Earlier this year, College Board announced that the SAT® Suite of Assessments is going digital. The digital tests, which include the SAT®, PSAT/NMSQT®, PSAT™ 10, and PSAT™ 8/9, will be easier to take, easier to give, more secure, and more relevant. We’ve been talking extensively to school and district leaders as we make this transition to make sure they’re getting the information and resources they need to feel confident in the move to digital.
Here are a few of the main questions educators are asking (and our answers):
When will the SAT and PSAT-related assessments be offered digitally?
Students testing on weekends at international test centers will take the digital SAT starting in spring 2023. The PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 8/9 will be fully digital, both domestically and internationally, starting in fall 2023, followed by the PSAT 10, SAT Weekend, and SAT School Day by spring 2024.
Why should my school offer the digital SAT Suite?
States, districts, and schools across the U.S. are currently using the SAT Suite as a critical part of their college and career readiness efforts. Whether students are on the path to a two- or four-year college or considering their career options, the digital Suite will continue to prepare students to succeed beyond the classroom. The SAT Suite will provide access to scholarships, as well as college planning tools. It will give information on career opportunities based on the student’s interests and skills. In addition, the digital tests will allow for faster delivery of results to educators and students, providing information needed to make key decisions.
It’s important to note that research shows SAT School Day is an important driver of access and equity and leads to higher college-going rates for low-income and rural students. Today, most students who take the SAT take it via SAT School Day.
Moving to digital also means districts and schools have much more flexibility and can choose a testing timeframe that meets the needs of their community.
What will the digital testing experience be like for my students?
The digital tests will be about an hour shorter (two hours and 14 minutes instead of three), and students will have more time per question. Besides this, students can test on devices they’re familiar with, including their own laptops (Windows or MacOS), iPads, school-owned desktops and laptops, or school-managed Chromebooks. Students will take the digital SAT Suite using Bluebook™, College Board’s custom-built digital exam application. The app includes a built-in graphing calculator, a countdown clock, and a way to flag questions to come back to them later. Students will still be able to use scratch paper.
So far, over 12,000 students in the U.S. and 75 other countries have participated in digital SAT Suite pilots and research studies. Eighty percent of participating students reported they found the digital SAT to be less stressful than the paper and pencil test.
We’ll continue to provide the full range of accommodations, such as extended time and braille testing, for students who receive accommodations.
What about the experience for test administrators?
A shorter test means a shorter test day, and going digital means no more packing, sorting, or shipping of paper testing materials. Almost 90% of proctors from the digital pilots indicated they had a better experience with the digital administration than they did with the paper and pencil test.
Test coordinators and proctors will administer the digital PSAT-related assessments and SAT using Test Day Toolkit (our web application for test center management) on a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone.
What happens if my students have technology issues?
The Bluebook exam application is built to withstand internet outages. If the internet disconnects during testing, students will still be able to finish the test with no disruption.
If students see their computer battery run out, they can plug in, restart their device, and pick up where they left off. Their work will be saved, and they won’t lose testing time.
On test day, our dedicated customer service members will troubleshoot student and test center issues. We’re also introducing a brand-new role for each center: technology monitor. This designated individual will provide additional support.
Where can we learn more?
Go to sat.org/digital for resources, webinars, and comprehensive FAQs on the digital SAT Suite of Assessments.
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