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Students who are sophomores in the 2022-2023 school year will see the SAT® test format change in the middle of their junior year. It’s clear that seniors and juniors should take the current paper and pencil SAT®. Freshmen and younger should prepare for the new digital SAT®. But what about this year’s sophomores? Should the class of 2025 take the digital SAT?

For several reasons, C2 recommends that students in the class of 2025 prepare for and finalize their scores with the current paper and pencil SAT®.

Finalize Test Scores by December of Junior Year

C2 has always advised students to finalize their SAT® scores by December of their junior year, and that advice is even more important for students in the class of 2025. Finalizing test scores by December in 11th grade leaves juniors free to focus the rest of the school year on getting great grades in their classes, preparing for May AP® exams, and narrowing down their college lists. This timeline creates less stress for students during a critical semester and allows them to focus on college essays in the summer.

Prepare for Only One Version of the SAT®

Students in the Class of 2025 have one more important reason to finalize their scores by December of 11th grade: Students who meet their score goals by December will not need to worry about preparing for a different version of the SAT®. They can continue with the techniques and methods they are already using to prepare for the test.

However, any students who take the official paper and pencil tests and do not meet their score goals before the release of the digital SAT® will still be in a position excel on the new test. Because the digital SAT® covers the same core skills as the paper test, students should be able to focus their remaining preparation on digital strategies as they will already have mastered the content.

Preparing for the Digital SAT® Could Delay College Application Timeline

“Should I just wait and take the digital SAT®? I heard it will be easier.”

If a student in the class of 2025 chooses to wait until spring of 11th grade to take the test, they risk delaying their college application timeline and may lose valuable time to work on essays and other components. What’s more, even if the digital SAT® is easier (and we have no evidence of that), an easier SAT® is not beneficial for students because it results in a harsher grading scale. On a so-called “easy” SAT®, a single missed question can drop a student’s score by 10 or 20 points.

C2 Center Directors and teachers are ready to help you with a personalized plan to ace the SAT® that makes the most sense for you. Contact your local C2 center and get started today!