The End of an Era: See You Later SAT!


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Jasmine Porter, Staff Writer

SAT, GPA, and ACT three seemingly unrelated terms whose union is built upon the joint purpose of tormenting your everyday high school student. Luckily for us, at least two of those things are beginning to diminish in importance as an increasing number of universities turn a blind eye to standardized testing in favor of a more holistic approach. And no, there is no “GPA-optional” coming anytime soon.

Admissions jargon aside, amidst the novel changes being made in the college application process, the College Board’s unveiling of a remodeled SAT was untimely, to say the least. Although I wholeheartedly admit to being excited upon seeing the January New York Times headline, the realization that a full transition won’t occur until 2024 means the only thing I’ll be getting out of this is a spiteful case of senioritis. Nevertheless, between the riddance of SAT II subject tests last January and the dwindling importance of test scores throughout the pandemic, I can’t exactly say I’m stunned by the College Board’s announcement. And seeing that the proposal of existing testing inequality is a tale as old as time, perhaps it was simply time that America’s most popular standardized test evolved once more. Many, however, are less than delighted by the news, with claims that the SAT’s effectiveness as a measure of college readiness is wearing thin. 

It’s no secret that the changes are drastic, ranging from an overall time reduction from three hours to two and a complete overhaul of the reading section. Furthermore, certain test-takers will get a lucky break as the new, entirely digital SAT, will no longer include a non-calculator portion as part of its math examination. Testing will still take place at select testing centers, but students may now choose between bringing in their own device or using a school-issued one. 

On a more universally positive note, students and their teachers will now be guaranteed their scores in a matter of days as opposed to weeks, and there is even the possibility of reducing exam costs.

Regardless of the varied opinions online, the question on everyone’s mind seems to be “how will this affect the students”? This, College Board executive Priscilla Rodriguez implies, should be of little concern, and believes that “the digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant.” This statement comes after the company piloted the new exam in November of 2021 with an 80 and 100 percent approval rating from students and educators, respectively. Although I’m sure more mixed reactions will arise as the software begins to be utilized nationwide, only current freshmen need to be familiar with the changing test as more developments regarding its implementation follow suit.