Some colleges have introduced a digitized SAT — hailed as offering a ‘better experience’ for students

News & Politics

Some colleges have decided to reintroduce standardized testing requirements that were dashed during the pandemic. However, a big change is coming to the standardized testing format.

Fox News Digital reported that the digital SAT is here — at least for now. Students will no longer have to sweat over remembering their No. 2 pencil. Instead, they will be using a keyboard and a testing application known as Bluebook.

The report mentioned that the new system is set to make the test-taking process shorter and more streamlined, but there is still some uncertainty about whether it is better or not.

“I think it’s a great move,” Dr. Jack Dempsey, director of research at Cascade Reading, told Fox News Digital on Tuesday.

“The reason I believe that is because of the data we’re getting from the teachers and staff who are actually using this digital format. Some of the research that’s been done by, I believe the SAT, on the digital format [shows that] 84% of students and 99% of staff reported a better experience with it compared to the paper format. That’s a huge proportion.”

Business Insider reported that since the beginning of 2024, prestigious schools have decided to make use of the SAT and ACT in their prospective students’ applications.

Dartmouth announced that while it adhered to a “test-optional” policy in response to the pandemic, it has decided to reintroduce the testing requirement for the class of 2029.

“Our bottom line is simple: we believe a standardized testing requirement will improve—not detract from—our ability to bring the most promising and diverse students to our campus,” the university said in a statement.

Brown University has made a similar move.

“Our analysis made clear that SAT and ACT scores are among the key indicators that help predict a student’s ability to succeed and thrive in Brown’s demanding academic environment,” Brown’s Provost Francis Doyle said in a statement, per Business Insider.

Forbes reported that new digitized system cuts down on the time it takes for students to complete the exam. Consequently, students will have to sit for two hours and 14 minutes to answer a total of 98 questions, compared to the three-hour, 154-question exam of old.

Dempsey noted that the move is a good way to mitigate some of the anxiety students feel when sitting down to take the exam.

“If we’re trying to measure student ability… in theory, we don’t want to measure how well they do in a 3-hour, extremely stressful environment,” he said.

“We want to measure how good is their reading comprehension to these passages, so I think the digital format is taking away a lot of barriers and anxiety that these students are facing.”

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