The year 2024 is here and so is the new Digital SAT. For international students, the digitalized SAT was already brought in full gear from spring 2023, leaving less time for them to adapt and practise for a newer style. The U.S. students, on the other hand, have had more time on their hands to gear up for the digital SATs, as they’ll be brought into effect come the spring of 2024.
One main concern that the College Board tried to address through this major change was exam fatigue. Yes, exam fatigue is real. Cutting down the time by nearly an hour can be a real boon for the Digital SAT applicants.
In this blog post, we would like to address some common queries regarding the new SAT.
The Format of the New Digital SAT:
The new digital SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) remains an MCQ-based, standardized test created and administered by the College Board. It determines your aptitude and skills in three core areas – Maths, Reading, and Writing.
The new SAT has two main sections –
Testing time and its components:
The new digital SAT testing time is a total of 2 hours and 14 minutes. The Reading and Writing section is 64 minutes, and the Math section lasts 70 minutes. The Reading and Writing section has two 32-minute components, and similarly, the Math section has two 35-minute sessions.
Between the two sections, applicants are given a 10-minute break.
Although many universities have gone test-optional after the recent pandemic, schools like Harvard and Stanford University continue to consider SAT scores as part of the application process and call for a minimum score of 1500.
Harvard has also issued a notice mentioning the same for the classes of 2027-2030.
Previously, all students got the same questions. This was often a qualitative issue for many students and overlooked many skills that students possessed or lacked. To combat this issue, the board has divided the new Digital SATs into two sections.
Based on your performance in the first section, you will get easier or more difficult questions in the next section. The trickier ones carry more marks. Hence, answering more questions won’t get you a higher score, but answering difficult questions will. This test adaptivity helps all students score fairly, making the application process a tad bit smoother.
Ease with calculators
Sounds like a dream, but you won’t see the no-calculator section in the Math section anymore. The applicants now have access to a built-in Desmos calculator on the SAT software. In addition, students can carry their personal calculators depending on their ease. However, the Desmos calculator is unbelievably efficient and makes answering mathematical questions a breeze.
The Digital SATs aren’t testing what you know anymore, but how you think.
Lending of computer devices
If you have a monitor or a desktop, you ardon’t have the permission to carry them in the testing centre. You can use either laptops or tablets for the Digital SAT. But, they come with conditions – the laptop or tablet should either have Windows or iOS. Android tablets are not allowed. The SAT software doesn’t need any specific Windows/iOS version to function, but it is preferable to avoid an OS causing unanticipated glitches.
If you don’t own a laptop or tablet, you can either borrow it from the school or from the Collegeboard. We recommend that you borrow it from your school for the following reasons:
The Digital SAT Software
The Digital SAT uses Bluebook software for the test, which you need to download and keep ready before the exam. You can download it from the SAT website and practise in the same format as the main exam. If you don’t practise, you’d be entering unfamiliar territory with new software, on a new laptop. This is highly undesirable and we recommend that you adequately prepare for the test using the Bluebook software.
Applying for a device directly from the Collegeboard will come with certain drawbacks. They will send the device on test day, giving you no time to practise and familiarize yourself with the software.
While borrowing the device from your school or educational institution, you need to seek permission to download the Bluebook software. Make sure you do it well in advance, giving you ample time to practise and prep.
The SATs take place around 5-7 times every year, hence making it convenient for students to apply at their ease. December 2, 2023, was the last date for the pen-and-paper SAT. Check the schedule on the CollegeBoard website, where they’ve mentioned the exam dates and the application deadlines.
The registrations are open for the first half of this year so apply now!
We’re here to help you out, every step of the way. Our students come to us with great expectations and leave with great grades. So what are you waiting for? Sign up at Young Scholarz for high-quality, personalized SAT preparation with detailed and guided feedback.