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Digital SAT Changes


The Digital PSAT was introduced in the Fall of 2023 by College Board. Starting in Spring 2024, all SATs will be digitized across America, meaning students will start taking the SAT on a computer. The digital SAT still measures students’ proficiency in Math and English; like the paper SAT, the new digital SAT will be scored on a 1600 scale and monitored in a school testing center. The new format has also become more adaptive, providing various benefits for student test takers. I am very confident that CHS students will prefer the new SAT testing approach over the previous paper’s SAT version.

The new digital SAT is two hours and 14 minutes long with a total of 98 questions. By contrast, the old paper SAT was three hours long with a total of 154 questions. The format consists of two modules for each section of the test: Math and English. The difficulty of the second module is personalized based on student performance in the first stage. As a result, the test could be more adaptive to students with different skill levels in Math and English. According to College Board, “[This testing approach will] result in a more efficient assessment and a more tailored experience for each student.”

“I think they just made the format simpler,” Owen Swanney, CHS junior, said. “It’s easy to understand and get used to.”

Additionally, Swanney believes that the new digital SAT is a better, more personalized demonstration of his academic ability.

“Overall, it’s more personalized than the old paper version and it was more precise in terms of understanding,” Swanney said.

However, some students still prefer the old paper SAT over the new SAT for different reasons. Oliver Jacobson, a sophomore at CHS, took both paper and digital standardized tests and prefers the paper SAT over the new digital version due to its newly provided Desmos calculator feature.

“The problem with the online test is they give you Desmos,” Jacobson said. “All of your questions, every single one of them can be answered using Desmos. So there’s no point in taking the SAT if it’s just typing all the questions into Desmos.”

To investigate CHS students’ preferences for different versions of the SAT, a poll was conducted among CHS students who took both versions of the SAT. All the sample responses are marked as “prefer digital SAT” or “prefer paper SAT”. Results showed that 43 of the 48 students prefer the digital SAT, and 5 of the 48 students prefer the paper SAT.

Based on the data collected, we can conclude that 90% of collected CHS students prefer digital SAT over the paper SAT. A statistical test was conducted to accurately reflect the result to the entire population of CHS students who took both versions of the test. We can assume all qualified CHS students equally prefer both versions of the SAT and compare it to our sample responses. As expected, we obtained a really small (approximately 0) statistical value. Based on the analysis, we have very strong evidence to suggest that most CHS students prefer the new digital SAT over the Paper version.

As technology develops, digitized tests are becoming more of a trend. It provides expediency for data collection and functionality of personalized questions that accurately measure a student’s academic ability. Students are expected to prefer the digital version over the paper version due to its flexibility and adaptivity. After conducting a statistical analysis, I am confident the majority of the CHS students prefer the digital version.

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About the Contributor
Anthony Wang, Opinion Editor
Anthony is currently a Junior at Community High School. It is his second year as a communicator stuff, and first year as a Web opinion editor. Anthony is doing Varsity Crew at Huron, and Mock Trial at Community. In his spare time, Anthony likes to hang out with his friends, play video games, and watch videos on Youtube.

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