College Board Drastically Alters SAT

The SAT test has been administered on paper since 1926 with multiple choice bubbles to fill in with a No. 2 pencil. In 2024, however, there will be no need for either pencils or answer sheets, due to the test going digital. (Credit:

The College Board has announced several changes to the SAT that will make it easier for students in 2024 and onward to take the test, starting with the transition to going digital.


“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. To allow everyone to take the test digitally, the College Board will allow students to use their own device, a school issued device, or provide one for use on test day for students without access to the technology. Running out of power or losing connection is also taken into account since the test saves its progress automatically and ensures that time isn’t lost when a mishap occurs.


However, the digital SAT also comes with several changes to the test format itself. Instead of three hours, the new SAT will take two hours and give more time for students to answer each question. The reading passages will be shorter, with only one question to answer for each, and the passages will feature a larger variety of topics to simulate the works students read in college. Both parts of the math section will allow calculators as well, and because of the efficiency of going digital, scores will be released days after taking the test instead of weeks. Along with these changes, every student will receive a unique test form to make the test more secure.


Junior Anjelica Wu said, “[With these changes,] I think the SAT would rule less of an important factor in the college application process, unless the SAT helps you… Making the SAT more efficient and more practical in its use would make the SAT a more beneficial factor—a kind of ‘it will only help you’ factor instead of what it is now, where the SAT is considered as important as a factor to your college admission chances.”


(Credit: College Board)

The only aspects of the SAT that will remain the same is that the test will continue to be administered in test centers with a proctor to monitor the students. The SAT will also continue to be scored out of 1600, and the opportunity to connect with colleges, scholarships, and recognition programs will still be available.


Like many others to whom the changes don’t apply, junior Terra Wu expresses concerns. “I feel like the new changes sort of delegitimize the SATs as in it’s not the test it used to be and is shifting to something else entirely… I think with the SATs slowly becoming optional, this change makes sense, but I think it’s unfair in how it changes how the test is taken entirely,” said Wu. 


As of now, the changes have been planned to take place in 2024 in the United States and in 2023 internationally. Along with the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 8/9 will also be administered digitally in 2023, along with the PSAT 10 in 2024.