When is the SAT Going Digital? The SAT Crash Course

The SAT is a standardized test used by colleges and universities in the United States as one factor of the application process. In recent years, the SAT has undergone a significant transformation with the introduction of a digital version of the exam. Starting in the spring of 2024, all students around the world will take the SAT digitally, meaning the traditional pen-and-paper exam will no longer be offered. This article aims to provide you with a thorough overview of the digital SAT exam, including its format, advantages, preparation tips, and things to consider.

When Will the SAT Go Digital?

For international students, the SAT has gone digital since Spring 2023. For students in the U.S., the SAT has become all-digital starting Spring 2024. PSAT had already gone digital before the SAT in the U.S., beginning in Fall 2023. As the first digital SAT was administered in the U.S. on March 9th, 2024, the SAT has officially gone digital in all parts of the world, replacing the century-old paper-and-pencil format. According to the College Board SAT test date schedule, students will have four more digital SAT test dates in 2024 after the March exam.

Format of the New Digital SAT

The digital SAT exam is administered through a computer-based application. Like the paper exam, the test consists of four main sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math (No Calculator), and Math (Calculator). The essay section, which is optional, is not part of the digital format and is available only in the paper-based SAT.

What is Changing?

It will be fully digital

You will be taking the exam fully digital on a tablet or a computer. You can bring your own device or request to borrow from the College Board.

The Digital SAT will take an adaptive format

In the new adaptive format, the Verbal and Math sections will have two modules. The difficulty of the second module will be adjusted according to students’ performance on the first one.

The test will be shorter

The digital SAT will be two hours, shortened from three hours in the previous SAT. There will be only two sections, Reading & Writing and Math. The reading passages will be shorter with only one question for each passage instead of multiple questions. Although the total duration is reduced, students will have more time per each question.

Calculator use

Students can use a calculator throughout the entire Math section of the digital SAT. There will be onscreen calculators built in on the app.

Scores will be delivered faster

Students will receive their scores in a matter of days instead of weeks.

Advantages of the Digital SAT

Enhanced Accessibility

The digital format allows for more accessibility, providing accommodations for students with disabilities, such as enlarged text, screen readers, or other technological assistance.

Instant Score Reporting

Unlike the pen-and-paper exam, which requires students to wait around two weeks for scores, the digital SAT provides instant score reporting for the multiple-choice sections. This assists students in making timely decisions on whether or not they need to retake the exam, and thus makes their study process more efficient.

Personalized Experience

The digital format offers adaptive features, meaning the difficulty level of questions can adjust based on the student’s performance. This tailored experience provides a more accurate assessment of a student’s abilities.

Preparation Tips

Familiarize Yourself with the Digital Format

Spend time practicing with the digital exam, which includes navigating through the sections, flagging questions for review, and using the built-in calculator. Having a strong sense of familiarity with the tools will help you save time and minimize distractions during the exam.

Practice Time Management

Since the digital format does not allow you to go back to previous sections, it is essential to manage time effectively. Practice timed mock tests to improve your pacing and ensure you complete each section within the given time.

Utilize Online Resources

You can take advantage of online resources, such as practice tests, sample questions, and study guides to prepare for the digital SAT. These resources will help you get a feel for the digital format and identify areas where you need improvement. To experience the digital SAT in the real environment, take The SAT Crash Course’s Digital SAT Practice Tests. Our tests are adaptive and mimic the new SAT with similar interface, question styles and scoring system. The practice tests aim to provide students with the practical test-taking skills that will help them become highly competitive in the change.

A student taking digital SAT exam

Things to Consider

Equipment and Internet Requirements

Make sure you have access to a reliable computer or laptop and a stable internet connection. It may be of use to study with the device you will be using to take the exam. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the technical requirements specified by the test administrators to avoid any technical difficulties on the day of the exam. You do not want to enter the testing center on exam day only to find out that your device is ineligible for the SAT.

Test Environment

It is important to simulate testing conditions as closely as possible when studying. Choose a quiet and comfortable environment where you can concentrate without distractions.

Final Note

The digital SAT exam offers a series of benefits, including enhanced accessibility, instant score reporting, and personalized testing experience. By familiarizing yourself with the digital format, learning to manage your time efficiently, and utilizing your resources, you can prepare for the exam effectively. Make sure to consider the equipment requirements and create an optimal test environment to ensure a smooth digital SAT experience.