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What do upcoming SAT changes mean for current Juniors and Sophomores?

The College Board (makers of the SAT) have announced another significant revision to the SAT, moving to an all-digital format, removing the no-calculator section, and shortening the test overall.  What should current juniors and sophomores (classes of 2023 and 2024) do differently, in light of this news?

In short, nothing.

The changes will not go into effect for U.S. students until spring of 2024, meaning current freshmen will (potentially) be the first cohort to be affected.  However, the College Board has a long history of announcing and then delaying or scrapping various plans (most recently, they promised to allow at-home testing for students during the pandemic, which was later walked back).  It is entirely possible this date will be moved out to 2025 or further.

The announcement is light on details – for instance, they claim “if students don’t have a device one will be provided on test day”, which is a massive logistics effort across thousands of test sites and potentially tens of thousands of students.  It also appears, but isn’t specified, that the test will not be adaptive (asking students harder questions the more they get right).  For a test that already has difficulty differentiating among high scorers, it will be interesting to see how the most competitive colleges react to scores based on fewer questions.

We’ll likely get answers to these sorts of questions eventually, but for the current cohort, the advice remains the same – put together a plan for when a student will take a test, decide how and when the student will do preparation for that test, and then put the plan into action.  Need help with a plan, or have other questions about standardized testing?  Give us a call to discuss and get straight, honest answers.