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SAT registration deadline approaching; Test goes digital

Posted at 11:43 AM, Feb 12, 2024

A reminder for students looking to take the SAT – no pencils are required since the test is now digital.

The registration deadline is February 23 and the test date is March 9. One of the main differences is the test time. The digital test is now two hours and fourteen minutes long – the pencil and paper version used to take three hours.

Click here to read more about the new digital SAT.

"If a student feels that they want to take a pencil and paper test, there's the next best test in town, which is going to be the ACT, and the ACT right now is still a pencil and paper test," said Rob Franek, Editor-in-Chief at The Princeton Review.

The Princeton Review says the SAT and ACT generally cover the same topics, but there are some differences and students tend to do better on one test over the other.

During the pandemic, hundreds of colleges across the country opted to make standardized testing requirements optional for admissions.

In recent weeks, those conversations re-emerged after Dartmouth (citing its research) reinstated its testing requirements starting with applicants to the class of 2029.

"For many institutions, test-optional — not test-blind, an important distinction — will be a consideration in admissions for the foreseeable future. Some institutions, such as Dartmouth, Georgetown, Purdue, and MIT, have returned to requiring test scores, citing the essential information they provide in ensuring admitted students have the best chance of succeeding. And most test-optional institutions do in fact still accept ACT test scores, and many require a score for admission to certain degree programs, and scholarship and course placement decisions. High school students and college counselors have expressed concern that the jumble of test-optional policies and terminology is causing additional confusion and stress for applicants. Students and their families need clarity around what test-optional really means, because submitting a test score can help students save money and time across their college-going journey" said ACT CEO, Janet Godwin.

The College Board which makes the SAT says its test is a "valuable tool" for supporting student academic success.

"Dartmouth's research and analyses, based on years of data, are consistent with recent research that shows SAT scores are highly predictive of success in college, regardless of a student's family income. As researchers affiliated with Opportunity Insights and others have also found, other admissions factors, such as grades, are not as predictive and can create unfair advantages for better resourced students. In its own analysis, Dartmouth has found what other researchers have also found: The SAT is objective, reliable, and valuable for institutions and for students," said Priscilla Rodriguez, senior vice president of College Readiness Assessments at College Board.

"I suspect that many Ivies may follow suit with Dartmouth, but it's not going to be exclusive to just Ivies. I think it's going to be a competitive set of schools overall," said Franek.

"Over the last four years of time, so many students were still submitting their SAT and ACT scores."

"But just as the pencil and paper test, I tell this to all of my students, the SAT and ACT are completely coachable exams. So don't let that stand in your way as a roadblock to you getting into college or earning scholarship dollars to pay for those schools."