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The SAT is going digital (and it’s getting shorter)

What to know about the new SAT exam plan

SHARE The SAT is going digital (and it’s getting shorter)
A student looks at questions.

In this photo taken Jan. 17, 2016, a student looks at questions during a college test preparation class at Holton Arms School in Bethesda, Md. College Board has announced that the SAT exam will go fully digital in 2024.

Alex Brandon, Associated Press

The SAT is going fully digital.

The news: College Board announced Tuesday that the SAT exam will go fully digital, taken exclusively on a computer instead of with a pencil, The New York Times reports.

  • Students will be asked to complete the test on laptops or tablets.
  • The new SAT will be shorter, too, lasting for two hours instead of three.
  • The changes will begin in 2024 in the U.S. and 2023 in other countries.
  • There are no plans to allow digital tests to be taken at home, per The Washington Post.

Why it matters: “The College Board is trying to retool the exam that has stressed out millions of students in the face of questions about whether college admissions tests are fair, or even necessary,” according to The New York Times.

What they’re saying: “The digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant,” said Priscilla Rodriguez, vice president of College Readiness Assessments at College Board, according to CNN. “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 bigger picture: This is yet another change to the SAT as education itself is changing across the country.

  • “A growing number of colleges have eliminated the requirement that applicants submit scores from the SAT or the competing ACT, and the trend of ‘test-optional’ admissions accelerated greatly during the coronavirus pandemic,” per The New York Times.