The Digital SAT


The SAT will be delivered digitally internationally beginning in spring 2023 and in the U.S. in spring 2024. It will be administered through a secure online platform and includes both multiple-choice questions and an optional essay. 

The Digital SAT will feature 2 sections: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, and Math.

In addition, the Digital SAT’s optional essay section requires students to read a passage and then analyze how the author uses evidence, reasoning, and stylistic elements to make their argument.

The Digital SAT is scored on a scale of 400-1600, with separate scores for the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section and the Math section. Each section is scored on a scale of 200-800, and the total score is the sum of the two section scores. The Digital SAT uses a computerized scoring system that is designed to provide accurate and reliable scores for each student. The scoring algorithm takes into account the difficulty level of the questions that the student answered correctly, as well as the number of questions answered correctly and incorrectly in each section.

One advantage of the Digital SAT is that scores are typically available more quickly than for the paper-based exam. Students can receive their scores as soon as one day after taking the test, compared to two to three weeks for the paper-based exam. This faster turnaround time can help students plan their college applications more effectively and reduce stress and uncertainty about their scores.

Here is some key information of the Digital SAT:

  1. Test format: The digital SAT is administered on a computer, with the questions and answer choices presented on the screen. Students use a mouse or touchpad to select their answers, rather than filling in bubbles on a separate answer sheet.
  2. Question presentation: The digital SAT allows for some questions to be presented in new formats, such as graphs and charts, that may be more interactive and engaging than their paper-based counterparts.
  3. Answer review: With the digital SAT, students can preview and review all the questions in a section at once, and can go back to review and change their answers as needed. This is different from the paper-based version, where students could only see one question at a time and were not able to go back to previous questions.
  4. On-screen calculator: The digital SAT includes an on-screen calculator that is similar to the one on a computer or smartphone. This allows students to use the calculator for math problems, rather than having to use a separate calculator as they would with the paper-based version.
  5. Faster scoring: With the Digital SAT, students can receive their scores as soon as one day after the test date, compared to two to three weeks for the paper-based exam.
  6. More flexibility and convenience: Students can take the Digital SAT at home or at a testing center, and can choose from multiple testing dates throughout the year.
  7. Accessibility features: The digital SAT includes various features to make the test accessible for all students. For example, students can magnify text, highlight text, and change the contrast to make the test easier to read. The test is also compatible with screen readers for students who are visually impaired.

Additionally, the College Board has implemented various security measures to ensure the integrity of the digital SAT. For example, students are monitored via webcam and microphone throughout the test, and the test software has features to detect and prevent cheating.

Lastly, there has been much confusion surrounding the Digital SAT’s Adaptive Testing. The SAT exam itself uses a Multistage Adaptive Testing (MST) approach, with the questions being grouped into sets based on their level of difficulty and content area. The initial section of the test includes a mix of easy, medium, and difficult questions, and the test-taker's performance on this section determines which set of questions they will receive for the next section.

The adaptive algorithm used in the Digital SAT is designed to adjust to the test-taker's ability level in real-time, providing more precise estimates of their knowledge and skills than traditional linear tests. This allows for a more efficient and accurate assessment of the test-taker's abilities, while also reducing test time and minimizing the number of questions needed to get a reliable estimate of ability.

Overall, the changes made to the digital SAT are aimed at providing a more flexible, accessible, and user-friendly testing experience for students.

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