Don’t Panic about Changes to the SAT in 2023

Don’t panic about the announced changes to the SAT in 2023/24. The SAT is changing radically, but you shouldn’t be worried. I have lived through 2 of these shifts already, and I don’t think this change will be more radical than the past two changes in 2005 and 2016.

What exactly is changing on the SAT?

Digital SAT

First the test is no longer going to have a paper format and will only be given online. But you will still have to go to a testing center. You will be expected to bring your own computer or tablet and you will use a locked browser to take the test. You won’t have bubble sheets and Number 2 pencils to worry about any more.

Shorter but Adaptive SAT

Second the test overall will be shorter. The test will be about 2 hours instead of the current 3 hours. The no calculator math section will be removed. Most relevant to this blog is that the reading section will be composed of shorter passages with fewer questions. The Pre-2016 test had shorter passages with 2 questions each, so we may see a move back to that style of reading testing. Another change is that the test will be adaptive. This means that all test takers will take the same first section and then depending on their success will be given different questions in the second section. If you score well on the first section you will be given more challenging questions in the second section. This will allow the SAT to differentiate among high level students.

When is the SAT changing?

International students will see the digital test first starting in 2023 (presumably March) and U.S. Students will see the digital format PSAT in October of 2023 and the SAT in March 2024. So if you are an international student currently in grade 10, you might want to plan to prepare for the current SAT and take it by December of 2022.

Link to College Board Pres release regarding the changes to the SAT in 2023. Image of green acorn.

How can I prepare for the SAT changes in 2023?

This is why I don’t think you should panic. The SAT is testing the skills you need to succeed in university: Reading, Writing, Math. If you have those skills then the manner of testing those skills is nothing to be worried about. Essentially, I will continue to teach the primary skills of reading comprehension, vocabulary, grammar and writing style. The SAT was never a test that was trickable. If you could read well, you could do well on the test. And if you couldn’t…

Planning for SAT changes in 2023

If you are currently in grade 10 and not in the U.S., you have a decision to make. You can either start preparing now for the SAT and Plan to take it in October and December of this year. Of you can wait and start preparing for the digital version when more information is released. Oh, yes, you can also take the ACT which has been a digital test for international students for about a year.

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