A few days ago, the College Board announced that they are creating a new computer-adaptive SAT. This will replace the old paper and pencil version that students have been taking since eternity. Here is everything you need to know about the redesigned SAT:
When will the new digital SAT be administered?
Students within the US
Students outside the US
How will the test be administered?
Students will take the SAT on a laptop or tablet. These could be either personal devices or issued by the College Board or by their school district.
Where will students take this test?
At official testing centers or in schools. Students will be unable to test from home.
What does ‘computer adaptive’ mean?
It means that students will not necessarily get the same questions on the test. The difficulty level of the questions they receive will depend on whether they answered the previous questions in the section correctly or incorrectly. If the previous questions were answered correctly, they will be bumped up to a more challenging section. But if previous questions were answered incorrectly, they will be directed to an easier section and their final score may dip accordingly. This means that students need to be especially careful while answering questions in the first reading/writing and math section so that they can get to a higher band in the subsequent section.
How does the content on the new SAT compare to that of the old SAT?
The new SAT will have shorter reading passages and fewer questions per passage.
The non-calculator math questions will be discontinued.
Moreover, the new SAT will be 2 hours long (as compared to the previous 3-hour version of the old SAT)
When will the scores be made available?
In a few days instead of a few weeks.
The bottom line: The new SAT promises to be less stressful and more relevant for students (which is the main reason cited for this transformation). However, if students have completed Algebra 2, we are encouraging them to take the old paper and pencil version of the SAT for two reasons:
There are several resources available to practice for the old SAT. In contrast, it will take a while to develop significant practice material for the new SAT.
The first few rollouts of the new digital SAT may come with their own share of technical glitches and hiccups that may need some time to be resolved.
Alternatively, the ACT (which has ample practice resources) may be a safer way forward.
In other news, the College Board has also announced that the essay prompts on the common application for 2022-2023 will stay the same as last year. This means that high school juniors can get a head start on brainstorming and identifying essay topics that will allow them to share their life experiences, values, and skills with colleges. If you need help recognizing and crafting your best story, get in touch.