The New Digital SAT® – What You Need To Know!
The College Board® has recently released information detailing the SAT®’s transition to a fully digital test by 2024. The new digital SAT represents a quantum leap from the traditional SAT evaluation system, justifying the drastic changes in its format, length, pattern, and interface. For current high school juniors and seniors, the announcement doesn't mean much, but for educators and younger 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 new testing format, time, test sections, and how the test will be scored, to help you prep smarter for the upcoming digital SAT.
What is the digital SAT?
The digital SAT test is taken online through a testing app set up by the College Board. 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 to students worldwide. More on these later; let’s start by asking why the SAT is going digital and how it is different from the current SAT.
Why Is the SAT Going Digital?
The transition of the SAT from the paper-and-pencil version to the digital one shows two things. First, taking the College Board digital 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 from 2024, you can expect to see a drastic rise in the number of test-takers worldwide.
Second, a recent 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 new digital SAT.
- The digital format also promises much faster score releases. Students should receive scores in a matter of days rather than weeks. Speaking of scores, the new digital SAT score reports will link students to resources on local two-year colleges, training programs, and career options.
- The College Board has also promised enhanced security measures to encourage more students to take the SAT. With the SAT going digital, every student will now get a highly comparable but unique test form, making it practically impossible to share answers.
- The digital SAT will also offer more flexibility to schools and districts in administering the test.
Will the digital SAT affect you?
The release of the digital SAT will be staggered into two groups: International SAT and U.S. SAT. The international SAT test will follow the digital format starting in 2023. However, for the U.S. SAT, students will take the traditional paper-and-pencil test until December 2023. Starting in 2024, both U.S and International versions will be administered digitally. The table below shows the timeline for administering 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|
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How Is the New Digital SAT Different from the Current SAT?
The first obvious change is that you will take the test 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 we switch from the old SAT to the new SAT:
The Digital SAT : What’s Staying 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 recently released a preview of 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. CollegeBoard also provided 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 are hard at work creating questions that match the format of the new digital SAT.