SAT testing will go completely digital in March; here’s what you should know

PITTSBURGH — Next month will be the first time the SATs go completely digital. It comes with some big changes to the test itself, as universities start to have a renewed need for the college entrance exam.

“Standardized tests are flawed,” said Rob Franek, editor-in-chief of The Princeton Review. “They’ve been flawed since 1926 since the SAT started.”

Nobody ever said it was perfect, but Franek, editor-in-chief of the test prep company, The Princeton Review says the College Board is taking steps in the right direction.

Starting March 9, number two pencils and tiny bubbles are out - and an exam app called Bluebook is in.

Also for the first time, how you do on the first set of questions, will determine the level of difficulty for part two.

“Now, students are awarded additional points for the tougher questions. So, they’re saving time, but it’s adding stress to the process,” explained Franek. “So, this is a mental game in my mind.”

The College Board says the goal is to make the new test more accessible to all communities and income levels. It’s about 45 minutes shorter, will be offered during the school day, and will provide an embedded graphing calculator.

And Franek says while many colleges made SATs optional during the pandemic, that’s already changing. Dartmouth recently announced they’re bringing back the requirement.

“Many students with really good scores are withholding them and I think in Dartmouth and a lot of other school’s minds, they’re missing them,” said Franek.

You can also bring your own laptop or tablet for the test. And if you’re wondering about cheating, we did some digging. Once the test begins, the app blocks anything else on the student’s computer.

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