The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

Ms. Day speaks to Hockaday students as well as other students in the Dallas area as part of her role to involve Hockaday students in the community and lead them to fulfill their purpose.
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Switching up the SAT

In 2024, the SAT is going to switch to new format and adds features
Junior+takes+the+digital+SAT.
Junior takes the digital SAT.

Long hours studying, completing endless practice tests and breaking down over a single score. The SAT and ACT are some of the most challenging tests for high school students. But in a few months, the format of these tests will change for good.

Starting in March 2024, the nearly century-old test will be offered only online, and the overall format will change with it. According to the College Board website, this change in delivery for this assessment is an improvement.

According to https://www.collegeboard.org/, “Going digital allows us to offer much more flexibility in terms of when, where, and how often the SAT is given.”

In addition to the change in delivery format, the length of the test will change.

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“It is a shorter test; it is two hours and 15 minutes as opposed to closer to three hours,” College Counseling Associate, Aspen Arnold said. “There are also randomized questions so not every student is answering the same question at the same time. It also makes it, so we don’t have to offer the test on the exact same day as every other school in the country, so there is more freedom there.”

Another significant change in the test is question adaptivity. The difficulty level of the test adapts to the user’s answer to the last question.

“You have two modules for the reading and writing and two modules for math,” Upper School Learning Specialist, Jennifer Spradley said. “Depending on how you did one module one they can direct other questions to you in module two in both of those sections.”

This big change has led to opting for the ACT, a similar test that holds the same weight.

“We anticipate that some students will prefer the new digital adaptative SAT while other students will prefer the paper-and-pencil ACT,” Co-Director of College Counseling, Elizabeth Jones said.

While some students are waiting for the digital SAT others are trying to finalize their scores before 2024 to avoid a completely new testing format.

“I am hoping to only have to take the physical SAT and finish my test attempts before the SAT goes digital, as I don’t want to take the digital SAT,” junior Anya Ahuja said.

There are many opinions from students and administrators, some encouraging the digital SAT and others wishing it would stay in its original written format.

“We don’t have to organize paper tests or get exams and answer sheets delivered back to College Board,” Arnold said. “I think from the administration side it has been significantly easier and I think our proctors and our test monitors thought that too after the digital PSAT.”

While the responses from administrators and proctors have been nothing but positive, students have mixed reviews.
“The physical SAT is better because I enjoy the reading part of the physical SAT more and I am more comfortable with those types of questions,” Ahuja said. “I also enjoy reading longer passages.”

While other students find the written SAT to be more stressful, junior Carys Braun said the frantic page turning in the final minutes of the math sections causes a greater rise in stress than jumping between questions online on the digital SAT.

There are some students with mixed reviews, who say they like one part of the digital version but still think there are attributes of the physical SAT that should stay.

“I like the digital SAT better for reading because you can easily scroll through the passage and you don’t need to flip back and forth to go to the passage,” junior Sarah Holmes said. “I prefer the physical SAT for math because I like doing my work on the page.”

There are many different opinions for this major change to the long-standing written test. Regardless, this decision stands firm with the College Board. This huge change causes stress for all students.

“I think anytime there is a change it increases the stress level of any student,” Spradley said. “Ultimately, there will be less stress because the reading portion will be much more manageable in terms of not having to go back through an entire two-column passage to find an answer and because students will be able to use their calculator on the entire math section.”

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About the Contributor
Amitha Nair
Amitha Nair, News Editor