The SAT is going “fully digital”.

But don’t worry: the College Board says the test is “just as rigorous”, while being “less intimidating” for the “remote-learning generation”.

The new format is also supposed to “reduce the possibility of cheating” since “few students will receive the exact same exam”.

In reality, all that press release jargon is probably secondary to the folks at the College Board. They have more important things to worry about.

Like getting back some of the income lost during the pandemic?

The latest overhaul of the exam comes at a fraught moment for the standardized testing industry, in which most colleges have dropped testing requirements.

According to data from Common App, the number of college applicants submitting SAT or ACT scores plummeted from 76 percent in the 2019-2020 admissions cycle to 45 percent this year.

Even though Yale, Dartmouth and Brown recently made waves by reinstating standardized test requirements, saying the scores are the best predictor of academic success, it is unlikely that most colleges, which are far less selective, will follow suit, said Mary L. Churchill, associate dean at the Boston University Wheelock College of Education and Human Development.

Of course the part about the SAT being the “best predictor” of success in college is pretty much crap, offering cover to the college admissions officials.

Many studies have shown that the SAT is more likely “a measure of a student’s socio-economic status” than anything else. A system that is easy to game if you come from a good home and your parents have enough money.

So, the College Board may claim that their digital SAT is new and improved, but it’s really just the same old standardized testing scheme behind the screen.


I guess all the paper in front of those students in the picture will now be replaced with a laptop. I doubt the College Board is going to allow anyone to take the SAT from home.