On January 25th, 2022, the College Board announced that by 2024, the SAT is planning to go completely digital. The exam, which students will take at testing facilities digitally, will be reduced from three to two hours.
In the face of doubts over whether college admissions exams are fair or even essential, the College Board is attempting to retool the exam that has stressed out millions of children.
The trend of “test-optional” admissions advanced dramatically during the coronavirus epidemic, with an increasing number of universities eliminating the need that applicants submit results from the SAT or the competitive ACT. According to the nonprofit group FairTest, more than 1,800 universities did not require standardized test scores for admissions in 2022.
Some students were appalled and some were thrilled by these new changes. Teens at VOX ATL— in high school and college— had a lot to say about the new formatting of the SAT.
Do you think that this alteration to the SAT is unfair and favoring students following the graduating class of 2023?
“I don’t think the alteration favors students after the graduating class of 2023. However, I wish the classes prior to 2023 got an option to take it in person or online. I think students would perform better if they could take the test in the format they felt most confident in. For me, I get anxious taking tests online because I get nervous that my computer isn’t going to work or something is going to crash. I think it would be beneficial for students to take the SAT in the format that makes them feel most comfortable.” -Belle Chapel, Duluth High School
“I don’t think it’s favoring , I think it’s a much needed change. It may be “unfair” but I think a lot of aspects about SAT are already unfair.” –Adunni Noibi, North Gwinnett High School
“I think it is extremely unfair to the students who will have taken the SAT before 2023. Not only will the new test be digital, but it will be shorter and easier; even worse for those who have waited anxiously for weeks to get their scores returned, the new SAT will return scores in only a few days. Sure, these changes needed to be made, but they should have been made years ago; millions more teens will have to suffer through the stressful paper and pencil format before the changes are implemented.” –Hunter Buchheit, Walton High School
Do you think having the SAT digital will skew/affect the scores?
“It might affect scores a little bit , but I feel like the college board would find a way to leverage it.” –Adunni Noibi, North Gwinnett High School
“I think having the SAT digitally can potentially impact the scores because of cheating. I know the College Board has systems in place to prevent this, but I feel like it is inevitable, and some students will end up cheating no matter what. I think this will skew the scores and make them higher than the traditional in person testing.” –Belle Chapel, Duluth High School
Do you think these alterations will affect the preparedness of students when they go to post-secondary education? Meaning do you think they are taking the lazy way out and why?
“I don’t think that it will affect the preparedness of students when they go to post-secondary education because, in my opinion, the SAT as an assessment does not affect or reflect students’ preparedness in the slightest. The SAT is all about learning how to take the test and mastering its tricks and loopholes. And because the score distribution will consolidate around a smaller, higher range of scores, I feel that students will still have to work as hard as they already do to get a competitive score.” –Hunter Buchheit, Walton High School
“No at all, at the end of the day the SAT isn’t an accurate measurement of preparedness for college and this new system won’t alter that. One test shouldn’t be the only factor that defines if you are prepared for college. The SAT is important but shouldn’t be the be all and end all.” –Adunni Noibi, North Gwinnett High School
“No, I think that the majority of standardized testing is pretty much useless. There is a lack of accommodations for students with learning disabilities and MANY colleges require some form of standardized testing to even apply. Am I jealous of the alterations? Absolutely, I wish that I was better at math so I could take the fancy new online SAT…” –Corryn Heath, North Gwinnett High School
“I don’t believe this will affect the preparedness of students. Since they are still taking the same test, they are still required to know almost the same material. I don’t think the introduction of the digital format will affect the trajectory of their lives post-high school.” –Belle Chapel, Duluth High School
“I don’t think they’re taking the lazy way. Most scores aren’t held to high standards for colleges.” –Jenne Dulcio, Pebblebrook High School
“No, I am not confident that the current/ previous SAT was the best depiction of preparedness for post-secondary education. I personally believe your cumulative grades and course rigor is the best representation of your preparedness.” –A’Marie King, Kennesaw Mountain High School
“I can’t lie, I definitely do. There are PLENTY of ways that students can cheat using the internet and I’m not sure if the people behind these tests know that, but I am certain that those ways will be used.” –Christina Norris, Georgia State University
How do you feel about the situation?
“I think the change is good overall as it puts less stress on already-overwhelmed students (in some respects), but it is very unfair to the students who have had to take it on paper-pencil the past few years and those who have to take it that way for the next two years – such as myself.” –Hunter Buchheit, Walton High School
“To be honest, I don’t think the introduction of the digital format will hugely affect the SAT. While I wish my class was getting the option to take it online, I feel like it won’t have a large impact on the students performance and preparedness. However, I think we will just have to wait until 2024 and see what happens!” –Belle Chapel, Duluth High School
“Honestly, I am not too mad at it because I never liked how much the SAT and ACT weighed on one’s academic profile.” –A’Marie King, Kennesaw Mountain High School
“I think that it’s a needed change! The SAT doesn’t need to last as it does today and I think kids will perform better in general with the new accommodations” –Nick Harris, DeKalb School of the Arts
“I honestly am not completely sure. I don’t know if there is an overall way to make standardized tests such as the SAT and the ACT fair to all students, but maybe this digital version will help move towards that.” –Christina Norris, Georgia State University