All About the 2023 Digital SAT
The SAT is now transitioning into a digital model. It will only be administered in this format starting March 2023 for all students who are taking the test outside of the US. For students taking the test in the US, this format will be administered March 2024. Registrations for the digital SAT in India will begin Fall 2022.
According to the College Board, changes are made to address the concerns with access because of COVID and the lack of equity in the SAT. This has let a large number of colleges stop using SAT scores as part of their admissions. These changes are made in the hope of making the test easier and shorter to narrow the performance gaps and restore the usefulness of the SAT as an assessment for college readiness.
The test will be administered through a specially designed exam application called Bluebook (https://about.collegeboard.org/bluebook-technology), which a student will have to download before test day. The student can take this test either on their laptop or tablet. Internationally, SAT
will now be administered seven test dates a year as compared to the current five.
The below information is all you need to know about the new SAT from 2023 onwards. The SAT will become fully digital—and shorter—in 2023. Here's what's changing and what's staying the same.
The newest version of the SAT will look and feel different in several key ways:
- The test will last for about two hours (shrinking by one hour)
- There will be two sections—a Reading & Writing section and a Math section—instead of four.
- Reading passages will be shorter, and students will answer only one question per passage.
- Word problems in Math will be more concise.
- Students will take the test on a laptop or tablet.
- A digital testing app will need to be downloaded before test day. The digital testing app should save students' progress while they work, even if they lose internet access or their computer crashes.
- Students will have access to a series of tools through the digital testing app, including a timer, a calculator, a reference sheet, and a flagging tool to mark questions for review.
- Students can use a calculator on the entire Math section.
- The test will be adaptive. Each section will begin with an introductory module. A student's performance on that first set of questions will determine the difficulty level of the subsequent questions they see.
- Scores will be released sooner. Students will receive their scores in days instead of weeks.
- There will be two more test dates for international students.
What's staying the same?
Some aspects of the SAT will remain the same:
- Students will take the test at a school or test center, not at home.
- Scores will be out of 1600. Each section (Reading & Writing and Math) will be scored on an 800-point scale.
- Both sections will feature multiple-choice questions. The Math section will also include questions that students must answer by entering their solutions directly into the app.
- Accommodations will be available to students who need them.
The digital SAT will be divided into the following two sections:
- Reading and Writing
The following image describes the new digital SAT format and the differences with the older version of the SAT:
Some of the other key changes are the following:
Authorized use of calculators
The current SAT divides the math section into two parts: a non-calculator and a calculator portion. But as part of the recent changes, a calculator is now allowed for the entire math segment.
Students can either bring their own graphing calculator or use one that's embedded into the exam, which experts say reduces test day barriers.
Expedited score results
Rather than waiting weeks to get results, students will receive score reports from the digital tests in a matter of days.
Reports have typically included percentile rankings and a breakdown of a student's score. They've also provided information about four-year colleges and scholarship opportunities. Under the new format, the College Board plans to expand that to include resources about local community colleges, workforce training and career options, Rodriguez says.
Impact of the SAT Changes
With the SAT being considered a "high stakes" exam, many students feel pressure to perform well. But in a November pilot launch of the digital version, 80% of participants found the new format to be "less stressful" than the paper test, according to the College Board.
"What I hope and want is for students to be able to come in and just focus on demonstrating what they've learned and what they can do in the core reading, writing and math areas," Rodriguez says. "And (to) have a lot of the stress around the test, the rigidity, the policies, all melt away."
Stay tuned for further information about the new digital SAT.