Pen and Paper, to Keyboard and Mouse


Adam Abougendia, Sports Editor

  The most dreaded thing any high school student goes through. Standardized testing, specifically the SAT and AP exams. For years students will arrive at their test centers, and take what feels like a never ending test with the old fashion paper and pencil. This is all changing though, in a drastic way… 

  The SAT along with AP tests are officially going virtual starting in 2023, and this has already played dividends in the future of standardized testing. In terms of the SAT, CollegeBoard’s vice president of College readiness Priscilla Rodriguez explains, “The digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant.” The main complaint about the SAT other than the rigor itself, is the amount of time given for the exam. That’s also changing as well, the previous three hour test will now been condensed to just two hours. Furthermore, the time frame to get scores back will also be shortened from about three weeks, to just days. As the SAT is one of the most worrisome time for students, a comfortability aspect will be in place as students will be able to use their own personal devices and calculators will be used throughout the entire math section, which has never been done before. As only one virtual SAT has been administered, many current seniors did not get the opportunity to experience the exam in its new form. Senior Xavier Lewis expressed, “As I went through the college application process, the SAT was the thing I worried about most. I’ve never been one for standardized tests dictating a college decision, but I think the SAT going online will be a beneficial thing for future students trying to go to college. It SHOULD make the test easier, but it also could be a situation where they make the test harder because it’s online, I hope that isn’t the case though.” 

  Along with the SAT, AP exams are also pivoting to an online platform, however the situation with AP tests is a little different. Each school that offers AP classes will be given the option whether or not to take the test in its original format, or move over to the online version of the test. Similar to how it was during the Covid school year, the AP tests will be as close to identical as possible to the original, brick and mortar test. Yet, with classes such as AP Language and Composition, and AP United States History that are very writing intensive, requiring tons of note taking and has entire sections dedicated to more than just the normal multiple choice. Ms. Alongi, Charter’s APUSH teacher explained her thoughts in regards to her exam stating,  “I understand why college board is going in that direction, it makes sense for specific AP exam. With the tests with extensive document planning and timed writing like AP Lang, Lit and APUSH, the more effective method for students to pass is on paper. Whether the students necessarily prefer that or not, is a different story. I’ve personally asked my students which they prefer in order to get a gauge for the decision that I’m going to make for my exam.” 

  As standardized testing continues to grow and develop, the goal with all this according to CollegeBoard is to “give students the best possible opportunity to show themselves off to colleges and universities across the country.” As we take paper tests to screens, only the future will show what happens when we put screens to the test.