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SAT academic tests in U.S. switch from paper to digital


Student taking a practice SAT digitally Associated Press/Photo by Butch Dill

SAT academic tests in U.S. switch from paper to digital

The test scheduled for Saturday across the United States were a digital-only version from the College Board. The College Board made several changes to the Scholastic Aptitude Test, including having students complete the test on a laptop or tablet with a testing app called Bluebook. The nonprofit organization also shaved an hour off the test by shortening reading passages and allowing test-takers to use a calculator for the entire math section. Students taking the exam outside of the United States began digital testing last spring. The College Board vice president for college readiness assessments, Priscilla Rodriguez, said students gave the digital platform “overwhelmingly positive” feedback during pilot testing.

What’s staying the same? The nonprofit organization said the test will still occur at a testing site with a proctor and be graded on a 1600-point scale. Students with learning disabilities will still receive testing accommodations, and advanced registration is still required.

Are other tests going to be digital now? An alternative test, the ACT, began last month offering wider availability of online testing to locations in the United States. ACT leadership wants to increase the test’s digital availability, allowing students to choose their preferred medium.

Dig deeper: Read Lauren Canterberry’s report in The Sift on ACT scores dropping to a 30-year low in the United States.


Christina Grube

Christina Grube is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.


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