Everything to Know About Online SAT Testing

Put your pencils down and take out your laptops because SATs are going on the screens! That’s right! The College Board has announced that international students will be taking the test virtually by 2023 and by 2024, the SAT will be taken online around the world.

SATs have been one of the most daunting things for high school students to encounter when prepping for college. When you think about the SAT, how do you feel? Well, students here at iUPrep definitely feel the heat. Brooke Bolinger, a student here at iUPrep states, “I am worried about not getting a high enough score. I do know though, that we have the opportunity to retake it until we get a score that is satisfactory.” You’re absolutely right about retaking the test and most students feel that lovely test anxiety building up within them at the thought of the SAT as well. Part of the College Board’s goal in making the SAT digital is to cut down on that stress students feel. Great, right? But there are a few things you should know about the digital version of the SAT.

As I said before, virtual SAT testing won’t be available to everyone in the U.S. till the spring of 2024. Junior students this year planning to take their SAT in the spring or fall of their senior year will have to take the test traditionally and current sophomores will most likely have to take the test traditionally when time comes. This means that freshmans of 2021will be able to take the SAT virtually. Good for you guys!


What’s Changing and What’s Remaining the Same?

Just like the traditional SAT, you will be taking the test in a school, test center, or with a proctor present-NOT at home. And the 1600 scoring scale and the knowledge the SAT measures will stay the same as it is now. That’s about all that will remain the same when going digital.

Major differences are that the test will be shorter by an hour and you can bring your laptop or tablet to wherever you are testing. Luckily, if you don’t have your own device, your proctor or school will provide one for you. 

Unlike the traditional test being split into four sections (Math-no calculator, Math-calculator, Reading and Writing), the test will be divided into two sections, with calculators being allowed throughout the entire math section. (So those of you who don’t like doing math by hand, this is your opportunity!)

Finally, instead of the scores taking weeks-if not months- to reach the students and educators, it will now only take days to view your scores. This is great because you don’t have to stress about how you did.


Will these changes help make the SAT easier for students in the future?

There are both pros and cons to this new change. Some students here at iUPrep have concerns like cheating. Yahia Osman says, “I believe that having an online SAT may lead to kids cheating if not all the correct protocols are taken.” This is an excellent point. But other students feel that this will be a good development, especially with COVID-19 around, such as Makenna Horne, who says, “Although SATs going online won’t impact me since it won’t happen in the US until 2024, I think it is a really great thing for students who will have the opportunity to take it online. Assuming COVID sticks around, it will help a lot of students who are immunocompromised or live with people who are.”


You’ve Got This!

As an added boost to the students stressing the SAT, here are some encouraging words from Natalie McLaren, Eve Bamber, and her tutor.

“For those of you taking the test online, honestly just study a bit normally, Khan Academy works, I hear the classes that have the in-person attendees prepare you well too, but don’t do anything outrageous. If you’re the lucky ones in Class of 23 or 24, then you need to take practice and actually time yourself. It’s super important. Practice getting up early and testing because it’s not the same as testing at 3pm in the afternoon. Mock the setup on the test day for the best results. Trust me. It’ll help.”-Natalie McLaren.“Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong. You got this!”- Eve Bamber and her tutor.

Regardless of how you are taking it, digital or on paper, don’t stress! We believe in you and you’ve got this!



The SAT is going digital. Here’s what to know | Momaha | omaha.com


SAT digital: College admission test to go online, get shorter by 2024 (usatoday.com)