The Digital SAT: What it Means for Your Child and Their Plan for Admissions

With years of discussion around a digital SAT exam, the day has finally come. College Board announced on January 25th that it will be moving the SAT college admission exam to a fully-digital format and shrinking the test from three hours to two. What does this mean for you and your child? In short; this is good news! 

Revolution Prep has helped students prepare for standardized tests for 20 years (10 years online), and while we’re waiting for more information to pronounce our final verdict, we believe going digital means less stress, faster results, and streamlined test content for more accurate scores. Digital adaptive tests give much better accuracy in a shorter amount of time. 

Read on to find out everything you need to know about this announcement. 

Dates to Know:  

If your student is a sophomore, junior, or senior they will not take the digital PSAT or SAT.  

If your student is a freshman, they will be eligible to take the digital PSAT and digital SAT  

  • Digital PSAT will be administered in the Fall of 2023  
  • Digital SAT will be administered in the Spring of 2024   
  • Once the digital test is rolled out, paper tests will no longer be an option 

Less Stress  

With the SAT exam moving to a digital format  students can test with tools they are already using in their classrooms. Students will also be able to take the tests on their own devices at school or in authorized testing centers with proctors.  

The digital SAT also aims to lower stress by cutting the test time to two hours from the traditional three and will provide test-day tools like a built-in scientific calculator and optional countdown feature to help with test time management. “No Calculator” questions will now be a thing of the past and a “Common Formulas” reference sheet will be available throughout the test. It will also feature shorter reading passages with only one question for each passage. 

Faster Results  

The digital SAT will be scored much faster. In the past, it may have taken a few weeks to get your PSAT or SAT scores. With the digital platform, your child will receive their results in days. This will help your child identify subjects they need support in and give them more time to lay out a plan for improvement.  

Higher Quality Content  

The tests will shift to “adaptive testing.” For the first time ever, the tests will take a student’s answers into account while they take it. Each section of the test will begin with a set of introductory questions. How the student performs on those introductory questions will determine what questions they receive in the following section. 

This approach allows College Board to shorten the length of the test from three to two hours, and still get an accurate read on your student’s performance in mathematics, reading, and writing.  

 Additionally, a digital exam means more secure tests and the ability to “pause” the test if there are interruptions such as technical glitches or lapsed internet.  

What’s staying the same? 

While much is changing with the SAT exam, the test is still comprised of two sections, including math and reading/writing. Each section will continue to run on an 800-point scale, totaling up to 1600 points. If your child needs accommodations, they will still be offered to approved students. The exact execution of this in a digital format is yet to be announced by College Board. Free practice material will also be available in Fall of 2022. 

What now?  

Revolution Prep encourages each family navigating the admissions process to arm themselves with the knowledge they need to support their child throughout their application timeline. The move to adaptive testing is an improvement, but this format will be unlike other tests most students have taken before. It will be critical that students are educated on the methods they need to apply to be successful on a digital adaptive test. 

We’re here to continue to bring you the most up-to-date tutoring and test prep resources including how this shift to digital test taking will affect your test prep strategies and how each student can achieve their best.  

 If you have additional questions or concerns about the upcoming changes reach out to a Revolution Prep team member.