The College Board announced big changes to the format and delivery of the SAT for high school students in 2023 and 2024.
The new SAT will be "easier to take, easier to give, more secure, and more relevant," said Priscilla Rodriguez, the company's Vice President of College Readiness Assessments.
Here's what you and your high schooler can expect.
The biggest change to the test will be a new digital format, which students can take on a personal or school-issued laptop or tablet. For students who do not have access to a device, The College Board has promised to make one available.
Beginning in the spring of 2023, international students will be able to take the SAT online, under the supervision of proctors at testing centers or schools. In fall of 2023, the PSAT will be delivered digitally for students around the world. Then, in spring of 2024, the SAT will be available in the digital format to U.S. students as well.
This means the first U.S. high school students to take the digital SAT will be the Class of 2025 — current high school freshmen.
Tests will be shorter
The new SAT format will only be two hours long instead of the traditional three. Even better news for students: The new reading passages will be shorter, with only one question for each passage, and math questions will be "less wordy," Rodriguez said in the announcement.
Scores will arrive faster
Instead of waiting up to a month for their scores, students could receive them in days, a move The College Board said will help them get "information they need to make key college decisions quicker."
Calculators will be allowed on the entire math section
The current SAT has both calculator and non-calculator math sections, but the new format will allow students to use calculators for the entire math assessment.
One significant addition: A graphing calculator is actually going to be built into the app for students who don't have their own to use. This will eliminate a barrier for students and schools with fewer resources.
Every test will be unique
Thanks to the digital format, The College Board said it will be able to deliver a different test to every student to help eliminate cheating or problems with test security. In turn, schools, districts and states will have more flexibility for scheduling tests. Currently, there are strict protocols about how and when the SAT is delivered to maintain test integrity.
Some things will stay the same
What's not changing about the SAT is that it will still be scored out of a possible 1600. Students must still take it in a supervised location, not at home. Accommodations will still be available for approved students due to learning differences or medical needs on test days. The range of content and material in the test itself will remain the same.
The changes to the SAT come in the wake of disruptions to test administrations due to COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021. It also comes at a time when institutions like Harvard and Boston University and the state university system of Iowa are announcing ongoing or permanent "test-optional" admissions policies, meaning students who apply without test scores will not be at a disadvantage in their evaluations. Others, including the state university systems of California and Oregon, have even adopted "test-blind" admission policies and will not use test scores at all in evaluating applicants, even if they are submitted.