along with the digital release of the international SAT and PSATs in 2023.

The pandemic moved College Board to make their decision in hopes of reducing teens’ stress.

Especially since many universities, notably Harvard, are making the submission of SAT scores optional due to the toll COVID took on learning.

Before coming to this conclusion, College Board proctored a digital test in November 2021 with students internationally and in the US, with 80% of students did not find it as taxing as the paper SAT.

A junior from Fairfax, VA who participated in the pilot digital exam, Natalia Cossio said, “It felt a lot less stressful, and a whole lot quicker than I thought it’d be. 

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.”

Educators and administers have the advantage of not packing and transporting test materials.

The test will be administered at a school testing center using a device of choice.

The test that was once three hours is now two, but it will still be scored out of 1600.

The shortened time allows more time to read resources and answer questions. 

The SAT reading passages are also said to include works that are commonly read in college.

The SAT will now favor shorter passages that have 1-3 questions each.

The form of the test has changed as well becoming section-adaptive, meaning the system chooses the difficulty of the second section based on the student’s results in section 1.

The class of 2025, current freshmen, will be the first students to experience the SAT digitally.

Loretto freshman, Angela Johny said, “I think taking it on the computer is more convenient but at the same time distracting.

I would prefer to take it on paper because staring at the screen for a long time might give headaches or hurt your eyes after a while.”

Another perk to the digital switch is that calculators will be authorized throughout the entire math section.

The all-digital test also permits scores to be accessible within days of completion and will give helpful career and colleges suggestions.