August 16, 2023

The Digital SAT: Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve heard from a lot of students and parents in recent months with questions about the upcoming SAT changes.  Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions.

WHEN WILL THE SAT GO DIGITAL?

In the U.S, the first digital PSAT will be in October 2023 and the first digital SAT will be in March 2024. 

CAN I TAKE THE DIGITAL SAT AT HOME?

No. Although the redesigned SAT is digital, it will only be administered at school or at testing centers.

WILL SCORING STAY THE SAME?

Yes, the overall scoring scale will still be 400-1600, with each section having a maximum score of 800.

WHAT DOES “ADAPTIVE” TESTING MEAN?

Adaptive testing adjusts the difficulty of questions based on the test taker’s performance on previously answered questions. In the digital SAT, the second modules of both the Reading and Writing and of the Math will change in difficulty based on how a student did on the first modules of each type.

WHAT EXACTLY IS CHANGING ON THE DIGITAL SAT?

Several aspects of the digital test will remain the same as the paper and pencil version while there will be several differences. We have detailed the similarities and differences here

DO I EVEN HAVE TO TAKE THE SAT IF MOST COLLEGES REMAIN TEST OPTIONAL?

Yes. Under test optional admission policies, good SAT scores lend a huge advantage in admission and scholarship decisions. Submitting strong test scores helps you to stand out and offers admissions officers an additional positive data point to consider. SAT scores can only help your applications!

IS THE DIGITAL SAT EASIER?

NO! While the test may be shorter in length with more discrete questions, do not let the digital format fool you. The digital SAT is still a challenging test for which students should adequately prepare for.

CAN STUDENTS RECEIVE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THE DIGITAL SAT?

Yes. If you have an IEP or 504 plan with your high school, talk to your guidance counselor or school administrator about applying for accommodations on the SAT. Allow plenty of time to apply for accommodations—at least 7 weeks. 

WHICH VERSION OF THE TEST SHOULD I TAKE?

It depends on what grade you are in. We recommend:

  • – Class of 2024 take paper and pencil test
  • – Class of 2025 take the digital test 
  • – Class of 2026 and after take the digital test (the paper and pencil version will be discontinued in December 2023)

HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR THE DIGITAL SAT?

Preparing for the digital SAT will be much the same as preparing for the paper SAT.

  1. Take a practice test. 
  2. Identify your trends and fill-in content gaps. 
  3. Practice reading comprehension.

WHICH TEST WILL COLLEGES PREFER IN THIS TRANSITION YEAR?

Based on past precedent, all colleges that evaluate test scores as part of the admissions process will continue to consider the ACT, paper SAT and digital SAT equally. Students should take the test that they will perform best on—colleges will not give preference to one test over another.

WILL THE ACT CHANGE?

The ACT has not announced any plans to change its test. Should that decision be made, Class 101 will keep you informed.

HOW WILL CLASS 101 HELP STUDENTS PREPARE FOR THE NEW TEST?

With over 25 years of test prep experience, Class 101 has helped thousands of students navigate SAT redesigns in 2005 and 2016.We look forward to helping students navigate this new SAT redesign with the same high-quality test prep solutions we have always offered.

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Ready to get started on SAT prep? Contact us today for your personalized test prep plan.

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