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Digital SAT: The New Era of Testing with the Essence of Traditional

Photo by Headway on Unsplash

A standardized test for college admissions in the United States, the SAT holds immense prominence for every student. The format and scoring of the test have changed several times since 1926, its debut. Now in this technology era, it is going digital with Digital SAT. However, this change is keeping students and parents on the edge. All they need is the right information to relax their brains. 

The digital SAT will still share similarities with the traditional paper and pencil test. The scoring remains the same – the scale is 400-1600, and it tests the same set of knowledge and skills.

Jumping to the difference: the most obvious one is the mode of delivery and interaction, which is through a digital device (precisely computer) rather than paper and pencil. Of course, the digital test will be conducted on a computer a laptop, or a tablet. Test takers will have to use digital tools to navigate through sections and submit their responses. It is quite like any online exam, which has nothing to do with any test booklet or paper pencil.

Test-takers can bring their qualified device to the center or request one (the same should be informed to the College Board in advance). They will be using the site’s Wi-Fi to log in and provide other necessary credentials to begin.

Digital SAT uses the Bluebook application for this purpose.

Test duration has changed in the digital SAT. Traditionally, it was 3 hours, but the digital SAT is 2 hours and 14 minutes.

The reduction of time makes the test shorter.

The skillset

Just like the traditional SAT, the digital one also tests the same knowledge and skills with slight modifications. Math content is quite similar, but there’s more geometry and trigonometry in digital format. However, both versions test for algebra and problem-solving skills.

The difficulty level remains the same in both formats. The College Board ensures that the purpose of the test remains constant despite the format change. The scoring percentile also remains the same.

There’s an important change – the adaptive nature of the test. It means students will receive different questions, based on their performance.

The second module that students will receive will depend on their performance in the first module. The final score is based on the performance and which second module the student has received.

Is it harder?

The difficulty level remains the same. Those who are more accustomed to using digital devices may find digital SAT a better fit than the traditional one. However, the essence has not changed at all.

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