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Digital SAT: FAQ for Schools

The SAT and PSAT are going digital in 2023, with key changes in test length, question types, and scoring speed. Learn what these updates mean for students and educators in our quick Q&A.

When will the digital SAT be introduced?

The digital SAT was introduced internationally in the spring of 2023. In the US, the first digital PSAT will be offered in October 2023 to grades 9-11, and the first digital SAT will be offered beginning in the spring of 2024. 

Will scoring stay the same?

Yes, the new digital SAT will remain on the 1600-point scale. The PSAT 8/9, PSAT 10, and PSAT/NMSQT utilize the same scoring system and vertical scale as the previous paper-and-pencil SAT suite. Students will now receive their scores in days instead of weeks after testing. 

Will testing accommodations still be available? 

Yes, students can still apply for testing accommodations. Testing accommodations will still include extended time, read aloud, paper/pencil, and more. 

Will the PSAT be changing, too?

Yes, the PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9 will all be moving to a digital format beginning in fall of 2023. 

Will the content of the SAT be changing?

The majority of the skills assessed on the SAT are staying the same, though the format of how they are assessed is changing considerably. Some notable changes in the skills themselves include an increase in Words in Context questions on the Reading and Writing section and an increase in geometry skills on the Math section. 

Is the new digital SAT easier?

The digital SAT continues to assess crucial knowledge and skills at the same level of rigor as the paper-and-pencil SAT. However, there are some key changes which could affect students’ confidence levels with the test. 

  • Shorter length: The digital SAT is 45 minutes shorter than the paper version and includes fewer questions (98 questions vs. 154 questions).
  • More Time Per Question: The digital SAT averages about 82 seconds per question, a substantial increase from the paper SAT, which had 70 seconds per question.
  • Discrete Questions: Each question in the Reading and Writing section is accompanied by its own short passage. Passages range from 25-150 words, with the average word count of passages being 60 words. 
  • New Passage Genres: The digital SAT incorporates a greater variety of text genres in the Reading and Writing section, including science, history, humanities, and literature, with the addition of poetry, drama, and short stories. 
  • Increased Calculator Use: The Math section allows students to use the calculator for both modules. 

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