The College Board announced in January that the SAT will be completely digital by 2024.
The new SAT will roll out in 2023 internationally and in 2024 domestically.
Students will still take the test at designated testing centers but ditch their pencils and paper for laptops and tablets.
The exam time has also been shortened from three hours to two, as stated on the College Board website. With this change, reading passages will be shorter and focus on more relevant topics, and calculators will be permitted throughout the entire math section of the exam.
Instead of waiting months to receive an SAT score, college applicants will receive their scores in a matter of days with this digital test.
The College Board piloted the new SAT in November of 2021. They reported that 80 percent of students found it to be less stressful and 100 percent of educators reported a positive experience.
Bruce Bunnick, director of undergraduate admissions at Lehigh, said the SAT has undergone a lot of changes in the last 30 years.
“(The admissions department is) somewhat agnostic about it, simply because we don’t know what impact it will have with shortening the exam and going to a digital platform,” Bunnick said.
Lehigh elected to go test-optional for the class of 2025 and announced last semester that they will remain test-optional until applicants for the class of 2027 submit their applications.
Bunnick said that standardized testing is one of the several factors considered during Lehigh’s application process.
“The truth of the matter is that it’s one factor that contributes to a decision but it’s not the entire summation of an individual,” Bunnick said.
Rachel Gruber, ‘25, attended the Menlo School in Atherton, California for high school. She said she did not submit an SAT score on her college applications after having multiple tests canceled.
Gruber said her high school offered preparation resources for the SAT and ACT, including a college counseling department and college counseling teams. She said her high school also offers a closed SAT at the school for its students.
Gruber said she thinks the SAT is not necessarily a reflection of intelligence or academic aptitude, but of time and resources put into studying.
“The test-optional option is very different (from) town to town because some kids don’t have the time to stop all the other things in their life so they can take this test,” Gruber said.
Priscilla Rodriguez, vice president of college readiness assessments for the College Board, said the SAT shouldn’t be an exception to learning and testing becoming remote.
She said the digital SAT will offer the flexibility that is necessary for SAT School Day, which is a program that allows students to take the SAT at their own schools on a weekday.
Rodriguez said this program helps make the SAT accessible for all, and more than 60 percent of students who take the SAT now do so through SAT School Day. She said this program leads to higher college enrollment rates for low-income and rural students.
“We’re not just putting the current SAT Suite on a digital platform, though,” Rodriguez said. “We’re taking full advantage of what it means to deliver an assessment digitally. Going digital allows us to offer much more flexibility in terms of when, where and how often the SAT is given.”
As a child of immigrants who came to the U.S. with limited financial resources, Rodriguez said creating a more accessible college resource through the SAT Suite of Assessments showed her opportunities that she never would have had access to.