While taking the paper-based, #2 pencil-required SAT one final time may not rank up there with seeing the Beatles at their last concert or watching Michael Jordan make his last shot, it does merit some attention. As all good (and bad) things must come to an end, after the December 2 SAT, the College Board will permanently retire the dreaded bubble sheets that students for decades have had to fill in with the utmost precision. Now, don’t get too excited as the SAT is not going away altogether but rather morphing into a digital version which will, nonetheless, continue to flummox students and cause much undue stress to 17-year-olds across the country.
So…you have one final chance to take the current version of the SAT on December 2 and while that may not be quite as thrilling as hearing McCartney sing or Jordan dunk, it will be cheaper and potentially more beneficial as a strong SAT score can help you to increase both your options, and your scholarships, for colleges.
So why bother taking the current test if you can just take the new one?
- Is the new version of anything always better? Think New Coke or Roseanne. Sometimes things improve on the next try but not always, and why get caught up in something that is both new and also something completely different? Let the other folks get stuck on any technical issues while you have your score and can focus on school
- “When technology works it is great but when it doesn’t…?” The College Board will begin to administer the new Digital SAT in March 2024 and beyond, and students will take this new test at school on a Saturday morning as usual but on a computer through the Bluebook app rather than with paper and pencil. Obviously paper and pencils are becoming antiquated but at least they don’t freeze, stop working, or force you to re-start.
- The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. The SAT has been causing kids to have devilish nightmares since FDR was president but at least we know how this thing works. Millions have taken the paper and pencil test, and we’ve learned everything to teach the students about this test. Use that to your advantage and take the current test.
- You can always take the digital test, too. If you take the current test and you don’t like the results, then by all means, please take the Digital SAT this March. No problem. If you wait to take the Digital SAT in March and you don’t like your score or the new testing platform, you can’t go back in time and take the paper and pencil test. So now you have the best of both worlds.
- Is the grass really greener on the other side? It often looks that way but once you get there, the brown starts to rear its face. The new digital SAT looks like it has some enhancements for students but will they actually be a perfect green once students see the new test up-close? Maybe not worth that risk.
As always and with any test of this magnitude, make sure you prepare before you take the SAT. Don’t leave things to chance. Prep for this test at least, if not more than you would for any other test.