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Digital SAT Starting Spring 2024
Current freshman (Class of 2025) will take the new digital PSAT in the fall of 2023 and then the digital SAT beginning in the spring of 2024. Details of the new SAT:
As always with changes to standardized tests, there will be a scramble to acquire practice materials and feedback about the test in order to help people prepare ideally. It seems that overall, however, the basic content and outline of the exam isn’t significantly changing. It will still be a test of understanding the basics of Mathematics, Grammar, and Reading.
In my opinion, the purpose of the adaptive feature will be to allow highly selective universities to more finely differentiate between people at the very top of the testing scale. By steering someone who gets the first few difficult questions correct toward a much harder test, you will be able to tell the superstars from the stars. The best testers will be doing questions that are multiple echelons beyond what the more average testers are. (The GRE, which is the graduate school exam in the United States, has already been using this adaptive technology for years.) Note that the effective outcome of the new digital SAT is the exact opposite of what the College Board will say. The practical purpose is to be hyper-selective at the top end, even though the College Board will public state that it’s trying to be more fair.
SupertutorTV gives a good introduction:
International Students will be forced to transition to the new digital SAT even earlier, in the spring of 2023.
What will be the outcome of the new digital SAT? My guess would be in the long run not a whole lot. People in the top 10% of candidates will still need study like crazy and compete for the best scores. I’ve already tutored through multiple overhauls of the SAT format, and the overall process and content hasn’t changed much.
In the short run, however, the new digital SAT will create confusion and maybe even turn people away. Students won’t want to be the “lab rats” for the first rollout of a new program. No one will have updated prep materials, or detailed feedback about the experience of the digital SAT, for a year or two. Many students will likely avoid the confusion entirely by taking the ACT instead, for which there are tons of real practice tests and the format is very well established.