By Brendan O’Brien
High school students will use laptops rather than pencils and paper to take the SAT college admissions exam beginning in 2024, in a move to digitize the standardized test whose use has declined during the pandemic and as many universities no longer require it for admission.
Students who take the new digitized SAT — once a stress-inducing rite of passage for nearly all college-bound Americans — will have two instead of three hours to answer questions and will face shorter reading passages, the College Board said in a statement on Tuesday. Test-takers may also use a calculator for the math portion to the exam.
“The digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant,” said Priscilla Rodriguez, a vice president at the nonprofit organization that develops the test. “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.”
For decades, high school students applying to college would sit in rooms with other test takers and a monitor, and use a pencil to fill in bubbles on a piece of paper corresponding to their answers on the multiple-choice test. The exam is made up of a math and a reading and writing sections and is scored on a 1,600 score scale.
In November 2021, College Board conducted a pilot program for a digital SAT in the United States and other countries. Four out of every five test takers said they found the digital version less stressful.