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SAT exam going digital, getting shorter as college admissions shift

Posted at 7:54 PM, Jan 25, 2022

COLORADO SPRINGS — The SAT will soon go all-digital. The Colorado Boardannounced Tuesday that the shift will boost its relevancy as more colleges make standardized tests optional for admission.

The new digital SAT will be shortened from 3 hours to 2 hours, with more time per question. It will also have shorter reading passages, allow calculators during the entire math section, and reflect a wider range of topics that represent the works students read in college. Students will also get back scores within days rather than weeks.

"As a person in the technology world, I think it's just a change in times. I don't think it's a bad thing we're going to go digital. Especially in District 20 with the STEM schools, kids are already one on one and I think it makes sense," said Daniel Luu, Academy School District 20 parent.

Luu says the change won't have a huge impact on his children who are used to this digital age.

"Some kids stress more about waiting for the results than taking the tests. My daughter did, she stressed about it for three weeks until she got her score back," said Luu.

He doesn't mind the online format either.

"You're still going into a school to take it, there's still going to be a proctor, it just makes it easier," said Luu.

“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. “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. With input from educators and students, we are adapting to ensure we continue to meet their evolving needs.”

"I'm not surprised they decided to move to an online format, considering the implications of large testing rooms and movement to test-optional for universities," said Lee Saunders, CSU Pueblo.

He says it's going to make the process easier for colleges and students.

"When they take it as needed in a digital format, we get their scores sooner which means we can give them an admissions decision sooner, we can give them a financial aid award package sooner, and they can decide where they want to go to school earlier in the process. We think coupled with our Colorado Promise Program which offers free tuition for any Colorado resident with a family income of less than $50,000, we think can really change higher access," said Saunders.

The university has prepared for this change, and the on-site testing center recently opened for students to take any standardized tests.

The College Board said students without a personal or school-issued device will be provided one for test day.