💻The 2024 SAT exams start this Saturday, March 9

📝There are big changes to the exam

💻It's all digital

Saturday, March 9 is SAT testing day, and there are some big changes to the 2024 standardized test widely used for college admissions in the United States.


Starting in 2024, the infamous three-hour, pencil-and-paper, bubble-filling, 1600-point test will now be replaced with a new, digital version, according to College Transitions.

The SAT will no longer be administered in a physical format. 2024 test takers and beyond will now take the digital version.

Students will be able to use their own laptops or desktop computers to take the exam via an app called Bluebook. If one is provided by your school, you can use that, too. If you can’t access a computer, the College Board will provide a device to the student. Don’t worry if you lose internet connectivity. The test has been engineered so students won’t lose their work.

Sad and worried entrepreneur with laptop

Other Big Changes

Not only will the SAT be taken digitally from now on, but other key changes are starting this year, College Transitions reported.

The digital SAT is shorter. Instead of three hours, this exam is only two hours so there is more time per question.

Reading passages will be shorter with just one question tied to each passage.

Calculators will be allowed in the entire math section.

Male hands using calculator_tone

The College Board said the math and reading sections will be divided into two parts, where a student’s performance in the first part of each section will determine the difficulty level in the second part. So, if a student breezes through the first half of the math section, the second half of questions will be more difficult, and vice versa.

Scores will be returned in days, not weeks. So, for example, the estimated online score release for the March 9 SAT exam is March 25.

The new digital SAT score reports will link students to information about community colleges, vocational training, and career options.

Photo via TSM Princeton
Photo via TSM Princeton

Why the changes?

“Going digital allows us to offer much more flexibility in terms of when, where, and how often the SAT is given, particularly for states, districts, and schools offering the SAT to all their students as part of SAT School Day. School Day is an important driver of access and equity and has been shown to lead to higher college-going rates for low-income and rural students,” The College Board said on its website.

Every four-year college in New Jersey has made the SAT optional for admissions. Many stopped requiring the test during the pandemic when students found it difficult to take the exam. Even Princeton University is extending its test-optional policy for first-year and transfer applicants through 2025. “Students who opt to apply to Princeton without an ACT or SAT score will not be at a disadvantage in our process,” according to the Ivy League school’s website.

SAT test preparation books sit on a shelf at a Barnes and Noble store
SAT test preparation books sit on a shelf at a Barnes and Noble store (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

However, there are several other universities with very competitive admissions that have recently re-instituted the SAT or ACT as a requirement for prospective students.

Besides the March 9 SAT testing date, other 2024 testing dates include May 4, June 1, August 24, October 5, November 2, and December 7, all of them digital.

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