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A Grave Loss, A New Beginning: An Obituary for the Paper-and-Pencil SAT

After a storied 98 year history pioneering college entrance exams for millions of students, the beloved paper-and-pencil SAT has passed away, survived by the new digital SAT.

A Grave Loss, A New Beginning

Academic Approach Tutoring and Test Prep | A tombstone with the word sat on it.

United States – It is with a heavy heart that we must announce the passing of the paper-and-pencil SAT, a foundational pillar of the education community. Although some were shocked by the mogul’s passing, the paper SAT fell ill in 2022 when College Board announced its plans to introduce a revised, digital, and adaptive version of the test in 2024. Despite its grim prognosis, the paper SAT battled bravely until the very end, bringing critical thinking and furrowed brows to students for the last time on December 2nd 2023.

Born on June 23rd 1926, the paper SAT lived an incredibly full life, going through major glow ups in 2005 and 2016. Despite its humble beginnings (originally administered to just 8,000 students in 1926), the paper SAT worked hard to improve its craft and partner with colleges and universities, eventually becoming one of the premier standardized tests in the United States (with 1.9 million Class of 2023 students taking the exam). Publicly associated with a 1600-point score for most of its life, the paper SAT did break off the relationship in 2005, engaging in a relationship with a 2400-point scale for a few years, before reconciling with the 1600-point scale once again in 2016. The two remained close until the paper SAT’s death.

The paper SAT is survived by its young child, the digital SAT, and its cousin, the paper-and-pencil ACT. Although the digital SAT could not be reached directly for comment, a family representative said that the digital SAT is preparing to take their parent’s place as College Board’s primary standardized test on March 9th 2024.

“The digital SAT asks for privacy during this time of grief and transition. However, they are committed to honoring the paper SAT’s legacy and will do their best to fill these enormous shoes.”
– Family Representative

Academic Approach Tutoring and Test Prep | A man dressed as a pencil holding a sat in front of a group of students.

Funeral services will be private, but the family thanks the public for their outpouring of love and support. In lieu of flowers, they ask mourners to please contact Academic Approach, the family’s favorite education company that is highly trained to help students grapple with the loss of the paper SAT and prepare to work with its successor, the digital SAT.

Academic Approach Tutoring and Test Prep | A photo of a classroom with students sitting at desks.

“There is no one we trust more than Academic Approach to provide the public with accurate and helpful information about this transition,” the family representative said.

Academic Approach CEO and founder Matthew Pietrafetta expressed both his condolences and hope for what the digital SAT’s reign may mean for students. “While we do anticipate some speedbumps as the digital SAT gets settled in its new position, the digital SAT will be bringing a fresh and modern approach to the role that we believe will benefit students,” Pietrafetta said. “The digital SAT has a good sense of what today’s students want and need. A standardized (but adaptive) exam that still tests important reading, writing, and mathematics skills (but in a much shorter time period) through a medium they are more familiar with.”

Pietrafetta continued, “We urge students, families, and educators to come to us with any questions as they process their grief. We offer a range of services tailored to the digital SAT, including a three-hour introductory course designed to help students acclimate to the new testing changes. We will get through this together.”   

For more information, contact Academic Approach at (888) 483-1073 or www.academicapproach.com/get-started.

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