The student news site of Jones College Prep High School


The student news site of Jones College Prep High School


The student news site of Jones College Prep High School


The dawn of digital testing

The SAT will be administered online this year

Everyone ditch your number two pencils and pull out your computers because the SAT has officially gone digital. 

The 2023-2024 school year is the first to enforce online testing, and while this transition certainly has its perks, it raises questions about what exactly this means for students’ performance and test experience.

“We’ve been taking the PSAT on paper since freshman year,” said Zuri Belcore ‘25. “I’m used to the paper test by now, so I’m worried that adjusting to the digital test will be difficult for me.” 

These concerns are common throughout the Junior class, bolstering fear in the hearts of the soon-to-be SAT takers. 

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“I’ve heard that it’s harder to get a high score on the digital SAT because there is less room for error,” said Emma Feca ‘25. “Getting one question wrong on the digital test is way worse than missing a question on the paper test.” 

However, there are undoubtedly benefits to this dramatic shift. 

“I’m honestly glad that it’s online now,” said Keeley Chiu ‘25. “I get my score back way faster this way and I do all my other work online, so it only makes sense that I would test on my computer as well.”  

One of the largest changes spurred by the digitization of the SAT is the shortening of passages in the reading section, which has received mixed reactions. 

“I always struggled to stay focused on the longer texts, so I think this will be very helpful for me,” said Chiu. 

Other students believe that this alteration will worsen their performance. 

“The shorter passages have really increased my test anxiety,” said Feca. “Shorter passages mean more passages that I have to comprehend, which stresses me out.” 

Another significant change as the tests are administered online is the separation of each section into two adaptive modules. 

“If you do well on the first module, then the test gets harder on the next portion,” said Belcore. “If you get the harder module, it’s reassuring knowing that you performed well on the first part.” 

There are also notable rearrangements to the mathematical aspect of the exam.

“We’re allowed calculators on the entirety of the digital SAT,” said Chiu. “This is a huge difference from the paper test, but I’m glad I don’t have to do math in my head anymore.” 

Not only are the testers allowed to bring their own calculators for the whole exam, but the testing platform itself will provide one as well. 

“When I took the PSAT I was shocked that there was an online calculator I could use,” said Feca. “It almost felt like cheating.” 

A built-in calculator was not the only added online resource. Students now have timers on their screens, the ability to bookmark questions while testing, and so much more. 

“It was definitely overwhelming to have so many applications at first,” said Chiu. “But you get used to it and you realize how helpful it is to have a graphing calculator at your fingertips and an easy way to remember which questions you need to go back and check.” 

As if navigating a new digital platform was not daunting enough, students who have already taken the digital SAT came across an additional challenge regarding Wi-Fi.

“My exam was set to start at eight, but so many of us had wifi problems that we did not begin until at least nine,” said Belcore. 

Even with Wi-Fi issues, the digital test was set to finish far before the paper version, with a completion time of around two hours rather than the previous three hours. 

“I’m so grateful that the test was shortened,” said Chiu. “By the end of the three-hour-long PSAT last year I was so tired and unfocused.” 

While the overall test may be shortened, students have on average more time per question on the digital SAT than the SAT from prior years. 

“I didn’t realize how rushed I felt on the PSAT freshman and sophomore year until I took it digitally this year,” said Belcore. “I felt way less stressed with this new format.” 

As a new era of digital testing emerges, one thing remains clear: the students of JCP are ready to tackle this challenge.

“I’m not sure what to expect when I take the SAT in April, but I do know that I am going to give it my all,” said Chiu.

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Eliza Beresh '25
Eliza Beresh '25, Journalism II

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