Expert shares changes coming to new digital SAT format

SAT going fully digital this year
Published: Aug. 11, 2023 at 10:13 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The SAT is going digital this school year. Experts say there’s not only a new format, the test is shorter and supposedly more accurate.

An expert says about every decade or so, College Board comes out with a new SAT test. This time around, much of the content is the same but the biggest change is in the technology.

“The digital SAT that we’re going to be seeing, actually that’s being administered now overseas, is a section-adaptive test,” said Mike Bergin, the president of the National Test Prep Association and the founder of Chariot Learning. “The first reading-writing section sets your baseline and if you do well, you perform at a certain level on the first reading-writing, your next reading-writing section will be harder and you have the potential for a higher score. If you don’t do as well, your second section, you don’t want to see this, it’s going to be easier -- noticeably easier -- and then you’ll say, my top score is probably capped.”

It’s the same with the math sections. Another difference with the new test: an increased emphasis on vocabulary.

Bergin says because the technology is so sophisticated, they need fewer items to determine an accurate score so the test is actually shorter. Still, preparing is key in getting more points.

“The SAT in any format is a test of fundamental reading, writing, and math ability and that means the way to prepare, the way everybody should be preparing, is reading more, paying attention in school and studying, learning math on a conceptual level and understanding the problem-solving aspect of test-math,” he explains.

There’s also an app called Bluebook created by College Board for the SAT, PSAT, and APs. Bergin says there are practice tests on the app that can help you study.

Outside of that, if students struggle preparing on their own, there’s always someone who can help.

“I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest that students who learn better with a coach or a teacher, take advantage of the highest quality teaching or tutoring they can access,” he added.

Students taking the PSAT will experience the new format come October and those taking the SAT will see the new test in March.

Get news alerts in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store or subscribe to our email newsletter here.