Parents and teachers react to SAT switching to shorter online format

SAT test book
SAT test book(CBS7 News)
Published: Jan. 30, 2022 at 5:23 PM CST
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SALADO, Texas (KWTX) - For many Central Texas parents looking at where your children may go to college in the next few years, standardized tests like the SAT and ACT may seem daunting to them.

Now, the SAT will officially transition from a paper and pencil format to a shorter test online.

Kimberly Redelsheimer and her three high school children are going through one of the most stressful times, preparing for the SAT while applying to colleges. However, when she heard of the SAT’s decision to change to format to virtual, she was thrilled.

“I think shorter means less stress and I think longer means more stress,” she said.

“I also think they’re more comfortable in an online testing environment than paper and pencil because they’ve already done so much of that.”

Administrators with the test say the reason for the change is to boost the exam’s relevancy as more colleges make standardized tests optional for admission. Test takers will be allowed to use their own laptops or tablets but will still have to sit at a monitored testing site or school.

Teachers like Salado High School’s Katy Leiskau says this format is already common with most of the tests her students take today.

“It could be beneficial for a couple of reasons,” she said.

“One of the biggest ones are our students who really struggle with a test that’s three hours long. That’s a long time for anyone to sit down and concentrate, let alone a teenager. So, by shortening it a little bit may make it easier for our students to concentrate.”

However, there is concern some students who struggle with standardized tests may feel there’s smaller margin for error. Even so, Leiskau believes the change will allow students to be judged by their overall grades and involvement than by a single test score.

“The first thing that students and parents need to keep in mind is that a single test does not define a student,” she said.

“We remind the students of this when they take STARR tests. I remind my students as we take AP tests. Your intelligence level and ability to learn is not defined by a single test.”

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