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Coming Soon: The New Digital SAT

Class of 2025 and younger, your days of filling in those test bubbles are coming to an end - at least for the SAT. The College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, has announced that by 2024, the SAT will be fully digital. Beginning with the PSAT this fall, paper tests are no more. This transition will bring significant changes to the test format and students will need to adapt their study plans accordingly to succeed. Let’s start by breaking down some of the changes.

Who will take it?

  • The first offering will be Spring of 2024, so our current sophomores will be the first to take the test.

  • The 2024 PSAT will also be digital.

What is different?

  • Test will be administered on a computer or tablet

  • Shorter (2 hours and 14 minutes)

  • All reading passages will be 100 words or less

  • Scores delivered in a week or less

  • Each test is adaptive

  • Built in Desmos calculator for all math questions * Math content will NOT change

Because long reading passages cannot fit on the computer screen, traditional reading comprehension will no longer be featured on the SAT, but will largely be replaced by an emphasis on vocabulary. Approximately 22% of the Verbal section will directly consist of advanced vocabulary questions, but a closer inspection reveals that another type of question (about thirteen percent of the total) hinges exclusively on vocabulary as well. This means that over a third of the verbal questions are purely a matter of vocabulary and nearly every question (including new components like poetry) requires advanced vocabulary. The major change to the Math section is that a calculator is permitted throughout, and that an advanced, built-in calculator is supplied with the test.

So how should you be preparing?

  1. Knowledge of vocabulary will be KEY!

  • Anki is a great resource. The web based version and android apps are free (the apple app is available for a fee.)

  • Continue reading for pleasure (don’t forget to look up any unfamiliar words!)

2. Review the rules of English grammar! Experts say that this should really only take 30 mins to an hour and will make a significant difference in your scores.

3. For the math section:

  • Brush up on your times tables and other mental math.

  • Get familiar with the calculator that you will use on test day.

  • Use Khan or other review tools to review previous math skills, especially Algebra 1.

But what about the other big change - the new adaptivity feature? This means that although everyone gets the same first Math/Verbal section, those who do well will then get a harder second Math/Verbal section, while those who do poorly will get an easier second Math/Verbal section. On the plus side, this will shorten the test from about three-and-a-half hours to two and should minimize frustration by dramatically reducing the number of questions that are too hard or too easy for any given student. It will also improve the accuracy of the score. Take note, if a question feels hard, it may just be a sign that you are doing well! Here’s a representation of what the tests will look like:

The ACT has plans to switch to a digital version as well, but there is no current estimate on when they might make the change. Questions? We’re here to help!

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