Going Digital: Everything You Need to Know About the New SAT

The SAT is going digital! Beginning in spring 2023 for international students and spring 2024 for students in the U.S, SAT takers will take the test on a computer or tablet. (And, beginning this fall, the PSAT will be offered solely in a digital format.)

Given that the digital SAT will not be available until spring 2024, the high school class of 2025 will be the first group to take it. Students taking the test before spring 2024 will take it in its current format. Therefore, rising juniors need to decide soon when to test, as the paper and pencil test will not be available after December 2023.

Here’s what we’ve learned about the new testing format and procedures.

The digital SAT exam will be computer adaptive.  

Each student will get an SAT that customizes to their performance as they move through the test. If they do well on the first section, they will get harder questions (which are worth more points) on the second section. There is still no penalty for guessing, but the more accurate answers a student provides, the more they can maximize their scoring on the second section. The SAT will still be scored on a scale of 1600. 

The test will be shorter.

The new version of the test will be shortened from three hours to two hours. It will have shorter reading passages and more direct questions. 

Calculator use is expanded, and students can bring their own.

Students can now use their calculator on all math parts of the test. While all test-takers will have access to a built-in graphing calculator, you can still bring your own if you like.

Computers will be provided if needed.

Students will not be able to take the Digital SAT at home; on test days, students will report to a testing center. They will be permitted to bring their own computers or tablets, or they can use one provided at the center.

Students will then take the SAT on their device using a custom-built digital exam which they’ll download in advance of test day. 

Students should practice for the Digital SAT.

Websites that offer practice questions and tests include the College Board and Khan Academy’s Official SAT Practice.

The ACT will stay the same.

For students who prefer paper and pencil testing, the ACT plans to continue to provide this option. However, according to an ACT website blog, in December of 2023 a few test centers across the US will offer the online version of the ACT on the national test date as part of a limited pilot. They plan to expand capacity to include more test centers for students in 2024. 

International College Counselors is here to help.

Wherever your family is in the college admissions process, International College Counselors can help you. We can even match you with a SAT or ACT tutor for your student.

Visit http://www.internationalcollegecounselors.com or call us at 954-414-9986 to discuss how we can support you and your family!