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New Digital SAT: Everything You Need to Know

What is The Digital SAT?

The College Board, which administers the SAT, is transitioning the SAT from a paper test format to a digital format. This new digital SAT will be delivered on a computer and will offer several key benefits over the paper-based test.

The College Board has introduced a significant shift in standardized testing known as Digital SAT. The digital SAT replaced the traditional paper-based test, with the goal of offering a more updated, accessible, and adaptable testing experience. Designed to be taken on a computer, the digital SAT promises a more tailored and efficient process.

Here’s a summary of the key features of the digital SAT:

  • Computer-based testing: The digital SAT will be administered on a computer, eliminating the need for paper answer sheets and scannable booklets.
  • Shorter test duration: The digital SAT will be two hours long, compared to traditional SAT exam duration.
  • Built-in calculator: Students will be able to use a built-in calculator throughout the entire test, eliminating the need to bring their own calculator.
  • Faster score reporting: Digital SAT scores will be available faster than traditional SAT scores, typically within a few days of taking the test.
  • Adaptive testing: The digital SAT may incorporate adaptive testing, which means the difficulty of the questions will adjust based on the student’s performance. This can provide a more personalized testing experience and potentially lead to more accurate scores.

The College Board is piloting the digital SAT in select locations and grade levels throughout 2023 and 2024, with plans to make it the standard testing format for all students in the United States by 2025. The first administration of the digital SAT will be in the spring of 2024.

Why is the SAT changing?

The College Board cites several reasons for transitioning the SAT to a digital format:

Increased accessibility: The digital SAT can be more accessible to students with disabilities, as it can be adapted to accommodate a wider range of needs.

Improved efficiency: The digital format allows for faster test administration, scoring, and reporting.

Enhanced security: Digital testing can help to reduce the risk of cheating and test security breaches.

Potential for adaptive testing: The digital format allows for the implementation of adaptive testing, which can provide a more personalized and potentially more accurate testing experience for students.

Alignment with modern learning: The digital SAT reflects the increasing use of technology in education and society.

While some students and educators may be concerned about the transition to a digital format, the College Board maintains that the digital SAT will continue to assess the same critical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving skills as the traditional SAT. The Digital SAT is designed to keep up with advancements in technology and changes in education. By adopting a digital format, the test becomes more secure and efficient, minimizing the potential for cheating and logistical issues that can occur with paper-based exams.

What is the best way to prepare for test day?

The best way to prepare for test day is to:

Familiarize yourself with the test format: Understand the content areas covered on the test, the types of questions you will encounter, and the time limits for each section.

Develop strong reading comprehension skills: The SAT reading section requires you to understand complex passages and answer questions based on the information presented.

Sharpen your writing skills: The SAT writing section assesses your ability to write effectively and concisely.

Practice math problem-solving: The SAT math section covers a wide range of math topics, and you will need to be able to apply your knowledge to solve problems in a variety of formats.

Take practice tests: Taking practice tests under timed conditions can help you get comfortable with the test format, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and develop your test-taking strategies.

There are many resources available to help you prepare for the SAT, including official College Board practice materials, prep courses, and online and in-person SAT tutoring. By starting early and following a consistent study plan, you can increase your chances of success on the SAT, regardless of the format.

Preparing for the Digital SAT requires a combination of traditional study methods and familiarity with the digital format. Here are some tips to help you get ready:

Practice on a Computer: Since the Digital SAT is computer-based, it’s crucial to practice answering questions on a computer. This will help you become comfortable with the format and navigation.

Use Official Practice Materials: The College Board provides official practice materials for the Digital SAT. Utilize these resources to get a sense of the types of questions you’ll encounter.

Brush Up on Your Skills: The content of the Digital SAT is like the traditional test, covering reading, writing, and math. Focus on strengthening your skills in these areas.

Manage Your Time: Time management is key on the Digital SAT. Practice pacing yourself to ensure you can complete each section within the allotted time.

Will The Digital SAT be easier?

The Digital SAT is not necessarily easier or harder than the traditional paper-based test. The content and level of difficulty are designed to be comparable. However, the digital format may provide a more user-friendly experience, with features like the ability to flag questions for review and an on-screen calculator for the math section.


The new Digital SAT marks a significant evolution in standardized testing. As we move towards this new format, it’s important for students and parents to stay informed and prepared. Embrace the change, and use it as an opportunity to showcase your skills and readiness for the future.


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