The SAT Keeps Changing

Ever since the SAT first started in 1926, changes to its scoring and format have occurred.  During the recent Covid Pandemic, more than 1,800 colleges have not required test scores from either the SAT or ACT.  And 1,400 of them are continuing this policy through the fall of 2023. Furthermore, some colleges, including the University of California system are no longer using either SAT or ACT scores. Students need to be aware of the testing policies of the schools to which they are applying. In schools where test scores are optional, good test scores can enhance students’ applications so many may still want to take either the SAT or ACT.

Believe it or not, the original SAT test had 315 questions and 97 minutes to complete them. Students were not expected to finish the test. Major changes occurred in 2005 when an essay was added, the analogies section was omitted, and the math section was expanded to include high school level II algebra. Another major change occurred recently in 2021 when both the essay and subject tests were eliminated. Students now have more changes to look forward to.

In 2024, the SAT will go digital, and time will be reduced from three hours to twoish. Plus, the reading passages will be shorter and calculators can be used on all math sections. This does not mean the SAT can be taken at home. It still must be taken at schools or test centers. It is the belief of some that the SAT test has become an easier test.

It is important for students, parents and counselors to be up to date on all changes that have been made and will be made in the future to the SAT as well as the ever changing test policies of schools to which students are applying. Every applicant and their parents will find a visit to the Princeton Review website very helpful in learning more about admission tests, scoring high on tests and all the many details involved in applying to college.