SAT Changes 2023-2024: What You Need To Know

The SAT, a widely recognized standardized test used for college admissions in the United States, is undergoing changes in 2023 and 2024. These changes aim to improve the test and provide students with a fair and accurate measure of their college readiness. If you're planning to take the SAT during these years, it's crucial to stay informed about the updates to ensure you're well-prepared.

Here's what you need to know about the SAT changes in 2023-2024.

Content Changes:

The SAT will have some adjustments to its content starting in August 2023. The College Board, which administers the SAT, has indicated that the changes will focus on streamlining the test and aligning it more closely with what students are learning in school. While specific details of the content changes have not been released yet, it's important to be aware that there may be adjustments to the test's structure, question types, and emphasis on certain topics.

Optional Essay:

The SAT Essay, which was made optional in 2021, will no longer be offered starting in June 2023. This means that students taking the SAT will no longer have the option to complete the Essay section as part of their test. However, some colleges and universities may still require or recommend the SAT Essay as part of their admissions process, so it's essential to check the requirements of the schools you're interested in.

Digital Testing

The College Board has been gradually transitioning the SAT from a paper-and-pencil test to a digital format. By 2024, the SAT will be predominantly administered digitally, with paper testing options limited to certain circumstances. This means that students may need to take the test on a computer or other digital device, and it's important to familiarize yourself with the digital testing format and practice using it beforehand.

Score Reporting Changes

The College Board has introduced a new policy called "Score Choice" that allows students to choose which scores they want to send to colleges. Starting in September 2023, students will have the option to send only their best scores from individual sections of the SAT, rather than sending their entire test scores. This policy change provides more flexibility for students to strategically send their best scores to colleges, and it's important to understand how it may affect your score reporting strategy.

Fee Waivers

The College Board has also expanded access to fee waivers for eligible students, starting in the 2022-2023 school year. Fee waivers can help reduce or eliminate the costs associated with taking the SAT, including registration fees, late fees, and additional score reports. Students from low-income backgrounds or who meet other eligibility criteria may be eligible for fee waivers, and it's crucial to explore these options to ensure that cost is not a barrier to taking the SAT.

Test Dates and Deadlines

The SAT test dates and deadlines may also change in 2023-2024. It's essential to check the College Board's website for the most up-to-date information on test dates, registration deadlines, and other important dates related to the SAT. Planning ahead and registering early can help ensure that you secure a spot on your desired test date and avoid late registration fees.

Preparation Strategies

With the changes to the SAT, it's important to adapt your preparation strategies accordingly. As the test content may change, it's crucial to stay updated with the latest information from the College Board and adjust your study materials and strategies accordingly. Additionally, practicing with digital test formats, familiarizing yourself with the online tools and features, and taking practice tests in a digital format can help you prepare for the digital SAT.

When Are the SAT Changes 2023? 

The College Board has announced that the SAT changes for 2023 will be implemented starting in August 2023. This means that the updated content and format of the SAT, including the elimination of the optional Essay section and the introduction of digital testing, will be in effect from the August 2023 test administration onwards. It's important for students planning to take the SAT in or after August 2023 to familiarize themselves with the changes and prepare accordingly. It's also recommended to regularly check the College Board's website for the most up-to-date information on SAT test dates, registration deadlines, and other important updates.

Why Is the SAT Changing? 

The SAT is changing in response to feedback from students, educators, and colleges. The College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, aims to create an exam that is more relevant to students' learning and that reflects the skills needed for success in college and beyond. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant disruption to the college admissions process, leading to adjustments in standardized testing requirements and formats. The changes to the SAT aim to address these challenges and to provide a fair and accurate assessment of students' abilities.

What Are the Main Changes to the SAT? 

The main changes to the SAT in 2023 include:

Test format

The SAT will move from a paper-based test to a computer-based test. This means that students will take the test on a computer, rather than filling in a bubble sheet with a pencil.

Test content

The SAT will focus more on knowledge and skills that are important for college and career readiness. This includes a greater emphasis on math, as well as more advanced math topics like trigonometry and statistics.


The optional essay section of the SAT will be removed. This means that students will only take the main SAT test, which includes reading, writing and language, and math sections.


The overall test time will be reduced from 3 hours and 50 minutes to 3 hours. This includes removing the essay section and reducing the number of questions in other sections.


The SAT will return to the 1600-point scale, with separate scores for the math and reading/writing sections. The scoring system will also include subscores and cross-test scores to provide more detailed information about a student's performance.

Tips for Prepping for the Digital SAT

Preparing for the digital SAT requires some adjustments compared to preparing for the paper-based SAT. Here are some tips to help you effectively prep for the digital SAT:

Familiarize yourself with the digital format

Get comfortable with the computer-based testing environment by taking practice tests on a computer or a similar device. Familiarize yourself with the navigation tools, features, and functions of the digital SAT platform.

Practice time management

The digital SAT has a reduced overall test time, so practice managing your time effectively during the test. Pace yourself and make sure you are able to complete each section within the allocated time.

Enhance your digital skills

Since the digital SAT is taken on a computer, it's important to develop and improve your digital skills. Practice typing and using the on-screen tools effectively, such as highlighting, underlining, and flagging questions for review.

Practice with official digital SAT practice tests

College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, provides official digital SAT practice tests on their website. Utilize these practice tests to get a feel for the digital format and to practice your skills in a realistic testing environment.

Review test content thoroughly

Although the digital format may be different, the content of the SAT remains the same. Review all the test content thoroughly, including reading, writing and language, math, and any other sections that may be part of the SAT you are taking.

Use reliable study materials

Choose reputable study materials that are specifically designed for the digital SAT. Look for materials that closely mimic the format, content, and difficulty level of the actual test.

Take breaks

Just like with the paper-based SAT, taking breaks during your digital SAT prep can help you maintain focus and concentration. Take regular breaks during your study sessions to avoid burnout and to keep yourself refreshed.

Practice under test-like conditions

When taking practice tests, try to simulate test-like conditions as much as possible. Sit in a quiet environment, time yourself, and avoid distractions to create a realistic testing environment that closely resembles the actual test.

Analyze your practice test results

Review and analyze your practice test results to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Focus on areas that need improvement and adjust your study plan accordingly.

Seek additional help if needed

If you're struggling with certain concepts or sections of the test, don't hesitate to seek additional help. Consider getting a tutor, attending test prep classes, or utilizing online resources to reinforce your understanding of the material.

Preparing for the digital SAT requires adjusting to the computer-based format, but with practice and preparation, you can perform well on test day. Utilize these tips to effectively prep for the digital SAT and increase your chances of achieving a high score.


In conclusion, the SAT changes in 2023-2024 aim to make the exam more relevant, accessible, and equitable for all students. The key changes include a reduced number of questions, an optional essay section, and a focus on essential skills like analysis, problem-solving, and data analysis. The new digital format will also offer more flexibility and features for test-takers. To prepare for the new exam, students can take advantage of practice tests and resources available online, and work on developing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Overall, the SAT changes are designed to better align with the needs and expectations of today's students and higher education institutions.