Friday, May 27

SAT test going online-only, to be shorter by 2024, College Board says

Put down the pencils and grab your laptop: The SAT, one of the nation’s most commonly used college-entrance exams, is going digital.

The College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, PSAT and other standardized tests, announced the change Tuesday. The shift to online exams won’t happen until 2024 for American students. International students will start testing virtually in 2023.

For decades, the SAT – or its competitor, the ACT – was required to apply to traditional colleges. The tests’ ubiquity have faded in recent years as more colleges have ditched the exams as a prerequisite for admissions.

The test-optional movement started before the pandemic, but the coronavirus shutdowns spurred even more universities to pause or drop their testing requirements. According to the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, a nonprofit critical of the SAT, 80% of the roughly 2,300 four-year colleges aren’t requiring the exam for high school students in the graduating class of 2022. About 2.2 million high schoolers in the class of 2020 took the exam, but that number plummeted to 1.5 million for the class of 2021, as requirements loosened and pandemic-related closures affected the test’s availability.

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