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Digital College Board Testing

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The dreaded testing season is approaching.

The Scholastic Aptitude Test, more commonly known as the SAT, is a standardized test used by many colleges and universities to assist in college admissions. In spring of 2024, its distributor Collegeboard will switch fully from the paper-and-pencil test — which has been in use for 98 years — to a quicker, more efficient digital version. 

The SAT will still be split into the same two sections: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) and Math. Unlike the paper version, however, the digital version will implement multistage adaptive testing (MST), resulting in the division of each section into two equal modules designed to adapt to a student’s personal ability. The first module will be a broad range of questions, while the second one is based on the student’s performance in the first module. The division of the SAT into two modules shortens the test to about two hours, but Collegeboard studies have shown the same amount of reliability and accuracy as a longer test, with scores even increasing when compared to the paper-and-pencil version. 

For some students, the switch from a physical to a digital test is welcomed. The digital version’s ability to adapt to an individual student has resulted in students across America reporting the questions appearing on the tests as easier in comparison to the more difficult written version. The implementation of personalized questions also reduces the chances of cheating, as students cannot look at other people’s testing booklets to find the answer. 

In addition to more personalized questions, students state that there is greater convenience in taking the tests online. Students receive their scores in two weeks instead of the previous three to six weeks, and accommodations such as dictation, Braille, and the zoom function are also built in.

Willow Glen High School’s SAT will be held on March 26, 2024.

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Noralee Zwick, News Editor

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