SATs to go digital for the first time

The exam has also been shortened from three hours to two hours and 14 minutes.

Emily Young

Feb 23, 2024, 10:24 PM

Updated 93 days ago

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When students take the SAT this year, they'll still be in a room with a proctor, but they won't be filling in bubbles anymore. Like most things these days, the SAT's are going digital for the first time.
The exam has also been shortened from three hours to two hours and 14 minutes.
But the biggest change is that no one is taking the same test, because the test is adaptive and changes course in real time depending on your answers.
"In the math section, there are two of them. The first module would present 22 questions, and the student would take the test and if the student is performing at a very high level on the first module, the second module will adapt to therefore present more challenging questions to the student," explains Ben Zoffness, founder of Zoffness College Prep.
Change is never easy, but according to Zoffness, without any frame of reference, some parents are struggling to prepare their kids. Parents like Angela Ciminello. She's the mother of twins, who, come test day, will see very different tests.
"Because I have two children, who's skill sets differ, one is stronger in language arts, one in math, the digital SAT became something I was concerned about because I didn't know how my kids were going to be able to do the adaptive tests," she said.
According to Zoffness, some parents are abandoning the SAT's in favor the ACT.
"Rather than playing a guessing game with a test they didn't know much about, they would rather go with the ACT because there is a track record of what to expect," says Zoffness.
Zoffness says there's no "right" test to take. Both tests focus on different things, so choose the one that will show off your child's skill set in the best way.
And while it's true the SAT and ACT are no longer mandatory at some schools, before you decide not to take them, Zoffness says to consider this.
"When two applicants with similar GPA, with similar extracurriculars, are being considered, what differentiates one applicant from another," Zoffness says.
Some schools are making them mandatory, but not all of them, and many of them still do not require them.
The first SAT exam offered this year is in March and it will be digital for the first time.


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