The Digital SAT® – What You Need To Know!
In early 2022, the College Board® released information detailing the SAT®’s transition to a fully digital test by 2024. The Digital SAT represents a quantum leap from the traditional SAT evaluation system, justifying the drastic changes in its format, length, pattern, and interface. For students around the world, it entails a notable difference in what you can expect on test day and how you should prepare for it. In this article, we are exploring the digital testing format, time, test sections, and how the test is scored to help you prep smarter for the Digital SAT.
The paper and pencil test will no longer be available after fall 2023. This version of the test has a linear format, is three hours long, and allows calculators in only part of the math section. The Digital SAT, which is available for all students as of spring 2024, lasts 2 hours and 14 minutes and allows students to use a calculator on the entirety of the math section.
What is the Digital SAT?
The Digital SAT, or digital Scholastic Aptitude Test, is an adaptive standardized online test that is widely used for college admissions in the United States and India. The Digital SAT is designed to assess a student's readiness for college and provide colleges with a common data point that can be used to compare the qualifications of applicants. Students take the test online through an app set up by the College Board, called Bluebook. You need to install the app on your Mac or Windows device, Chromebook, or iPad to take the SAT online. If you do not have access to an accepted device, you can request to borrow one from the College Board when you register for the test. In that case, you will be provided with school-managed Chromebooks to take the test.
The Digital SAT is shorter than the traditional paper and pencil version and has been designed to improve test quality, security, delivery, and access for students worldwide. More on these later; let’s start by asking why the SAT has gone digital and how it is different from the old SAT.
Why has the SAT gone digital?
The transition of the SAT from the paper and pencil version to the digital one shows two things: first, taking the SAT online will enable students to participate in a standardized evaluation of college readiness from around the world. It will be easier to administer and to take. Therefore, with the Digital SAT being administered universally as of 2024, it’s become possible to see a drastic rise in the number of test-takers worldwide.
Second, a survey conducted by the College Board in 2021 found that 80% of students want to submit their SAT scores with their college applications. Keeping this in mind, the College Board has introduced a host of features to the Digital SAT.
- The digital format also offers much faster score releases. Students typically receive scores in a matter of days rather than weeks. Speaking of scores, the new Digital SAT score reports link students to resources on local two-year colleges, training programs, and career options.
- The College Board also has enhanced security measures to encourage more students to take the SAT. With the SAT going digital, every student now gets a highly comparable but unique test form, making it practically impossible to share answers.
- The digital SAT also offers more flexibility to schools and districts in administering the test.
How the Digital SAT may affect you?
The release of the Digital SAT was staggered into two groups: International SAT and U.S. SAT. The international SAT test began following the digital format in spring 2023. By spring 2024, both the U.S and International versions of the test will have transitioned to its digital format. The table below shows the complete timeline for the transition to the Digital SAT (2023 through 2024):
|Cycle||International SAT||US SAT|
|Spring 2023||Digital||Paper and Pencil|
Mar 11, 2023
May 6, 2023
June 3, 2023
|Fall 2023||Digital||Paper and Pencil|
Your Fastest Path to Success.
How Is the Digital SAT Different from the Paper and Pencil SAT?
The first obvious change is that the digital test is taken on a computer or tablet. In addition, the College Board has introduced some major changes to the SAT that you should be aware of. Below is the list of changes as from the old SAT to the new SAT:
The Digital SAT: What Has Stayed the Same?
No matter what format it comes in, the SAT is meant to test how ready a student is for college and a career. As a result, almost all of the tested domains and how they relate to college and career readiness standards are the same. Here’s a list of things that the Digital SAT shares with its paper and pencil predecessor:
How Can You Practice for the New SAT?
The College Board has also released the Bluebook application to help students get familiar with the Digital SAT testing interface. The Bluebook app comes with a few full-length practice tests that you can practice. The College Board also provides a downloadable pdf of the Digital SAT sample questions.
You can also take SAT practice tests in the traditional format to sharpen your skills and enhance your subject knowledge. UWorld's Online Practice Tests for the SAT come with in-depth answer explanations and self-assessment tools to help you develop a baseline for your SAT preparation and learn the content of the test. Of course, UWorld authors worked hard to create questions that match the format of those found on the Digital SAT.
We've made SAT concepts easy to understand.
To take the Digital SAT, students have to download the Bluebook testing application on a Mac or Windows device, an iPad, or a school-managed Chromebook.
If a student cannot access a personal device, they can borrow one from the College Board while registering for the test. They can also use school-managed Chromebooks to take the Digital SAT.
The Digital SAT app has adaptive testing technology, which means that the app creates a module by picking questions randomly from the SAT database. This makes it extremely difficult for test takers to share answers among themselves. In addition, the College Board has put in place various SAT Policies to keep the testing experience secure and convenient.
Yes, homeschooled students can take the Digital SAT.