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Students Take the First All-Digital SAT Exam, But the Difficult Math Section Is Criticized

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Following the first-ever all-digital SAT exam, parents and students are discussing the difficulties they encountered. Many felt unprepared and overwhelmed by the test’s considerable modifications, which included a lower time limit and an adaptive style. The test launched on Saturday.



Many parents and children have expressed their concerns in reports, and one Brooklyn student called the exam “the worst one yet,” having taken exams in the old-fashioned pencil-and-paper style before. The test’s adaptive feature, which modifies question difficulty based on past performance, has come under fire for possibly harming students’ chances and being seen as a “dumbing down” of the traditional exam.

Ben Morden, a Manhattan delegate to the Citywide Council on High Schools, expressed worries on the degree of difficulty, pointing out that high achievers might find the new structure tough. Students also bemoaned the lack of time to go over questions and answers in-depth, with some finding the reading and writing portions especially difficult.



For many test-takers, the arithmetic exam proved to be a major obstacle, surpassing in difficulty the reading and writing sections. Students were not entirely ready for the difficulty of the digital exam, despite their best efforts to prepare using conventional study materials.

The College Board defended the modifications in the face of criticism, stressing that students who answered easy questions would not unjustly benefit from them. They emphasized that the exam will be shorter and results will be available more quickly, with scores expected in days as opposed to weeks, in an effort to lessen anxiety.



Before the next meeting, the Citywide Council on High Schools intends to hold a public meeting with a representative from the College Board to address concerns and clarify the new exam format. The debate over the effectiveness and fairness of the redesigned SAT is still developing as families and kids struggle with these changes.

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