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 College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, has announced its plans to transform the exam into a digital one. Starting with the international students in 2023, the traditional pen-and-paper SAT has been replaced with the new digital exam. This article aims to provide students with a timeline of the launch of the digital SAT and what students may wish to know about the new exam.

When Will the SAT Go Digital?

Starting March 9th, 2024, students in all parts of the world will only have the digital SAT as their SAT option. The SAT has been transforming into its digital format since Spring 2023, starting with international students. 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., which began in Fall 2023). In other words, from March 2024 onwards, the SAT will be administered only in its digital version in any part of the world, replacing its century-old paper-and-pencil format.


What are the Digital SAT test dates?

More digital SAT test dates are lined up in 2024 after the first digital SAT in the U.S. in March. Refer to the College Board SAT test date schedule to find out exact test dates and registration deadlines.

What is Changing on Test Day?

It will be taken on a digital device

Students will be taking the entire portion of the exam on a tablet or a computer. Students can bring their own device or request to borrow one from the College Board.

It will be adaptive

The new SAT takes an adaptive format in which each section is divided into two modules. The difficulty of the second module will be determined according to students’ performance on the first module.

The test will be shorter

The digital SAT will be two hours and 14 minutes, shortened from three hours in the previous SAT. There will only be two sections, Reading & Writing and Math, and there is no essay section.

Calculator use

Students can use a calculator throughout the entire Math section of the digital SAT. Students can use onscreen calculator built in on the app or bring their own approved calculators.

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 for Test Day

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.

Final Note

The SAT has gone fully digital, opening a new era for students worldwide who are preparing to apply to college in the United States. The digital SAT offers a series of benefits to students, including enhanced accessibility, instant score reporting, and personalized testing experience. By familiarizing themselves with the digital format, learning to manage their time efficiently, and utilizing their resources, students can prepare for the exam effectively.

Ready to learn more about the digital SAT? Read this article on how to navigate the digital SAT format and create your own strategies.