At the beginning of this year, the College Board announced that the SAT will go completely digital. We know how exciting this sounds, but this news would’ve left you with many questions about the new Digital SAT.
From the most important to the most surprising questions, we’ll answer everything in this blog.
IN THIS BLOG:
- When will the Digital SAT roll out?
- How are the sections in the new Digital SAT changing?
- Mathematics Section
- Reading & Writing Section
- What is the scoring pattern on the new Digital SAT?
- Where can you take the Digital SAT?
- What makes the Digital SAT better?
Though the Digital SAT’s rigour remains the same, the total test duration has been reduced to just 2 hours and 14 minutes. So, how do the new structural changes fit into this reduced time? Let’s find out.
The College Board has made several structural changes to the new Digital SAT. We have broken these changes into comprehensive parts to make it easier for you to understand and follow.
When will the Digital SAT roll out?
The College Board will be rolling out the new Digital SAT in March 2023 for all international students, except for students across the USA who can take the digital version of the test from the Spring of 2024.
During the pandemic, several universities had to let go of SAT scores as an admission requirement even though they considered it a crucial part of the process. Though the College Board’s leap to the Digital SAT has been long awaited, it did become inevitable after the pandemic.
How are the sections in the new Digital SAT changing?
To accommodate the reduced test duration, the number of sections on the Digital SAT has been cut down to just two parts–
- Reading & Writing
These sections are further divided into modules, with every section containing two modules each.
The questions in the Maths section are now less text-heavy and more straightforward. The two modules in the Maths section will have 22 questions each, to be done in 35 minutes each. This means you’ll get a total of 70 minutes to answer 44 questions.
The new digital SAT completely removed the ‘Maths without calculator’ section. The test-takers can now use a calculator for the entire Maths section. You can use the built-in graphing calculator provided on-screen or carry one of your own, provided that it fulfils the College Board’s requirements.
Reading & Writing Section
The total duration of the Reading & Writing section on the new digital SAT is 64 minutes, in which you will have to answer 54 questions. Each module in this section will be 32 minutes long, consisting of 27 questions.
The new digital SAT has done away with the separate categorisation of the Grammar and Reading Comprehension sections. The Reading and Writing section has concise and more direct questions based on shorter passages of 100-150 words. The questions will cover several new topics, although they will likely be easier.
What is the scoring pattern on the new Digital SAT?
The total score on the new Digital SAT remains unchanged at 1600, but the scoring pattern is far different from the paper-and-pencil-based SAT. The two sections will still be scored out of 800 each, but the basis of the scoring has changed.
The digital SAT is a multistage adaptive or, in simple terms, a module-adaptive test. Your performance on the first module of the section will determine the difficulty level of the questions in the next module.
For instance, if you perform well in the first module of Maths, the digital SAT will raise the difficulty level for the second module. But if you do not perform well on the first module, the difficulty level of the second set of questions will come down.
That sounds kind of absurd and unfair, right? Don’t worry; the College Board is fair and has a fix for the new digital SAT.
The test is not simply marked for the right or wrong answers. Instead, the answers will be scored based on the difficulty level of the questions, which means the more the difficulty level of the question, the higher the marks it carries and vice versa.
The digital SAT continues to have a ‘no negative marking’ scheme, so you’re allowed to make mistakes, but don’t forget–the wrong answers can impact your overall SAT score due to its multistage adaptive nature.
Where can you take the Digital SAT?
The digital SAT might be entirely online, but the test will still be held only at designated test centres. You can take the test on your own laptop or tablet or request the College Board to provide one at the test centre.
We know the questions running through your mind: What if your device’s battery dies out or the WiFi drops? In that case, the digital SAT allows you to plug back in and resume from where you left off without losing any progress or time.
What makes the Digital SAT better?
The digital SAT makes the overall test-taking experience shorter, smoother, and more efficient for the students. The College Board has included many test-taking tools to ensure a seamless experience. Some of them include the following-
- Calculator: A built-in graphing calculator available for the entire Mathematics section.
- Test Timer: An on-screen clock that’ll let you know exactly how much time you’ve left.
- Mark for Review: This lets you flag and return to a question within a given test module.
- Annotation: Highlight any part of the question and leave yourself a note there.
- Reference Sheet: A list of common formulas available for the Mathematics section.
That’s not it! The digital SAT gives you more.
The College Board has increased the test-taking frequency to 7 times a year, and your SAT result is now just a matter of days!
This blog highlights the tectonic changes that the SAT has undergone. Now, whether the college board’s transition to a fully digital SAT will address the underlying problems with the exam is yet to be seen. But we at Jamboree promise to bring you the most up-to-date information about the digital SAT.
Take a free demo class with our expert faculty and get an insight into our latest resources designed to help students ace the NEW digital SAT.