By: Zorais Naroo, Riley Suszkiw, and Aidan Vogts
The Scholastic Aptitude Test or SAT is feared every year by students for the stress it causes. The three hour long standardized test, however, is experiencing changes in 2024.
The changes for the test come as questions of the test’s fairness and its practicality arise around the country.
Tests have been seen as unfair to students from poorer communities, as some cannot afford the SAT test prep classes that are shown to improve test scores.
Over 1,800 colleges across the U.S. are removing their SAT requirements from applications, leading many to question the relevance of taking the test at all.
According to the College Board, the changes include: reducing the test time from three hours to two, calculators will be allowed for the whole math section, scores will be able to be given back in a matter of days, and the tests will be administered on computers.
The College Board has said that the change from paper tests allows more flexibility to states, districts, and schools that want to administer tests to students.
Sophomore Ronnie Mejia hasn’t taken the SAT before but he knows that the test will be easier by being on a computer.
“There are benefits because it will make the test easier,” Mejia said, “However, it may become too easy and become less of a test and less important for students.”
Bradley Snyder, a junior, hasn’t taken the SAT either but will in March. If Snyder gets to use a calculator then he “would prefer the computer test, it would be very beneficial, instead of doing mental math,” which seems to be the reason for the change by the College Board.
According to media specialist Dawn Currie-Scott, who also proctors the exam, the changes to the SAT are overall good for the students, though she did recognize several possible drawbacks, including additional student stress.
“Paper is a technology, and it’s the very best one we have for reading,” Currie-Scott said, who believes that reading online could encourage students to skim more, which could lead to more stress for students, especially in a timed environment.
“Rather than encouraging students to skim read, taking an exam on paper can allow students to annotate on the sides and take notes as they read, which can help for solving questions and highlighting pertinent information,” she added.
However, she notes that a digital format would be easier to solve problems with and update, so any problems can be solved easily compared to the traditional format. As long as online issues can be solved, according to Currie-Scott, the changes will be beneficial in the long run.
In the end, it seems that there is a lot that the future can hold, and hopefully CollegeBoard takes notice of the opinions of students and faculty in creating better tests.