All about the Digital SAT 2024 - The SAT Crash Course

If you are a high school student in the U.S., you would probably have heard of the news that the SAT has made its transition to a digital format. That’s right, the SAT has gone fully digital in the U.S. since March 2024, requiring students to use an electronic device for test-taking.

So, what other details do students need to know about the new SAT besides the change of testing method? To provide students with the essential knowledge, we have summarized the key facts about the digital SAT below. But first, let’s review what has been kept in the new SAT from the previous version of the SAT.

What remains the same in the digital SAT

The digital SAT is designed to assess students’ academic readiness for college with the similar amount of rigor as the paper SAT. Also, digital SAT is still scored on a scale of 400 to 1600, which is a sum of Math and Reading & Writing sectional scores that each has a maximum score of 800.

 

Now, let’s dive into the changes featured in the digital SAT.

 

The Digital SAT is Shorter

Compared to the paper SAT which was about 3 hours long, the digital SAT is shorter with the duration of only 2 hours and 14 minutes. With the reduced time, the number of questions also dropped from 154 to 98.

 

The Digital SAT has Only Two Sections

With the separate Reading and Writing section in the paper SAT being combined into one section, the new SAT has only two sections: Reading & Writing and Math. Each section consists of two modules of equal length.

 

The Digital SAT is Adaptive

The Digital SAT introduces adaptive testing, in which students receive different levels of question sets depending on their performance on the previous set(module). While everyone gets the same first module, the second module will be either the easier or harder one based on the student’s result on the first module.

 

Entire Math Section Allows Calculator Use

Students can use the calculator for the entirety of the Math section. The section is no longer divided into calculator and no-calculator sections, but is a one combined section that allows the use of the calculator.

 

The Reading Passages are Shorter

The passages in the reading section are shorter, typically about a paragraph. From about up to 750 words in the previous version, the passages have shrunk to only up to 150 words. Also, only a single question is tied to a passage instead of multiple questions, saving the students the hassle of flipping through pages to solve different question types.

 

Students can Use Built-In App Tools

In the Bluebook app that students will use for test-taking, there will be several tools that help students throughout the test such as timer, graphing calculator, elimination tool, “mark for review” tool, math reference sheet, and annotation tool.

 

Now we’ve looked into the main aspects of the digital SAT, let’s review some of the frequently asked questions by students.

 

When Does the SAT Go Digital?

The SAT has gone fully digital in the U.S. since March, 2024.

 

Is the Digital SAT Easier?

The Digital SAT is not designed to be easier or harder than the paper SAT. However, many aspects in the new SAT, such as shortened time and straightforward questions seem to provide a favorable test-taking experience for students. Learn more by reading our article that examines the possible changes in difficulty level of the digital SAT.

 

Can Students Take the Test from Home?

No, students will still need to go to a testing site in order to take the test. Students will use their own, school-managed, or the College Board’s digital device to log in to Bluebook app through which the test will be administered. If choosing to bring their device, students can follow the College Board’s instructions to download and install the app.

 

Will Colleges Accept Digital SAT Scores?

Yes, colleges will accept and use digital SAT scores just as they did with paper SAT. While superscoring may be allowed across both versions of the SAT if it was previously allowed with paper SAT, it’s best to check individual college’s website to learn about their policy. Read our article on superscoring the digital SAT and paper SAT to learn more.

 

Where Can I Find Digital SAT Practice Tests?

Students can use the official full-length practice tests provided by the College Board. Khan Academy also offers free practice tests for students to familiarize themselves with the new format. Other than those two resources, the SAT Crash Course also offers 10 practice tests that mimic the digital SAT. Students can practice using all the digital tools with our similarly designed testing app. Also, our questions created by test prep experts will acquaint students with the new style and format of the digital SAT materials.

There you have it, everything you need to know about the new digital SAT. Now that you are equipped with the basics of the exam, take our free mini digital SAT to get a feel of the test!