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10 Bluebook Tips to Go Faster on Digital SAT

Mar 12, 2024

Candidates in 11 grade or higher take the Digital SAT to evaluate their college readiness and identify the areas requiring improvement. The SAT has now gone online with slight positive changes in format. Thus, it is now referred to as a new digital SAT. There are certain flexibilities offered to the students. Explore them all and learn about the exam in detail here. 

What is Digital SAT?

The regular SAT exam, taken offline with pencil and paper, is now becoming digital. It will take the new form in the spring of 2023 at international test centers and in the spring of 2024 in US schools and test centers. The digital SAT will be educator and student-friendly and will change by incorporating better and higher flexibility, security, relevancy, speed, and adaptability in the test. The candidates here are judged in the exam on their school-taught knowledge and skills to evaluate their college readiness. Various colleges and universities accept the digital SAT to accept students for higher education. 


How to Take the Digital SAT?

The candidates will take the digital SAT through electronic devices, which could be their own or requested from the school. They will be taking the test on a special custom-built digital testing application, Bluebook. The application will be downloaded before the actual test day and offers enough time, sample, and practice to explore and get accustomed to before actually taking the test. The accepted devices include Windows or MacOS laptops, iPads, school-owned laptops and desktops, and school-managed Chromebooks. 

Further, the students will require internet access to take the test. The internet outage or spontaneous shutdown will not affect the test proceeding, as it will be saved on the server. The students will not lose the testing time. However, the candidates must ensure the proper battery life of their systems. The students who are unable to arrange the device to take the test can request the same from The College Board at least 30 days before the exam. The system will be provided on the test day. 


What is the Digital SAT Format?

The new digital SAT exam evaluates the candidates through two sections, Reading and Writing, and Math, with two modules in each section. Here is a section-wise breakdown indicating the digital SAT format

Reading and Writing

  • Each first and second module will have 25 operational questions and 2 pretest questions, resulting in a total of 54 questions. 
  • Each module will have 32 minutes, thus allotting 64 minutes in total.
  • There will be discrete four-option multiple-choice questions with visual representation in a few of the questions. 
  • The stimulus topics will be humanities, literature, history/social studies, and science.  


  • Each first and second module will have 20 operational questions and 2 pretest questions, resulting in a total of 44 questions. 
  • Each module will have 35 minutes, thus allotting 70 minutes in total.
  • There will be discrete questions, with 75% being four-option multiple-choice questions and 25% being Student Produced Responses (SPR)
  • The stimulus topics will be real-world topics, such as social science and science. 

How to Prepare for the Digital SAT?

Preparation for the new digital SAT must include all the aspects, which consist of preparation for the exam and familiarity with the testing application. Here are some ways to prepare for the big test: 

  • Go through the digital testing app to understand the options and functionalities. Make use of the ‘exam app preview’ to get familiar with the features. 
  • Get hold of the syllabus and make a plan or schedule according to the date of the exam.
  • Be informed about the weight of each topic. 
  • Set target score through analysis of the 75 percentile of the college of interest. 
  • Practice and revise a lot. 
  • Go through the sample test questions with answer explanations to understand the candidates’ expectations. 
  • Take the full-length adaptive digital SAT practice test to familiarize yourself with the digital SAT format.

What are the 10 Bluebook Tips to Go Faster on Digital SAT?

With exams going digital, here are some Bluebook tips to help you complete the test within time and efficiently: 

  1. Familiarity With the App

The first and most important thing to do is download the ‘Bluebook’ application to the device you will be taking for the exam. If you are taking it through the school, request your teacher or mentor for familiarity with the app. Here is the link to download. Necessarily check out the following sections: mark for review, testing timer, calculator, reference sheet, and annotation for beforehand familiarity. 

  1. Have the Experience

The new digital SAT will replace the pencil and paper with touch or click. Gain the experience and understand how much time it takes to answer a question based on your format. Also, you will need familiarity and speed with the calculator. Take the experience of all of it through the practice test and develop the strategy accordingly. Find which option suits you or will be more helpful during the test to save time.

  1.  Eliminate the Options

It can be done virtually on the question itself through the Bluebook. Click on the box at the top right corner of the question. For the options you think are inappropriate, click on any of the initials like A, B, C, or D to mark them out (similar and better than the 50:50 option in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?). You will now be left to choose between the options you assume are correct. The activity will be saved with the question, and hence, you can come back later without the requirement to perform the procedure again. 

  1. Enhance the Visibility

You can do this by zooming in or out of the text. The Bluebook allows the usage of the feature by clicking the ‘Ctrl’ button along with scrolling up and down on the touchpad or by moving the wheel up and down on the mouse. 

  1. Choose Your Sequence to Answer

The bottom of the question page contains a clickable link exhibiting the question number being attempted along with the total number of questions in the section. Click on the same and choose the question you want to answer first. Sometimes, the question might hold a clue or hint to another question or revise the memory. Hopping between the questions is beneficial during that time. 

  1. Use the Timer

The candidates get around more than 1 minute per question. Keep the timer visible while taking the test and ensure that the remaining time is more than the number of questions to be attempted. You can use the timer to check your speed of taking the test or time spent on the section and improve accordingly if required. Hiding the timer is a highly unrecommended activity, as the timer will appear at the last minute in red font without the option to hide. It leads to overwhelming results that further results in time-wasting. 

  1. Annotation 

The annotation option is useful if you want to write the keywords, something you memorized, the mnemonics associated with the question, or other important points. The usage of the option must be well-thought-out and should be done if necessary. 

  1. Frequently Use the App

As a candidate, you will not like wasting time updating the app on test day. You will also not want to face login issues, the inability of the app to start due to lack of memory, or any other issue. It is recommended to use or at least login to the app regularly. It will avoid witnessing the login issues or facing a major update on the test day. It will also keep the options and features in your mind fresh, thus not requiring you to search for any specific feature in the app. 

  1. Adjust the Workspace

While using the Bluebook for practice or while taking the actual exam, ensure the brightness and font size of the screen suit you. Since you will be staring at the screen for a long time, any effect on the eyes or brain is certain to lower productivity and hence the speed. 

  1. Take ‘Help’

If you face any app-related issue during or before the test, click on the ‘Help’ icon for troubleshooting. Alternatively, you can also call out the invigilators in the room for assistance. 


Bluebook application is set to be used by the candidates to take the digital SAT exam. The exam, which will last for around 2 hours and 14 minutes, will require the presence of an electronic device like a laptop or desktop to take the test. Further, an internet connection and a full battery or power source are required. With the replacement of pencil and paper mode of the test, candidates are suggested to practice well on the app by taking test preview and full-length tests. Make use of the facilities and functions provided to complete the test in a timely manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to submit the test on Bluebook?

The test will be automatically submitted when the time is over. The screen will display congratulations and successful submission notifications to inform the candidates. Wait for the same.

Can I see past tests on the app?

Yes, the Bluebook testing app allows viewing the active and past tests.

Can I change the password on the app?

Yes, click on ‘Forgot password’ to gain access back to your account.

digital sat format


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