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SAT going virtual as many schools make standardized testing optional

SAT Exam Makeover
Posted at 10:34 PM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 23:34:57-05

WACO, Texas — Future college students will soon be trading in their pencil and paper for a tablet or a laptop as the SAT is going digital starting in 2024.

The new SAT will still be proctored and taken at a testing site, but will be taken on a device instead of pen-and-paper and only take two hours.

"Instead of pen and paper, it will be on a device, and the scores will come faster. It is an improvement for the student but won’t change much for us," Baylor University told 25 News.

It comes as tests like the SAT and ACT are becoming less important in the admissions process.

"You have like 1400 schools that have pretty much waived the test scores, made the tests optional," said Alred Freeman, college, career and military specialist for Waco High School.

Instead of tests, many universities are opting to rely on things like high school G.P.A., extracurricular activities and volunteer experience.

Freeman said all of the changes to the admissions process can be confusing for students.

"I just had a student today, and she was like, 'Well, one school told me I needed to submit my scores, another school said I didn't have to submit my scores, but there's nothing definitely saying if I don't submit my scores, I'm not going to get into the school or I am gonna get into the school," he said.

As for going digital, Freeman said he worries about fairness, as some schools will easily be able to supply the technology to take the test.

"You're gonna have some communities, some districts, who are not. And so what happens? Those kids are not able to take this test," he said.

Many universities have yet to announce whether they'll go back to requiring standardized tests post-pandemic.