According to a recent announcement College Board, the SAT exam will undergo a major overhaul from 2024 onward. Students will have to appear for a digitised mode instead of the conventional pen-and-paper exam. The paper will be delivered digitally for international students from 2023 onward, while the change for American students will commence from 2024.

Additionally, the reading passages will be easier, questions will be more adaptive, and the overall length of the exam will be shorter. Typically, SAT changes the exam pattern once a decade, with the last major change in 2016. The exam switched to a 1600-point format from the 2400-point format during the last update. However, the upcoming makeover is likely to be the most significant change yet.


The good thing about the upcoming overhaul is that these changes will make the test easier. Here is a list of impending changes in the SAT exam that students must know about.

  • The exam will be conducted in the digital mode
  • Its duration will decrease to 2 hours from 3 hours
  • It will have two sections- Math and Reading and Writing, with a break in between
  • The assessments will continue to be held in a test centre or a school under the supervision of a proctor
  • Students will be permitted to use a personal device or a device issued by the school

Students can register for the new-format SAT starting in fall 2022, and the first online mode exam will be conducted in March 2023 at international test centres and in the spring of 2024 at the US test centres. Both test sections will have two modules, and students will have to complete the first module before starting the next. The reading passages will be shorter. Calculators will be allowed in the entire Math section, unlike the current model where students cannot use them in a math section.


The primary objective of changing the SAT exam pattern is to make it easier and more relevant. The College Board has approved the model only after piloting it in November 2021. As many as 80% of the students found it less stressful. Since the duration is shorter, test centres will find the administration easier too. They will have more flexibility in planning the exam. Additionally, the digital format ends the need for packaging and shipping test materials, making it more cost-effective. It can be more secure as each student can be given a unique test form. Another benefit of the model is the faster delivery of test scores with only a few days rather than weeks. Students will have more time to make college decisions. Further, digital SAT Suite score reports will provide information on two-year colleges, workforce training programmes, and career options.


SAT scores are important for international students as they are accepted in hundreds of universities around the world. They can get you into academic programmes related to fields like engineering, law, journalism, liberal arts, and more. Moreover, they can help you secure scholarship opportunities. It is crucial to align with the changes in the pattern while keeping in mind the core objective. The exam measures your college readiness and skills beyond school grades. Make sure you are prepared for the new model so that you do not miss out on your international education dreams.

With the first exam to be held in 2023, you still have time to ramp up your preparation strategy. You can seek advice from experts and practice skills to give your best. The good thing is that the changes are likely to work in your favour.

If you are considering studying abroad why don’t you discuss your prospects and opportunities with experts at Lurnable’s dedicated study abroad counselling division LurnPathways?

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