Navigating the 2024 SAT Changes: A Comprehensive Guide for Parents
The SAT, a rite of passage for many aspiring college students, is set to undergo significant changes in 2024. Beginning with the March 2024 test administration, students will take the first-ever digital SAT. The format is only one of the changes the College Board is making to this college entrance exam. These modifications aim to create a fairer and more relevant assessment of students’ academic readiness for college.
If you have a high-school student whom the alterations to the SAT may impact, we have taken all the guesswork out of what they should expect when they enter the exam room. Read on to learn about the specific changes and what they mean for college-bound students.
What Are the Significant 2024 SAT Changes?
While there are many changes at first glance, there’s actually much about the exam that remains the same. See the table below for a complete list of the changes and what they mean for your student:
|Type of Change
|How It’s Different from the Current SAT
|What It Means for Students
|The SAT will be administered on a digital device (laptop or tablet) through an application called Bluebook.
|The present SAT is administered in a pencil-and-paper format.
|They can take the digital SAT at school or a testing center using their own device or one borrowed from their school or the College Board. Students will download Bluebook to their devices before their exam.
|The digital SAT’s duration is two hours and 14 minutes.
|The current SAT is three hours long.
|The digital SAT is almost an hour shorter! The exam won’t take as long.
|The digital SAT will consist of two sections: Reading and Writing Math
|The current SAT format consists of three sections: ReadingWriting and LanguageMath
|The exam experience will be more streamlined.
|Both sections of the digital SAT will be divided into two modules: Module 1 and Module 2.
|The paper-and-pencil SAT has four sections. They’ve been renamed modules.
|Test-takers won’t be able to skip back and forth between modules during the exam. Module 1 must be completed before students can move to Module 2 for both exam sections.
|Format and content
|Adaptive testing generates an individualized digital SAT exam for each individual.
|A paper-and-pencil exam is unadaptable to each individual’s knowledge and skills.
|A student’s performance in Module 1 on both SAT Reading and Writing and SAT Math will be used to generate the questions they receive in Module 2. Every test taker’s exam will be different.
|Format and content
|Passages on SAT Reading will be shorter, and each reading passage will correspond with only one exam question. Questions on both SAT Reading and SAT Math will be more direct and concise.
|The current SAT includes both long and short reading passages. Reading passages correspond with sets of multiple questions. Questions are not as explicitly focused on aligning with real college material.
|Their exam performance will better reflect their college and career readiness.
|Exam tools and rules
|Students will see a digital countdown clock, a way to flag exam questions within a module and return to them later, a built-in graphing calculator, and a digital reference sheet for SAT Math. Also, students may use the graphing calculator for the entire Math section.
|A proctor times students’ exams. Reference sheets for SAT Math are included in the paper exam booklet. Students cannot use a graphing calculator in the entire Math section.
|All exam tools will be housed in the Bluebook app for a smoother testing experience. Students can use their calculators to answer more questions.
|Official score reports will be delivered quickly, likely within a few days of their exam date.
|Score reports are delivered within a couple of weeks.
|Students will receive their scores sooner, so they can decide more quickly whether to send their score reports to colleges or retake the SAT.
|Using their digital device and the Bluebook app, students can take full-length, adaptive practice SATs before their exam.
|Students can download practice exams, but there is no app they can use to take them digitally. The current practice exams are not adaptive.
|Test-takers will get more targeted, individualized practice for the exam but must also adjust their test prep to be ready for adaptive testing.
How Can You Prepare Your Student for the 2024 SAT Changes?
- Stay Informed About the Exam Format Changes. Regularly check for updates from reliable sources, such as the College Board’s official announcements. Understanding the changes will help you guide your child effectively.
- Encourage Digital Literacy and Take Digital Practice Tests. Given the shift to digital testing, encourage your child to become familiar with computer-based testing environments. Familiarity can be achieved through online practice tests and interactive learning tools. You can find some digital practice tests here directly from the College Board.
- Enroll your student in SAT Prep Courses. SAT prep courses are designed to equip students with targeted strategies and insights, maximizing their potential for higher scores. Taking a course will impact your student’s knowledge and increase their confidence, reducing anxiety and improving overall test performance.
Best in Class Education Center: Your Partner in SAT Prep
Navigating the 2024 SAT changes can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. Best in Class Education Center specializes in SAT/ACT prep. Our programs deliver personalized instruction, expert instructors, and proven results through digital, interactive assignments, explanatory videos of problems, real-time progress tracking, and immediate score results.
Preparing for the 2024 SAT changes starts now. Equip your student with the tools they need to succeed by enrolling them in Best in Class Education Center’s SAT Prep Program. Click here to learn more about our offerings and find a center near you.