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Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Technology overtakes the PSAT

Olivia Cooke
Sohum Uppal (‘25) ponders what may lie in the future of college testing while reading the College Board’s Digital PSAT announcement. As a rising senior, he is unsure what the standardized testing part of the college process would look like next year.

Since the college board introduced the PSAT, the tests have been held in high schools across the country, where hundreds of students arrive with #2 pencils and calculators. The students sit and listen to proctors explain how to use and fill out scantrons for half an hour, and finally begin the test at 8:30 a.m. 

 For many current seniors, it is hard to imagine taking the PSAT any other way, but for the class of ‘25 and beyond, they are spared this trouble through technology. 

This past fall, the college board wanted to take advantage of digital testing and decided to use this year’s PSAT to transition into online college testing. The college board’s decision proved very helpful for this year’s juniors, as many juniors shared that the PSAT this year was much easier than last year’s. 

“The test was less stressful because the digital PSAT is shorter and they adjust the test questions to your level based on previous answers,” Jacky Qi (‘25) said. 

The digital PSAT is shorter than its paper counterpart, only lasting two hours and 14 minutes instead of pushing three hours. Another advantage to digital testing includes having more time to think through and answer questions, as the built-in calculator and shorter reading passages allow faster responses.  

“I thought it was easier that the PSAT was digital since our generation is more comfortable with charging and using laptops than having #2 pencils and making sure we fill in the right spots,” Jarra Jallow (‘25) said. 

The digital PSAT resulted in extremely positive feedback with Webb students and made many wonder whether the new digital era of college testing is here to stay. Rumors that the SAT will soon shift to online platforms still float around, sparking curiosity about this major change. 

Since the digital PSAT was easier for both students taking the test nationally and those scoring the test, it is likely that the SAT will soon follow its practice test counterpart onto the computer screen. Questions surrounding a digital SAT include those regarding SAT inequality and if the digital version of the test will help close that gap, according to the New Yorker. 

 “Taking the test on a laptop, instead of having to worry about bubbling in answers, felt like it removed a lot of the stereotypes about the test that make the experience feel kind of robotic, or otherworldly.” Eren Orbey said. 

This feedback shows that in general, students found the SAT much easier and more comfortable, especially with the system giving students questions based on the accuracy of their previous responses. This approach considers individual students’ skill level rather than fitting students of different backgrounds and abilities into the same mold––lessening the inequality gap that comes with standardized testing.  

 Although digital testing is still in its early pilot mode stages, it may begin an era that gradually resolves the disadvantages that students face throughout the college process.

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About the Contributor
Olivia Cooke
Olivia Cooke, Co-Editor of Culture and Lifetyle
Exemplifying a vibrant spirit, Olivia Cooke (‘24) enthusiastically indulges her multifaceted interests. With a soccer ball at her feet and a tennis racket in her hand, Olivia's passion for sports is unmistakable, whether she showcases her skills on the soccer field, the Webb soccer team, or the JV tennis court. Beyond the athletic arena, Olivia shines through her commitment to community service, driven by her mission to spread happiness and positivity. Olivia's passion for the thrill and chill extends beyond her love for Halloween movies and Stephen King's horror novels. This fascination can be seen in her love for crime documentaries, which provide her with insights into the legal system. Last year, Olivia joined the Webb debate team, showcasing her dedication to pursuing a career in law while combining her passion for horror and crime with her newfound interest in debate. As she lives with passion and a zest for exploration, Webb Canyon Chronicle provides her with a platform to express her voice and enrich the community with her dynamic perspectives.   Favorite song: Running with the Devil - Van Halen

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