The SAT Is Going Digital – What Does This Mean?

The SAT test that you take isn’t anything like the test that your parents or grandparents took! The College Board’s goal is to allow the test to constantly evolve to better represent the work students are doing in school as well as to better represent the students taking the test. In recognition of students’ online academic world, the SAT announced that starting in spring of 2024, the SAT is going digital. Because most students take the SAT their junior year, that means that the class of 2025 will be the first U.S. group to venture beyond pencil and paper while they take this standardized test.

Some SAT variations will be given digitally a bit sooner than that though. If you’re an international student ready to take the SAT, it’s going to be administered starting March of 2023, while student taking any of the PSAT tests will have the digital version beginning in fall of 2023.

Now, don’t get too excited; this doesn’t mean you can simply login and take the SAT while still in your pjs relaxing in bed some lazy Saturday morning. You’ll still have to sign up to take the test either in a school or a testing facility, but you won’t be filling in bubble after bubble with a number two pencil. Instead, the tests will now be taken online to better reflect the academic life of most student today. Other than the format of the test, what else is different?

The Time

First of all, the greatest news is that the test is going to be shorter. Instead of a three and a half hour barrage of questions, it’s being cut down to just over two hours. On top of that, students have more time to answer each question; that’s amazing news for students who struggle with anxiety related to being timed or those who need a little extra time to think about what the right answer could be. 

You won’t have to wait such a long time to get your results back either. Instead of waiting weeks to see how you did on the SAT, the digital platform means that you won’t have to sit wondering and worrying. You’ll have your scores back in a matter of days!


You’ll also get to use a calculator on the entire math portion of the test, though “smart” calculators still won’t be permitted. The reading sections are shorter and will cover a lot more different topics than in previous tests. 

There will only be one math section and one combined Reading and Writing section. The math and English sections will each have two modules within them. With 27 questions per module in the Reading and Writing portion, students have 32 minutes to complete each module. The math test is 22 questions per module; for one module, students are given 35 minute for each of those modules. If you’re doing the addition, that makes for a 134 minute test. Of course, the SAT will continue to provide a ten minute break between the two major portions of the test, adding a little bit to the actual time-commitment students have to make.

On top of those changes, the test will be different for every student. Because it’s not the old paper and pencil format, every student will have a unique test form. The ability to shuffle the questions means that sharing answers is out of the question, making it a lot more secure. 

New Topics

The College Board is adding a few new topics to the SAT. For math, they’ve begun including limits of functions, and for the Reading and Writing section, more questions about poetry have been added. On top of that, students will be expected to be able to synthesize information from a set of notes because that higher-level thinking skill is an essential for beyond high school.

How Do I Prepare?

For the most part, the content of the SAT is going to remain the same. They will still test on the same type of math and English skills as they’ve been testing on. The format and length will be a bit different though, making it easier for modern students to adapt to. The College Board says that they’ll have their SAT prep material ready for students, along with practice tests available, by this fall (2022). 

However, if you aren’t sure about prepping for the SAT, you might consider some help through Train the Brain’s live online SAT Prep Course. You can sign up for the Math, the English, or both sections to get ready for the current SAT. With sixteen live sessions when you sign up for both, sessions are offered several times a year. The SAT Math classes meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-7 CST, and the SAT Verbal classes meet at the same time on Mondays and Wednesdays.

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If you want to learn more about TTB and the services we offer, including our one-on-one online tutoring or homework help, feel free to check out our services and our blog. You can also reach out with any question about our SAT prep, tutoring, or homework help services by reaching out to Train The Brain online. We’re ready to help you prepare for your next test or any other important assignment or project you’ve got coming up.


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