What is the new digital SAT?

What is the new digital SAT?

The SAT will be held in digital form on March 11, 2023. This Digital SAT or DSAT is the first scheduled test.

The SAT is a standardised exam similar to Indian entrance examinations like JEE and CUET. This test is used by most colleges and universities in the US and many other countries. India is one of the countries that use SAT to make admission decisions for their UG courses. 

Final SAT Test

Indian students make up a considerable amount of students out of over one million test takers across the world. About 25,000 Indian students take the SAT every year. The next SAT exam is scheduled on December 3, 2022. The deadline for registration was on November 3, 2022.

This is the last pen and paper-based SAT. The SAT will be held in digital form or the Digital SAT or DSAT from 2023. The first test is scheduled on March 11, 2023. In order to consider scholarships, a good SAT score is critical.

However, the SAT just forms only one of the criteria out of the various criteria. They include the overall profile of the student, achievements, academic merits, etc. All these factors combined with SAT help the student achieve the scholarship. However, one cannot get a full scholarship based on the overall profile.

As the SAT plays a pivotal role in the future of students, it can feel quite intimidating. It is not as challenging as it is perceived if the students prepare for it in the right manner, with the right guidance and resources.

From 2023, in order to make the SAT the best option for students, the SAT will be offered digitally. The digital SAT will not simply be a digital version of the current pen-and-paper test. The digital SAT will be a better and more flexible test. It will be easier to give, easier to take, more relevant and more secure.

Easier To Take

Digital SAT Tests are roughly 1 hour shorter. The Pre-test and post-test activities and administrative time have been reduced in the Digital SAT. It can also be taken over a wide range of devices. The tests are concise and focused and feature numerous tools. They include a built-in graphing calculator along with the ability to annotate and flag questions.

Easier To Give

In the digital form, there will be no more shipping, packing, unpacking and distributing of test materials. The test will have fewer separately timed sections and the test timing and administration will be handled by the testing platform. A proctor will not be involved in this.

The test delivery platform will be tolerant of momentary interruptions in connectivity. Thus there won\’t be any loss of students’ work or time. Students with brief experiences of interruptions due to connectivity can quickly resume. They will not have a loss of testing time.

Students can simply plug in, restart, and resume testing if their battery has completely drained without loss of either testing time or their work. The answer responses are automatically saved by the testing platform.

More Secure

The delivery platform is customized to display only one question. Copying the content of the test content cannot be done. Thus, students copying from their test neighbours is greatly reduced.

More Relevant

With the digital tests, the number and variety of contexts that serve as the basis for test questions have been increased to a great extent. Various opportunities are offered for the tests to represent the diversity of people, interests and experiences around the world. Also, there are increased chances that the students will encounter meaningful and personally interesting passages on the test day.

What’s staying the same on DSAT?

Digital SAT will continue to measure the knowledge and skills of the students. These factors matter the most for college and career readiness. Scores will remain on the same 1600 scale and the test should be taken in school or at a test centre. The free practice resources will, as usual, be available for everyone. Students will be able to connect directly to scholarships continuously.

What’s changing on DSAT?

The test has to be taken on a laptop or tablet and will now be multistage adaptive to measure the same things fairly and accurately. However, the test reliability is preserved. The suite assessments are substantially shorter and last only for 2 hours and 14 minutes.

Also, test takers will have more time to answer each question. Students will receive scores faster and the test will be more secure. Every student will get a highly similar but unique test form. Also, more flexibility will be awarded for administering SAT suite tests digitally.

DSAT Multistage Adaptive model

Each test section, in this model, is divided into two equal-length. They are also given separately timed stages. Each section will have a module of questions. The first module will consist of a mix of easy, medium and hard questions and students will begin by answering questions in the first module.

The questions appearing in the second module depend on the test taker’s achievement level. They also depend on the performance in the first module. Questions of the higher or lower order of difficulty will appear in the second module than in the first module. The test will present questions depending on the performance level of the student in the first module.

Section Level Changes 

Reading and Writing:

There will be a single Reading and Writing section instead of separate sections. They will feature many shorter texts than a few long texts. Evidently, students can see a wider range of topics that they have already read in college. Besides, with each passage or passage pair, a single discrete question is associated.


Calculators are allowed throughout the Math section. Students can bring in their own calculators. They can also use the inbuilt graphing calculator built directly into the testing application. There is a reduction in the average length of the in-context questions.

Digital SAT Implementation Timeline

Accordingly, at international test centres, the transition from paper and pen to digital will happen in the spring of 2023. However, at the US schools and test centres, the transition will happen in the spring of 2024.

Digital Testing Application 

The College Board’s customised digital testing application will administer the Digital SAT suite application. The digital application has many tools for students such as the Mark for review, Testing timer, Calculator, Reference sheet and Annotation.

Mark for review: Students can flag and return to any question within a given test module.

Testing timer: A clock that counts down the time remaining is present in each module. Students can hide the timer. They get an alert when 5 minutes remain at the end of the module.

Calculator: In the entire Math section, a built-in graphing calculator is available. Students can also bring their own calculator that has been approved.

Reference sheet: Students have access to a list of common formulas, in the Math section.

Annotation: Students are allowed to highlight any part of a question and leave a note for themselves.

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