Say goodbye to bubble sheets and No. 2 pencils. The College Board has announced that the SAT will be delivered in an all-digital format in Spring 2024 for the United States. This format is already being used internationally and will be the format for the PSAT this fall.
What’s new with this new format?
Shorter test and more time! The new test will have no paperwork, shortening the time to two hours and 14 minutes instead of the current three-hour test. Students will have more time, on average, to answer each question.
Bring your own computer. Students will be able to bring their own approved laptop/tablet or school-issued computer. The College Board will provide computers for those who need them (although you must request at registration).
Test scores will be available in days versus weeks. This can be super helpful when having to make key college decisions as well as giving students more time to prepare if they decide to take an additional test.
Built-in tools like an on-screen timer and annotation tools will assist students with time management and more efficient ways to flag questions to return to later.
Calculator are allowed on entire math test. There is even a built-in graphing calculator in the digital app so students don’t have to bring their own (but they can if they want).
Each student will take a unique version of the test, which makes the tests much more secure.
Tests are adaptive. Each test section will be divided into two parts called modules. Questions on the second module will depend on how students performed on the first module.
Score reports will be expanded to connect students to information about two-year and four-year colleges, as well as work force training programs and career options.
Worry-free technology as students’ work will be saved in the exam application. If the internet goes out, students will still be able to progress through their test on the app. If the battery runs out, students can plug in their device and pick up where they left off. There will even be a technology coordinator at each testing center to assist with any technical issues.
What’s staying the same?
Weekend testing will continue to take place at test centers, and schools can continue to participate in SAT School Day. There won’t be an at-home testing option.
The same skills will be assessed. The test will continue to measure the core reading, writing, and math skills that matter the most for college and career readiness
The suite will maintain the rigor of the paper and pencil tests.
Scores will remain on the same 400-1600 scale.
Math will still include multiple choice and student-produced response questions.
Reading and writing sections remain multiple choice.
Accommodations will be available for students who are eligible for them.
What does this mean for you?
Let’s face it, digital tests are just relevant and comfortable to students today. Students lead their lives digitally anyway – so this will be a much less stressful and more familiar way to take the SAT.
The first students in the U.S. to be impacted by this are the class of 2025, and these students will get to experience the digital SAT when they take the digital PSAT in the Fall of 2023. The class of 2024 will take the paper-pencil exam this fall.
You can now take a closer look at the Digital SAT by viewing the sample test questions and a preview of the testing application along with practice tests on the College Board website.
Have more questions? Check out sat.org/digital for College Board’s most up-to-date information and speak with your child’s guidance counselor to decide the best plan of action for prep.
The author is the owner and executive director at Sylvan Learning of Albany and Clifton Park. For more information, visit SylvanLearning.com.