Verbatim: Students, staff react to SAT going virtual

The College Board announced on Jan. 25 that the SAT would be administered completely virtually by 2024. Students will take the test at in-person testing centers on computers, and the length will be reduced by an hour and allow a calculator on the entire math section, according to the College Board. The Paly Voice talked to Palo Alto High School students and staff to gauge their opinions on the change.

“I kind of hated taking the AP tests online last year, so I think taking the SAT online would probably kind of suck and not be as great, but I guess some people like it more. I think in my opinion it’s not the best move because there’s just so many Internet connection problems but I guess you could argue that it’s more environmentally friendly.” 

— senior Sana Muneyb

“I feel like the SAT should go away completely. I think it’s culturally biased, and just stupid. So I think maybe it’s a step in the right direction, and hopefully that direction is not even having standardized testing for college.”

— counselor James Hamilton

“I feel like it would be easier to take the test on paper, like for example on the reading section, you can’t really annotate the questions as you would on paper.”

— junior Megan Chen

“I think it [the SAT going virtual] is a good thing because we’re already using technology today, like with distance learning we had to go to school online, and with online there’s more tools available too and more resources available, so I think it’s going to be much more advanced and much better because online it might also be easier to restrict cheating as well.”

— freshman Samarth Sethi

“On digital, it [the SAT] can be more controlled. You can control all the students, you can see if they’re cheating. On paper, you could easily cheat. I guess they could have something hidden, so I guess digital is a better way to monitor SATs.”

— freshman Amani Fossati-Moiane

“I don’t really see a difference. I feel like the SATs are stressful either way, unless they do anything to prevent cheating. They’ll probably put our computers on lockdown like they do for SmarterBalanced, but maybe it’ll make it easier for people to focus for 3 hours.”

— sophomore Sirisha Mitra

“I had to do the SAT and ACT diagnostic online, and that was really awful just because it’s hard to stare at the screen for that long, so I don’t think it’s going to be good with the SAT online.” 

— junior Kaila Chun