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All About The New SAT

by Daniel Lee

In the past, the SAT has always been on paper. This has been the norm for years and years. However, due to the recent developments and innovations in technology, the College Board has started to initiate and implement digital testing with the SAT, 97 years after its inception. Thus, the educational world has been drastically impacted by digital progression. This article will serve as an informative piece, in order to educate readers on the changes made with the new online SAT.

History Of The SAT 

To start things off, however, it is crucial to understand the history of the SAT and its origin. Therefore, the SAT was originally created as a military IQ test during the first World War, by psychologist Robert Yerkes. He was tasked with creating a program that accurately assessed those eligible to become officers. A man by the name of Carl Brigham, was a co-creator of the “Army Alpha test”, and later utilized the exam for college admissions, wanting to separate and highlight the top applicants to more prestigious schools. Consequently, the first ever SAT was administered by the College Board in the year of 1926. As time went by, more and more educational institutions began to incorporate the standardized testing system within their application process. For example, Harvard, by the year of 1936, enforced all students to apply with their SAT score. Furthermore, it is important to consider the era in which the SAT was first created, in order to properly determine potential controversies that arose with the usage of the SAT. To add on, a major controversy that erupted over the SAT, was the alleged racial bias present within the assessment. Thus, there were specific questions that were claimed to offer certain races a higher chance of getting correct. Additionally, there was a direct relationship seen between studying and a SAT Score. Therefore, students who had the economic means to take classes or programs and obtain more resources to study, inevitably had higher scores than individuals without an adequate number of funds. This created a gap between the rich and the poor. There have also been significant changes made to the test over the years, such as the transition from a 1600 point SAT to a 2400 point SAT, back to a standardized assessment scored out of 1600. Also, there have been sections added to the test that have been quickly removed. Recently, however, more and more schools are becoming test-optional institutions; students are not obligated to submit their SAT scores with their application. Despite this shift in policy, there are still a high number of students that take these tests in order to help boost their application and resume. Now, new changes in the SAT have been proposed and set to be integrated within the program, altering the assessment forever.

Changes Implemented With The Digital SAT:

It is important to be aware of the new policies and guidelines with the new digital version of the SAT. There will be several critical changes seen with the SAT, and it is essential that parents and students have a full understanding of what is to come with education and the college admissions process. Thus, students must learn how to prepare for the SAT differently. In the international space, students have already begun to take the SAT in a digital format. This is because the digital SAT was implemented in the spring of 2023 for students residing outside of the US. For students living in America, the digital SAT will be implemented in March of 2024. Therefore, the new digital SAT consists of changes in the item used to take the actual test. Students will now have the option to decide between using a device issued at the registered test center, or a personal/private device brought from their household. However, in order to have access to a device provided by the testing center, it is important that students register for a computer to take the assessment. Hence, because of this freedom, students will have to install certain programs to insure the validity and integrity of their results. It is important that guardians and students both look over and download every single program listed as mandatory in order to take the SAT. Some guidelines include a requirement that the device should be able to connect to Wi-FI and be connected to Bluetooth platforms used by CollegeBoard.

To further expand, unlike the physical SAT, the digital SAT will allow for the usage of a calculator on all parts of the Math section. Test-takers will have the freedom to choose between an approved personal calculator or the one built into the program. For the reading and writing sections, in the new SAT, the two subjects will be combined into one. Additionally, there will be a stark contrast in the number of modules and questions used by the SAT to assess a student’s understanding of Reading & Writing. There will be 2 modules of the two subjects, with each module consisting of 27 questions, in which 32 minutes will be allotted as the test time. Finally, it is critical to keep in mind that the new SAT will adapt to a student’s skill or mastery in the subject. The type of questions a student receives in following modules will be based on how well they did on the previous module.

How To Prepare For The SAT: 

With all of this in mind, the way a student should prepare is slightly different. Still, one of the best ways a student can prepare to take the SAT is by utilizing the free practice tests offered online from trustworthy sources. Additionally, if necessary, students should seek extra help in the form of tutors, or preparatory programs to help ensure their success. All in all, it is important to practice one’s skills and mastery with particular subjects. Taking other tests, such as the PSAT (“Practice” SAT) can aid in discovering a student’s strengths and weaknesses. It is also important to allot an adequate amount of time to study for the SAT, as it is one of the most crucial assessments an individual can take in their academic career. A student must dedicate time and effort in order to receive a high score on a SAT, helping to further their understanding of hard work and dedication.

















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