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New Digital SAT Format : Boon Or Bane?

Oct 3, 2022

Students faced many challenges while appearing for the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) in the examination center during the Covid-19 pandemic. Due to this, the authorities couldn’t effectively conduct the students’ college readiness skills. 

Therefore, to tackle this problem, the College Board has decided to conduct SAT in a digital format from 2023 to 2024. This decision is taken to bring equity to the conduct of the examination and make the process more straightforward than ever before. 


So, are you wondering whether the SAT digital will be a boon or a bane in the future? Keep reading to find out! 

Highlights of the New SAT 

Now that you know why the Board introduced the SAT digital format, let’s look at the new SAT’s highlights.

  • The students can sit for the test without appearing for pen and paper mode of examination. From spring onwards, international candidates can sit for the test online. From March 2023, the global test centers will commence the SAT digital examination. From October 2023, test centers worldwide will conduct the digital SAT, except for the US centers. From Spring 2024, the US centers will administer the online SAT. 
  • The SAT Math examination will consist of non-calculator and calculator Math sections. The test application will consist of a graphing calculator. Candidates can use the calculator to solve the sums. 
  • Problems from Geometry and Trigonometry will have the most marks weightage in the Math section. 
  • According to the present SAT format, where students must wait for the results for weeks and months, the online SAT will speed up this score delivery. Students will be able to check their scores within a few days. 
  • With the online SAT implemented, the candidates can complete their papers in 2 hours. The reading passages will be shorter, and the Math questions will be straightforward and ‘less wordy.’ 
  • Multiple choice questions appear in the examination.
  • The Board will prepare different question papers for the students to avoid cheating and paper leaking. This will ensure test security, and the students can identify which career path they want to pursue. 

As you can guess, the new format will make the SAT examination easier, more convenient, and more secure. It will increase the relevancy of the test, and the students will be able to put in their best performance in the examination. 

What Will Be the Difference Between Present and SAT Digital? 

If you’re thinking about how the digital SAT will be different from the present SAT, the digital format will simplify the current examination. Moreover, the exam will focus on the college-readiness instead of the speed abilities of the candidate. 


The new online SAT will consist of extensive reading passages that need undivided attention to solve. The new test will focus more on how effectively the students understand the passage and answer the questions accurately. The examination will consist of finance, economics, and the surrounding topics. Since the Board will examine the readiness, the passages will be shorter than in the present. What’s more? Questions will be strategically formulated to see if students can combine graphical information into their answers. 

While the students can use calculators to solve the problem, the Board will examine how they solve each question step-by-step. 


To summarize, the SAT changes will be student-friendly and per the evolving society’s requirements.  

When Will SAT Changes Come Into Effect? 

The SAT changes will not happen in 2022. If you’re planning to sit for the online SAT examination, you must wait until 2023-2024. The College Board will roll out the digital SAT examination dates within this period. 


But does that mean you won’t be able to sit for the SAT examination at all? No, you can sit for the offline tests and try your luck at attaining good SAT scores

Don’t worry! The offline test scores will be considered by the colleges. The college will consider your score for admission if it is not over five years. 


It is up to you whether you want to show the online or offline SAT results for admission. But if you want to show the digital SAT result, you have to wait for the examination format to get implemented between 2023-2024. Post that, you can sit for the test and show your score to the college. 

Will Online SAT Affect College Admissions? 

A common question that you might wonder that if the online SAT results will help you get through college admissions easily. Well, the answer is no. 


Except that the SAT going digital, the results won’t give you an edge over the others. The difficulty, the content, and the scoring system will be the same regardless of the mode. The colleges will view the offline and online examination results similarly to consider you for admission. 

How Should You Prepare for the New SAT? 

Even though the updated SAT form will be easier and more convenient to appear for, the examination syllabus will not change. So, you must improve your grammar, reading, and maths readiness to get good scores. The following is how you can ace each section of the SAT syllabus during the test:

  • Writing and Language: Punctuation and grammar norms won’t phase out. So, prepare these well along with the grammar section on SAT from good resources to get excellent results in the examination. 
  • Reading: The more you read, the better you learn! Make it a habit to study different science and humanities topics. Also, read the editorials to learn about environmental and geopolitical events. This way, you can prepare effectively for the reading segment. Understand in-depth and create opinions to excel in this section. 
  • Math: The new online SAT examination will prioritize trigonometry and geometry problems. Ensure to know all the facts and formulas of the SAT trigonometry and geometry syllabus and practice them before the examination to answer all the questions accurately. 

NEW SAT Format: Boon or Bane? 

An interesting question that might come to your mind is whether the SAT going digital will be a boon or bane. It is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the latest SAT format to analyze this. 

Let’s look into the advantages first: 

  • The newest SAT format will be secure, shorter, and flexible. 
  • The questions and the reading passages appearing in the test will also be precise.
  • Candidates don’t need to travel to the examination center. They can simply log in to the test app and appear for the examination. 
  • Since the question will be shorter, students will have more time to read and find the answers. 
  • The chances of a correct response will be higher with the updated SAT examination. 
  • The examination will be of a shorter duration, and the questions will be relevant to the present time. 

So, those were the advantages of SAT going digital. But are there any drawbacks? Yes, there are a few drawbacks as well.  

  • Students might face challenges while taking the examination. If they are unfamiliar with the online test method, they might have difficulty navigating to the previous question during revision. 
  • There might be internet issues. 

If these problems are tackled, the updated SAT format will be perfect for implementation. One way to solve the problem stated above is by providing students with access to free digital tools. As they give exams with the free digital tools, they’ll better understand the app and can sit for the test and navigate to the previous question. As far as the network connectivity is concerned, everybody will face the same issue in the test centers. During such times, adequate measures will be taken to tackle the problem.  


Although there are still a few challenges that the students might face with the new online SAT format, it is a boon as the advantages outweigh them. The SAT examination has evolved, and there is time for the new SAT format to roll out. 

Hopefully, the Central Board will find suitable measures to tackle this problem and make it more convenient for the students. 

With the SAT exam getting simplified, the digital version of the test is expected to be adopted by many candidates in the future. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I sit for the updated SAT exam format?

A. The new form of SAT examination will be a computer-based test. This means you must log into the test app for the SAT examination from the computer and type the answer. There will be multiple-choice questions, and you need to select the right option from the choice provided in the question.  

2. Can Indians sit for the SAT examination?

A. Yes, they can. According to the College Board, Indian students can sit for the SAT to complete higher education in prestigious universities. The College Board has introduced SAT in India along with the different academic institutions and India Higher Education Alliance.  

3. Will the SAT change in 2024?

Yes, it will. SAT will get completely digital in 2024. The digital journey will start in 2023 and will gradually be followed domestically and internationally by 2024. On the computer, students will have to take the test in the examination center. 

sat digital


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