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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

SAT to be moved online and shortened in 2023 for international students, 2024 for domestic students

Students will be able to use calculators on both SAT Math sections, will have more time for each Reading question and will receive their results faster than in the past.
Bookshelves in Central Library
Miguel Beristain
Bookshelves in Central Library, as photographed on Nov. 16, 2021. (Hustler Multimedia/Miguel Beristain)

College Board announced on Jan. 25 that the SAT Suite of Assessments, including the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10 and PSAT 8/9, will be administered entirely online beginning in 2023 for international students and in 2024 for domestic students. The tests in the Suite will also be shortened from approximately three to two hours. 

Vice President of Communications at College Board Sandra Riley said the time difference in the online rollout for international and domestic students is intended to provide international students with the same amount of opportunities to take the SAT as their domestic counterparts. Previously, domestic students had seven opportunities to take the test each year, while international students only had five. 

Moving from five to seven [test] administrations to match the domestic calendar is an important way to expand access for students around the world,” Riley said in an email to The Hustler. 

The Reading passages within the Suite’s tests will be shorter and have fewer questions, allowing more time for students to answer each question. College Board will also allow the use of calculators for both SAT Math sections and release scores within a matter of days rather than weeks. 

College Board explained in their announcement that these changes were made based on responses to a pilot Suite program conducted in Fall 2021 with 500 students in the US and internationally. Per College Board, the changes present in the updated Suite received positive feedback from administrators and students during the pilot run. Particularly, it was reported that moving the tests online was more convenient and less stressful. 

Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Doug Christiansen serves as a chair of the Governance Committee for the College Board Board of Trustees. He reiterated College Board’s commitment to ensure that school administrators and students are comfortable on testing days, a goal he said they tried to express through the recent changes. Christiansen was not directly involved in their implementation. 

“Whether it’s an international student, a domestic student, high-income, low-income, we’re really wanting to take away that stress,” Christiansen said.

Sophomore Carolena Galvin expressed her initial thoughts regarding the changes, stating that she thinks she would have felt less stress taking the updated SAT compared to the previous version. 

“I noticed discrepancies between my score when taking practice tests at home versus sitting the actual exam, and I’m curious about whether these differences would be the same given this new SAT format,” Galvin said.

According to College Board’s announcement, the Suite’s transition to an online format will also address inequities that may arise in the college-preparation process. College Board will send computers to testing centers to allow students who may not have access to laptops to complete online Suite tests. The company employed this method in 2020 and 2021 for students taking digital AP tests. College Board indicated that they will be releasing more information regarding the process of requesting a device later this year.  

“Going digital allows us to give every student a unique test, so the digital SAT Suite will be far more secure, which is especially important for access around the world and in the United States,” Christiansen said. “I’m really hoping that it helps us find and identify really wonderful students that maybe haven’t been identified before. We want to get rid of as many barriers as possible.”

Along with the other changes, College Board will provide resources through the digital SAT score report for students looking to attend local two-year colleges and workforce training programs. This addition of resources will be conducted through a partnership with Jobs for the Future and BigFuture that will expose students to information about various postsecondary opportunities that align with their goals. Riley added that College Board will release more information about this development later in 2022.

“With this new data and guidance, all students will be able to set goals and make decisions about their future,” Riley said. 

College Board’s announcement also indicated a shift in SAT content, especially within the Reading section. The SAT’s and PSAT’s Reading content will feature authors and topics that are more relevant to students and that reflect their diversity. 

“It’s trying to be much broader,” Christiansen said. 

The word problems in the Math section of the Suite’s assessments will also be made more concise. No structural changes will be made in terms of the variety of the content they will test. 

Christiansen explained that the Office of Undergraduate Admissions will continue to look at applicants’ SAT scores the same way it has previously done, as the 1600 point scale is remaining. However, he said the university has not made a decision on whether to extend their current test-optional policy and/or keep it permanently. The policy also applies to the ACT

“Right now, we are still looking at that very closely and have not made a final decision,” Christiansen said. 

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About the Contributors
Duaa Faquih
Duaa Faquih, Former Staff Writer
Duaa Faquih ('24) is majoring in political science and minoring in communication studies in the College of Arts and Science. Apart from forcing her friends to watch videos of her cat, Duaa loves reading fantasy novels, painting and trying new restaurants. She can be reached at [email protected].
Miguel Beristain
Miguel Beristain, Senior Staff Photographer
Miguel Beristain (’24) is a philosophy and cellular and molecular biology double major in the College of Arts and Science from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. When not shooting for The Hustler, he can usually be found playing Magic the Gathering, exploring new restaurants or practicing guitar. He can be reached at .
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