The SAT Will Switch to a Digital Format by 2024

The College Board announced in January that the SAT test will be administered digitally for U.S. students beginning in 2024.


lecroitg, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Students will no longer need to worry about bubbling in answer sheets for the SAT, as they will be able to take it on a variety of electronic devices, including laptops and tablets.

The SAT for years has been required for admissions into prestigious universities such as Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. However, in recent years, many colleges have decided to suspend the requirement for their applicants’ SAT scores and have opted for test-optional policies. As more colleges across the country drop their requirements for standardized test scores, the SAT is changing its format to accommodate the evolving needs of students during the COVID-19 pandemic. This change in format may change the level of difficulty of the test as well as the amount of stress for students taking it.

In 2022, The College Board announced that the SAT will be administered digitally beginning in 2024 for U.S. students and 2023 for international students. “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. Tests will still be taken during the school day or over the weekend under a proctor and will still cover the three main sections of reading, writing and language, and math.

Other than a switch to a digital format, there will be numerous changes made to other aspects of the test. For example, the passages presented in the reading section will be shorter and have only one question per passage, compared to the current version which has passages that range from 400-450 words with each one having 11 questions. For some students, this change takes away the pressure of having to comprehend long passages in a short amount of time. “I think that specifically shorter reading passages would make it so that time management is less anxiety inducing,” said Raquel Andon ’24.

In addition, graphing calculators will now be permitted for the entire math section. Students believe that this change will also make the test less stressful. 

The digital format of the test also allows for each student to have a customized test, where the student’s performance on a question will determine the level of difficulty for the following questions. Another benefit of the digital format is that students will be able to receive their test results in a couple of days rather than having to wait weeks.

Some students believe that other changes should be made to the SAT, such as increasing the number of short response questions and decreasing the number of multiple choice questions.

While there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the effect the new format will have on the SAT, some aspects of the test will stay the same. For example, it will cover the same subjects and there will still be practice resources, such as Khan Academy, available for students.

In 2022, The College Board announced that the SAT will be administered digitally beginning in 2024 for U.S. students and 2023 for international students.