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Newly Digitized SATs Are Yet to Prove More Effective

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On Saturday, March 9, 2024, Camas High School (CHS) administered the first digital SAT test. Historically, SATs were taken on paper, or what has now been dubbed the written version.

In addition to switching from pen and paper to digital, the SAT had other significant changes made, primarily that there are now fewer questions on the test. 

Originally, there were a total of 58 math questions, which have now been narrowed down to 44. Similarly, there were 52 English-related questions and 44 written-portion questions; there are only 27 questions in each section after revisions. 

The digitized version of the SAT is significantly shorter than its preceding model. Prior to revisions, the SAT was around three hours long; the revised model is only two hours and 14 minutes, resulting in a 46-minute difference between the two models.

“The easier version of the SAT for me was the digital one, because it was so much shorter,” CHS junior Bethany Mckinstry said. 

Many students at CHS shared this outlook when asked to compare the two versions of the test. 

There is not much data in regards to which test is actually easier, however, the implication of the new test flowed seamlessly. 

Tom Morris and Kelly Gourde, two CHS administrators who oversee the SAT, both explained that many aspects of the digitized SAT are significantly easier to manage.

“I’d prefer the digital version because we don’t have to send in all the tests via mail,” Gourde said. 

Although administrators have stated that the digitized SAT is significantly easier to oversee, some students expressed concerns about how the digital SAT will be graded. 

“A bell curve is what I heard that College Board was going to do, but that doesn’t really make sense with the adaptive test,” CHS junior Lauren Suhr said.

The digitized SAT has allowed for adaptive testing to be implemented in the test. Adaptive testing works by fluctuating the difficulty of the test based on how well the student is doing up to any given point.

As of now, conclusions about any major differences between the pen and paper and digitized SATs have not been drawn. Changes to the SATs are still fresh and novel points for discussion as voiced by students and administration at CHS.

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Lila McGeachy, Staff Writer

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