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Abra Stalker
this years SAT and ACT prep books ready to be annotated and studied

Every year, high school students across the globe are working to prepare themselves for the widely anticipated (Preliminary) Scholastic Aptitude Test, or better known as the SAT/PSAT. 


Recommended for both juniors and seniors to take (while the other grade levels usually focus on the PSAT), the SAT is a scale based assessment which colleges use for the application process. The test itself is split into two general sections— math and evidence-based reading, writing, and language— each of which are scored on a scale of 200 to 800. Combined, the overall maximum score that a student can earn on the test is 1600 (while PSAT scores maximize to 1520). If they have scored well, students can gain benefits like scholarship opportunities, advanced course placements, and a much better chance of getting into the college of their dreams. 


This 2023-2024 school year, however, big changes are being implemented when it comes to this annual assessment— starting this fall, students worldwide will be provided with the opportunity to take the SAT/PSAT digitally. 


According to the College Board’s most frequently asked questions about the SAT, all students that are taking “PSAT-related assessments” will test digitally this fall (SAT Suite 2023). At that time, SAT school days and SAT weekends will still provide the pencil and paper tests, but only until spring 2024, where students in the U.S will be given digital tests for the first time.

“I think that it’s going to be a new experience,” says A’rianna Fleming, a senior at Seminole High School who took the SAT junior year. “It’s a bit much to put on us, especially with all these new laws. This school year, us students have been getting used to a lot of new things.”

Due to the infamous COVID-19 pandemic, students today have been accelerating in terms of transitioning to online learning environments, which means that they are adapting to working digitally, and according to College Board, the SAT shouldn’t be an exception to this. They plan to “take full advantage of what it means to deliver an assessment digitally,” which includes offering students “flexibility in terms of when, where, and how often the SAT is given” (SAT Suite 2023).


In addition to hosting the SAT digitally, students will also be provided a variety of online tools to use during the test, similar to that of the FSA or FAST assessments. A few of these helpful tools will include a countdown clock to indicate the amount of time you have left in the test, the ability to flag questions for later, a built-in graphing calculator that students can use during the math portion of the test, and a reference sheet for each math question that consists of common formulas.  


When asked about whether or not the digital SAT/PSAT will be more beneficial when compared to paper and pencil, Fleming agrees that it will be. “I heard that it’s going to have the delta math graphing thing built in so that’s something I’m definitely looking forward to, it’ll help ease the stress. I feel as if [the digital format will] help [students] not take so long on questions and [will help] the process go by more smoothly.”

SHS senior Korri Lower, who also took the SAT last year, disagrees. “I don’t believe it’s beneficial, I believe it lowers your attention span. When I took the SAT and PSAT, I found that I was able to focus more when given a physical copy.”

 While the PSAT/SAT is changing with the times, students must still be just as prepared when it comes time to take the test— studying, reviewing notes, and getting a good night’s sleep are all important factors to consider when it comes down to getting a good score. Until it comes time to take these assessments, good luck on your studying Noles, and do your best! 

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    Nanette BorchesOct 17, 2023 at 10:19 PM

    Very insightful article informing us of the new testing options. Great job, Addison!