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The digital SAT is the latest iteration of the widely recognized college admission test that measures college and career readiness. The transition from paper to digital testing will begin in spring 2023 for international testing centers and in spring 2024 for students in the United States.

The test will continue to evaluate the same knowledge and skills as the traditional paper-based test, scoring on the same 1600-point scale. It will be administered exclusively at schools and testing centers and will not be available for at-home testing.

Digital SAT structure

The digital SAT is composed of two sections: a combined Reading and Writing section and a Math section. The test will be two-stage adaptive, which means that the difficulty of the questions in the second module of each section will be determined by a student’s performance in the first module. The adaptive nature enables it to be considerably shorter, taking a total of 2 hours and 14 minutes to complete. The digital test will not include the SAT Essay, which was dropped from the test in 2021.

International students should be aware that the digital SAT will be unique but comparable for all students testing together, unlike the traditional test where students receive identical questions. Scores will be available just a few days after the test is taken. The digital SAT will provide students with a more convenient and efficient testing experience and a faster turnaround time for scores.

Verbal Section: How will it be different now vs. then?

The verbal section of the digital SAT has undergone significant changes compared to its counterpart in the traditional pencil and paper test. The most notable change is the consolidation of two sections—Reading and Writing & Language—into one section called Reading and Writing. This new section places a greater emphasis on a student’s ability to comprehend, analyze, and evaluate written texts, as well as demonstrate their writing skills.

One of the key differences between the two versions of the verbal section is the length and complexity of the texts. In the digital SAT, students will encounter shorter passages that are focused on a single, discrete question, while in the traditional test, they had to grapple with longer texts with a wider range of subjects. This shift in focus is intended to help students better demonstrate their critical thinking and analytical skills, as they must now consider a limited range of information.

In addition to the change in the length and complexity of the texts, the digital SAT has also reorganized the questions in the verbal section into four broad categories: Craft & Structure, Information & Ideas, Standard English Conventions, and Expression of Ideas. This categorization helps to clarify the specific skills and knowledge areas being tested and provides a more comprehensive assessment of a student’s abilities in the verbal section.

Despite these changes, the digital SAT still aims to evaluate the same knowledge and skills as the traditional pencil and paper test. Students will still be required to demonstrate their understanding of written texts and their ability to write effectively. Additionally, the scoring will remain on the same 1600-point scale, which allows for direct comparisons between the two versions of the test.

Have questions?

If you’re looking for more information on the digital SAT or need help with your preparation, consider reaching out to an overseas education consultant. They can provide you with the latest information on the test, offer expert advice and guidance, and help you develop a study plan that meets your specific needs and goals.

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