What Does the New Digital SAT Mean for Your Student?

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The College Board announced in February 2022 that the SAT is going digital. They will be moving from a traditional paper and pencil test to a digitized version internationally in March 2023 and in the U.S. in March 2024. The test will be administered under the supervision of proctors at testing centers or schools. Current Sophomores (10th Graders) will be the first students in the U.S. for whom the new test will be a concern. Both domestic and international students will also be taking the first digital PSAT scheduled to launch Fall 2023. 

Test will be shorter

The digital test is a 2hr digitized test that is a shorter version as compared to the 3hr current SAT. It no longer uses the traditional paper and pencil and can be taken from a laptop or tablet. The new reading passages will be shorter, with only one question for each passage, and the Math questions will be less wordy. There is also going to be more Geometry and Trigonometry questions (15% of total Math section) on the digital version compared to only 8% on the paper based one. The college board has released four official digital practice tests and four official linear practice tests through the Bluebook app. The students will benefit from practice to familiarize themselves of the new format.

Scores will arrive faster

Students will receive their scores within days of taking the exam, helping them get the information they need to make key college decisions quicker.

Calculators will be allowed on the Math section

The current SAT does not allow the use of calculator in the non-calculator Math section. The new digital format will allow the use of Desmos, an online graphing calculator built into the Bluebook app for the entire Math section. Learning how to use Desmos early on, could be a gamechanger and possibly help students to answer majority of the Math questions on the digital SAT.

Tests are section adaptive

The test is section adaptive and not question adaptive. Each subject will be divided into two sections. This will give the students a chance in the whole first testing period to go back and review their answers to all questions in the first section before time is called. Based on the student’s performance in the first section, an algorithm will choose the appropriate difficulty of the second section. This will help eliminate cheating, as each student will get a uniquely different test based on their ability.

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