Digital SAT: What's Coming and How to Prepare

by Shar Gayangos | Oct 3, 2022 8:30:00 AM

The time for a digital SAT has come, and it’s important to know what to expect and how to pivot with these new changes. The College Board announced earlier this year that the SAT is going digital by Spring 2024. The core components of SAT remain the same–to help gauge a student’s performance and college readiness. But with the new digital format, the test is going to be more accessible, relevant, and adaptive.

Teacher looks over student's computer

The time for a digital SAT has come, and it’s important to know what to expect and how to pivot with these new changes. The College Board announced earlier this year that the SAT is going digital by Spring 2024. The core components of SAT remain the same–to help gauge a student’s performance and college readiness. But with the new digital format, the test is going to be more accessible, relevant, and adaptive.

What to Expect from a Digital SAT Experience

Your students will have a smoother and more seamless experience with the digital SAT. This change starts in Spring 2023 for international students and Spring 2024 for those in the US. Aside from migrating the pen-and-paper test to a digital platform, the exam will be shorter.

However, the core of the SAT remains the same regardless of format. It allows students to have a quantified assessment of how prepared they are for college.

Here are some things you and your students need to know about the digital SAT experience:

  • The digital SAT will use shorter reading passages that come from diverse resources.
  • Students can use their pre-approved calculators throughout the math section.
  • With the digitalization of the SAT, expect earlier results.
  • School administrators and educators can now track a wide range of score points.
  • The exams will now be more flexible and secure. This reduces the chances of cheating and compromising the exam.
  • Through the digital score reports, students have access to resources that can guide them in choosing the best course and programs.

The digital SAT is shorter and focuses on key components of the test. It will focus on testing students on how prepared they are for college.

Things That Won’t Change for the Digital SAT

For starters, the digital SAT’s score is still scaled at 1600. The digital SAT will still be administered within schools and testing centers. Students will still have access to the free SAT resources from Khan Academy. Head over to our list of reliable SAT resources, including our very own SAT programs!

As in the past, students will still reach out to scholarship programs on their own. We’ve now covered all the important features that will change and will remain. It’s time to learn how to adapt to the digital SAT as educators. As early as now, learn about the SAT app and the consequences of a shorter and simpler SAT.

How To Start Preparing for the Digital SAT

For starters, familiarize yourself with the digital SAT’s features. Take note of the important timeline for international and US-based students. Use the feedback from participants of the digital SAT’s pilot last fall. Look out for new products and resources showcasing the new format for the SAT. Magoosh is already planning to make product updates and resources that match the new digital SAT format.

With this new format, students can showcase their practical abilities. One is their ability to cultivate opinions from diverse content. They can focus on applying the formulas and theories in math. Students and coaches should allow time to be familiar with digital math tools before the SAT. For English, focus more time on grammar topics.

Quick SAT App Overview

Use College Board’s resources for the new digital SAT– including its quick overview of the exam app’s layout. Students will get a chance to feel comfortable with the app’s interface by testing out the exam demo. Here are some features to expect when using the app:

  • Students will now have easy access to directions for specific sections.
  • An on-screen timer and tracker to remind students to take section breaks.
  • A large chunk of reading and writing sections contain multiple-choice questions (MCQs).
  • The math section contains a combination of questions. This includes MCQs and questions where students input their answers. There are a few questions that require them to graph functions.
  • Here’s a helpful feature: students can skip and bookmark questions and go back to them when ready.

Here are other tools you can find in the exam application: reference sheet, zoom in and out feature, annotation feature, and instant help button for any in-test concerns.

Using the SAT Pilot’s Feedback

Students and educators who joined the digital SAT pilot last Fall found the new format to be better. They have agreed that this format is much easier and more accessible to use.

Educators have also observed that the SAT is easier to administer with the new format. Administrators have also acknowledged that they will save more prep time. That's because they will don't need to sort and pack materials for the exam.

School heads will now have a chance to make the SAT schedules more flexible. This allows underprivileged students more time and options for taking the SAT.

Takeaway

The digital SAT gives students the chance to highlight the skills that matter. There is more flexibility in administering the SAT. Follow relevant blogs and online resources so that you can easily adapt to the “new normal” of SAT. If there’s anything we all learned over the past two years, it’s to gracefully pivot to the new normal.

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