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Digital SAT unleashes new advantages, monumental for the future of testing

Entering 2024, students are now able to participate in the digital SAT which provides many advantages and new opportunities, in contrast to the paper SAT that was previously given. (Graphic from Wikimedia)
Entering 2024, students are now able to participate in the digital SAT which provides many advantages and new opportunities, in contrast to the paper SAT that was previously given. (Graphic from Wikimedia)

Why take the Digital SAT? The real question is: Why not? Since the SAT has been changed from paper to an online computerized version, I believe this has opened up extremely exciting new opportunities that the original (paper) SAT did not provide.

The change of test didn’t alter the format that is given to test-takers, the paper and digital consist of four sections: two for math, and two for english. Despite the similarities, the digital SAT has made many new beneficial changes for students. The three major changes that I believe have made the digital SAT an advantage are less time and questions, the inclusion of a Desmos calculator on the test and the feedback time on testing scores.

the digital SAT has made many new beneficial changes for students.

— Siena Petrosinelli ’25

Less Time =  Fewer Questions

The paper SAT had 154 questions and was given 180 minutes to be completed. In contrast, the digital SAT has 98 questions and has 134 minutes to finish. With fewer questions and less time, I think the digital SAT is a huge advantage so you do not feel extremely worn out, since it is a shorter test. Also, the digital SAT has a timer feature on the top of each test-takers screen. This could provide a huge advantage to manage one’s time better, or there is an option to hide the time, making it effective and personalized to each person. 

The Gift of Desmos

The paper SAT prohibited students from having their calculator for only one section of the two math sections that were given. However, the new digital SAT allows students to have their personal calculator the entire test, but also provides an online graphing calculator: Desmos.  Desmos is a huge advantage; it will provide a more clear image displayed onto one’s screen than a personal calculator will. This makes it extremely helpful for me when trying to visualize graphs, inequalities and mostly any equation. 

Easier Test & Faster Results

  Since the paper SAT was on paper, it would take much longer to grade and score than the digital SAT will. For example, Scoir, a college network software company, stated that “instead of waiting multiple anxiety-ridden weeks to receive your scores, you will receive your digital SAT results in just two to three weeks, and potentially in a few days” (The Top Questions Students Ask Us About the New Digital SAT). Students now do not have to wait and stress over an extended period of time about their scores since it will come out shortly after the test is conducted. Additionally, “the digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant” compared to the paper SAT (The New Digital SAT – What You Need to Know to Prepare). With more relevance due to less questions that are given, it could help students perform better. From these changes made, I will now be more calm going into my future SAT tests, which could improve my performance. 

From the paper SAT, there have been many changes to the digital SAT which I think are monumentally helpful and advantageous. The shift to a digital test has given me new techniques and advantages including shorter testing times, more accessible features and sooner feedback help suit our strengths in test taking with keeping myself de-stressed and focused. I think that going into this new style of testing will influence other standardized tests to be given digitally because of the overall convenience and benefits computer-testing enables.



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Siena Petrosinelli ’25, Paper Arts Editor
To Siena Petrosinelli ’25, being physically and mentally active go hand in hand. As a paper arts editor with a lot of responsibility, Petrosinelli likes to unwind by doing something that many people would consider stressful: being active. “I like to be active,” Petrosinelli said, “which is good because I get too stressed and don’t work well in school if I’m not active.” Petrosinelli’s school involvement is not limited to just cross country and Inklings.  “I like to be involved in a lot of clubs,” Petrosinelli said. “I feel like it’s an outlet to a lot of people, including me.”

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