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Digital SAT

The digital SAT Suite uses multistage adaptive testing (MST). Relying on MST means the digital SAT Suite fairly and accurately measures the same things with a shorter, more highly secure test while preserving test reliability.

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Each assessment in the digital SAT Suite has two sections: the Reading and Writing section and the Math section. In every assessment in the SAT Suite, including the SAT, students have 64 minutes to complete the Reading and Writing section and 70 minutes to complete the Math section. Each Reading and Writing module lasts 32 minutes, while each Math module lasts 35 minutes. When students complete the Reading and Writing section, they are moved to the Math section after a 10-minute break between the sections.

Total testing time for the digital SAT Suite is 2 hours and 14 minutes for each assessment (SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9).


Effective March’2023, Digital-SAT

Developer / administrator

College Board, Educational Testing Service

Knowledge / skills tested

Writing, critical reading, mathematics


Admission to undergraduate programs of universities or colleges

Year started



2 hours (without the essay) 14 minutes, with one 10 minutes break between Reading and Writing

Score / grade range

Test scored on scale of 200–800, for Reading & Writing, and 200-800 for Math, Overall total Scoring range is from (400–1600).


7 times annually

Countries / regions




Annual number of test takers

Over 2.22 million high school graduates in the class of 2019

Prerequisites / eligibility criteria

No official prerequisite. Intended for high school students. Fluency in English assumed.

Exam Fee

USD$103 to US$109.50, depending on country.

Scores / grades used by

Most universities and colleges offering undergraduate programs in the U.S.

Exam booking website

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  • 40/42 hours of weekday/weekend Classroom or LIVE coaching classes;
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  • 1 year of from course start date;
The SAT exam consists of three sections:
  1. Mathematics
  2. Reading test
  3. Writing and language test

The duration of the exam is 2 hours 14 mins.

Component Time Allotted (minutes) Number of Questions/Tasks
Reading and Writing 64 (two 32-minute modules) 54
Math 70 (two 35-minute modules) 44
Total 134 98
Changes in the Digital SAT

The pandemic taught us all how to learn and take tests in a digital world. The Digital SAT exam March 2023 appears to be ready to carry on that spirit of simplicity. According to the College Board, in addition to reducing testing hours to two hours, the test will allow more time per question across the board.

The following are the major changes to the test content that have been declared so far:

  • Shorter reading passages with a single question per passage
  • Passages from a broader range of college-level exams
  • Calculators for the entire Math section
  • The Digital SAT Scores will be released faster, allowing students and educators to make college decisions more quickly.
Digital SAT Vs Current SAT: Differences

The Digital SAT will be a simplified version of the current SAT. The new format will place less emphasis on endurance and speed and more emphasis on college readiness skills. The current SAT Reading section, with its long passages and frequently obscure History passages, requires patience to solve. The test is likely to include passages from the humanities and sciences delving into more contemporary issues in finance, economics, and the environment, with a broader range of short passages.

Furthermore, we may see a greater emphasis on combining graphical information with passage text to answer questions. However, this is all speculation at this point.

The use of calculators for the entire Math section indicates significant changes to the test. We may see a shift to more straightforward questions, similar to the ACT Math section, as well as the inclusion of more geometry and trigonometry problems, in addition to the SAT’s emphasis on Algebra and Word Problems.

While the College Board is revising test content to better accommodate digital delivery, the digital SAT exam 2023 will continue to assess the same skills and knowledge that students learn in high school and that are most important for college and career readiness.

Digital SAT Vs Current SAT: What has not Changed

While the Digital SAT Suite will include a number of changes that will benefit both students and educators, many important aspects of the SAT Suite will remain unchanged.

  • The SAT digital Suite will continue to assess students’ knowledge and skills that are most important for college and career readiness.
  • The SAT will be scored on the same 1600 scale, allowing educators and students to track growth across the suite over time.
  • The digital SAT will still be administered in a school or a testing center with a proctor present, not at home.
  • Students will continue to have direct access to scholarships.
Advantages of Digital SAT 2023

Here are some advantages of using a Digital SAT.

  • Secure: The paper-pencil version of tests may be canceled if there are any external or internal issues. The digital SAT will be more secure because each student will have a unique test form and will use their own or a school-issued device.
  • Faster Score: Students will have access to their scores in days rather than weeks.
How and When to prepare for the Digital SAT?

If you want to take the SAT in 2023, you’ll have plenty of time to develop strong reading, writing, and language skills, as well as math skills. Begin studying for the Digital SAT as soon as possible. Concentrate on making visible improvements in all areas. Don’t be afraid to use current SAT tests to track your progress. There is no need to take full-length tests, but you can always solve the Writing and Language sections, as well as the Math sections, and try to achieve a perfect score on practice tests. Focus on developing a foundation of comprehension skills and awareness of current global debates and issues before beginning to read. This will automatically increase your vocabulary and reading speed, allowing you to successfully transition to SAT reading in the future.

When will Students take the Digital SAT Test?

According to the College Board, the first round of digital SATs will be available in time for the International exams in March 2023 (and beyond). In 2023, international students will be able to take the exam and in 2024 US students will be able to take the Digital SAT exam. In some ways, the digital SAT has already arrived: the College Board has quietly administered a “digital SAT Pilot” exam to select students since late 2021, in exchange for $5o or $100 gift cards but no official SAT score.

However, beginning in 2021, digital SAT pilot test takers were invited to take the test and were accepted. They were given the official SAT scores as well as the option to keep or cancel them after viewing them.

How to Prepare for a Digital SAT Test?

The SAT’s focus on testing college readiness skills in reading, grammar, and math hasn’t changed over the years.

Here is how you can begin preparing for each skill area of the 2023 Digital SAT:

  • Reading: Begin by reading about a variety of humanities and science topics. Start with the Economists, New Scientists, New York Times, and Washington Post. You should start reading the editorials right away. Learn about current geopolitical and environmental issues. Concentrate on becoming a more informed reader in general. Instead of being a passive receiver of facts, try cultivating opinions.
  • Writing and Language: Grammar and punctuation rules are unlikely to be phased out of standardized tests anytime soon.
  • Math: Begin practicing all of the math topics covered on the current SAT. In addition, pay special attention to geometry and trigonometry problems from ACT official tests. Math requires formulas and facts. They assist you in responding to questions more accurately and efficiently. So push yourself to learn the formulas and facts related to the current SAT topics, while also understanding why and how they work.
Tools Available for the Students Taking the Digital SAT

Many test tools will be included in the digital testing application for students. Here are a couple of examples:

  • You can flag the questions so that you can come back to them later
  • Students will get a countdown clock, which they can choose to show or hide at the top of their testing screen, which will alert them when they’re running out of time
  • Students can use the built-in graphing calculator throughout the math section (or they can bring their own calculator)
  • A reference sheet with common formulas for each math question
Will it be Difficult to Take the Test Online?

If you prefer taking tests online, you may be concerned about the test’s online version. The good news is that the majority of students in the pilot test found it to be more intuitive and simpler. When the College Board claims that the digital version of the test is more “intuitive,” they mean that it is “simpler to navigate” and “simpler to answer without fatigue.

The digital SAT interface will include a Student Clock, making it easier for test takers to keep track of time.

Highlighters, strikethrough, and mark for review will be available, as will a built-in calculator and a reference feature (standard mathematical formulas). Test takers will have all the tools they need to solve questions in one place.

Devices Required to Take the Digital SAT

Students can use a laptop or tablet to take the digital SAT Suite. They may use either a personal or a school-issued device. If a student does not have a device, they can request one from the College Board, and they will provide one to use on the test day. This is true for students taking the SAT on the weekend both internationally and in the USA. And if a student faces any difficulty with their device or connectivity on the test day then the College Board has built the exam application to withstand internet outages. If the internet disconnects during testing, students will still be able to progress through the test with no disruption—all their work will be saved, and they won’t lose testing time.

What Impact Will These Changes Have on College Admissions?

Because these changes were just announced and will not go into effect for another year or two, it’s difficult to predict how they’ll affect college admissions, but we believe they won’t make much of a difference. Because the SAT’s general content, difficulty, and scoring system aren’t changing much, we expect colleges to view the digital version of the SAT in the same way they did the current version. Colleges also make an effort not to penalize students for circumstances beyond their control, so taking one version of the SAT will not have a negative impact on your college applications compared to students who took the other version.

Regardless of these new changes, the way colleges view the SAT (and the ACT) has shifted significantly in recent years. Many colleges have gradually shifted their emphasis away from standardized test scores and toward other application components such as GPA, high school classes, and extracurriculars. The COVID-19 pandemic, which made taking standardized tests difficult or impossible for many students for months, only accelerated this trend. In 2020 and 2021, practically every college became test-optional, and hundreds of schools have chosen to remain test-optional indefinitely. If a school is test-optional, you can choose whether or not to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of your application. If you don’t, the other components of your application will be given more weight.

The College Board is well aware of these trends, and many of the new SAT changes were implemented to make the test more appealing to students who may have been put off by taking such a long, difficult test. However, according to a College Board poll, 83 % wanted the option to submit test scores in their college applications, and nearly every college still allows it, so the SAT isn’t going away anytime soon.

Digital SAT Content Alignment: Overview

The digital SAT Suite uses multistage adaptive testing (MST). Relying on MST means the digital SAT Suite fairly and accurately measures the same things with a shorter, more highly secure test while preserving test reliability.

Each assessment in the digital SAT Suite has two sections: the Reading and Writing section and the Math section. In every assessment in the SAT Suite, including the SAT, students have 64 minutes to complete the Reading and Writing section and 70 minutes to complete the Math section. Each Reading and Writing module lasts 32 minutes, while each Math module lasts 35 minutes. When students complete the Reading and Writing section, they are moved to the Math section after a 10-minute break between the sections.

Total testing time for the digital SAT Suite is 2 hours and 14 minutes for each assessment (SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9).

Testing Modules

Both the Reading and Writing and the Math sections are divided into two equal-length and separately timed stages, each composed of a module of questions. Students can move backward and forward among questions in each module before time runs out. When time runs out on the first module of each section, the test delivery platform moves students to the second module. The first module contains a broad mix of easy, medium, and hard questions. Based on how students perform on the first module, the second module of questions will either be more difficult or less difficult.

The PSAT 8/9

Taken in the eighth and ninth grades, the PSAT 8/9 establishes a baseline measurement of college and career readiness as students enter high school. It helps students and educators determine what students need to work on most.


The PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 are the same test, offered at different times of year. They check student progress and pinpoint areas for development. Students can take the PSAT/NMSQT in the fall of 10th and 11th grade. Instead of offering the PSAT/NMSQT to 10th graders in the fall, some schools offer the PSAT 10 between February and April.

The PSAT/NMSQT is the qualifying test students take to enter the National Merit® Scholarship Program and to compete for recognition and college scholarships. To enter the National Merit Scholarship Program, which is conducted by National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC®), students must take the PSAT/NMSQT in the specified year of their high school program (usually the junior year) and meet other published participation requirements.


The SAT is an opportunity for students to show colleges they’re ready to succeed on campus. Most students take the SAT for the first time during the spring of their junior year and a second time during the fall of their senior year.

Reading and Writing Content Alignment

Texts in the Reading and Writing section are aligned with the growing text complexity demands across successively higher grades of schooling and with college and career readiness requirements.

The Reading and Writing sections across assessments in the SAT Suite (SAT, PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9) are the same in terms of content specifications and reflect one of three complexity bands (grades 6–8, grades 9–11, and grades 12–14). There is one exception: PSAT 8/9 does not include passages from the highest (grades 12–14) text complexity band.

The range of difficulty of questions students are administered differs from assessment to assessment. In addition, the multistage adaptive nature of the testing engine, and the PSAT 8/9 text complexity constraint, ensure that students taking the various tests are given age- and attainment-appropriate questions, with allowances for higher- and lower-achieving students within each test-taking population to demonstrate the full extent of their ability.

Reading and Writing Section Question Distribution

Questions on the Reading and Writing section represent one of four content domains, shown in the table below. Questions that test similar skills and knowledge are grouped together and arranged from easiest to hardest.

Content Domain Skill/Knowledge Testing Points Operational Question Distribution
Craft and Structure
  • Words in Context
  • Text Structure and Purpose
  • Cross-Text Connections
13–15 questions
Information and Ideas
  • Central Ideas and Details
  • Command of Evidence (Textual, Quantitative)
  • Inferences
12–14 questions
Standard English Conventions
  • Boundaries
  • Form, Structure, and Sense
11–15 questions
Expression of Ideas
  • Rhetorical Synthesis
  • Transitions
8–12 questions

The first two domains—Craft and Structure and Information and Ideas—primarily address reading-related skills and knowledge, while the second two domains—Standard English Conventions and Expression of Ideas—primarily address writing-related skills and knowledge.

Digital SAT Math Content Alignment

The tests in the SAT Suite of Assessments measure the same skills and knowledge in ways that make sense for different grade levels. The Math sections keep pace with student progress, matching the scope and difficulty of work in the classroom. Of particular note:

  • Rational and radical equations (Advanced Math) are not represented on PSAT 8/9.
  • Trigonometry skills and knowledge are not assessed on PSAT 8/9.
  • Skills and knowledge associated with circles (Geometry and Trigonometry) are assessed only on the SAT.
  • In terms of number and proportion of questions:
    • Algebra is most prominent in PSAT 8/9 and decreases slightly at higher program (assessment) levels
    • The weighting of Advanced Math increases by program level
    • The weighting of Problem-Solving and Data Analysis decreases slightly by program level
    • The weighting of Geometry and Trigonometry/Geometry remains largely consistent by level.
  • Other small variations by skill/knowledge testing point can be seen at different program levels.

Math Section Question Distribution

Domain Skill/Knowledge Testing Points Operational Question Distribution
  • Linear equations in one variable
  • Linear equations in two variables
  • Linear functions
  • Systems of two linear equations in two variables
  • Linear inequalities in one or two variables
13–15 questions (SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10) ~35%

16–18 questions (PSAT 8/9) ~42.5%

Advanced Math
  • Equivalent expressions
  • Nonlinear equations in one variable and systems of equations in two variables
  • Nonlinear functions
13–15 questions (SAT) ~35%

12–14 questions (PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10) ~32.5%

7–9 questions (PSAT 8/9) ~20%

Problem-Solving and Data Analysis All:
  • Ratios, rates, proportional relationships, and units
  • Percentages
  • One-variable data: distributions and measures of center and spread
  • Two-variable data: models and scatterplots
  • Probability and conditional probability

SAT only:

  • Inference from sample statistics and margin of error
  • Evaluating statistical claims: observational studies and experiments


  • Inference from sample statistics
5–7 questions (SAT) ~15%

7–9 questions (PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10) ~20%

9–11 questions (PSAT 8/9) ~25%

Geometry and Trigonometry SAT:
  • Area and volume
  • Lines, angles, and triangles
  • Right triangles and trigonometry
  • Circles


  • Area and volume
  • Lines, angles, and triangles
  • Right triangles and right triangle trigonometry

PSAT 8/9:

  • Area and volume
  • Lines, angles, and triangles, including right triangles
5–7 questions (SAT) ~15%

4–6 questions (PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10 (Geometry and Trigonometry; PSAT 8/9) (Geometry) ~12.5%

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