The New Digital SAT

Everything you need to know about the new SAT

It’s shorter than the printed SAT, but is it easier? Not necessarily! We’ve studied the changes and have tailored our prep to help you succeed.

What’s Staying the Same?

  • Still scored on a 1600 scale
  • Still administered in schools or test centers with a proctor present (not at home), test centers will continue to be open to all students, not just those enrolled in that school 
  • Still supporting all students, including those who need accommodations on test day
  • Students can get their scores in days instead of weeks

What’s Changing?

  • Test is taken on a laptop or tablet
  • Shorter test, about 2 hours instead of 3 
  • Shorter reading passages instead of a few long texts 
  • Calculator allowed on the entire math section; there’s a calculator built right into the digital testing application 
  • Test will be adaptive, meaning the questions will get easier or harder as students continue the test: Module 2 in the Reading and Writing section will be adjusted based on the performance of the student on Module 1

Digital SAT Structure

  • Section 1: Reading and Writing, 32 minutes, 27 questions
  • Section 2: Reading and Writing, 32 minutes, 27 questions
  • 10-minute break
  • Section 3: Math, 35 minutes, 22 questions
  • Section 4: Math, 35 minutes, 22 questions

New online features:

  • You can highlight and take notes during the test
  • You can skip questions and return to them; before submitting you will see an overview of the questions to see if you’ve filled them all out 
  • You can also flag a question as a reminder to go back to it if you weren’t 100% sure about it 
  • You can take online practice tests and immediately review your answers; there is an explanation for the correct answer

Reading & Writing Modules: What to Expect

  • No passages longer than two paragraphs, most of them are no longer than one paragraph ☺ 
  • Only one question about each passage/excerpt  
  • Questions about a range of topics including literature, social studies, science, and history
  • New – poetry analysis questions 
  • New – passage analysis which presents research notes/bullet points and asks questions about them
  • Grammar questions are slightly different than the printed SAT, for example, there is no “No change” option or “Should the author consider deleting/adding this sentence?” 

Data Analysis

This section contains quite a few questions with charts and graphs. The questions are similar to the printed SAT. 


  • Questions about punctuation
  • Questions about style – “most logical transition,” for instance
  • Trickier grammar question – short blanks with long answer choices
  • Tricky time suckers – answer choices are all long and only vary slightly 

Passage Analysis/Reading Comprehension: Literature, Social Studies, History, etc.

  • Main purpose/comprehension questions
  • Questions about the underlined portion
  • Passage analysis questions – literature
  • Tricky question – which of the following undermines the hypothesis?
  • Trickier analysis – social studies

New: Poetry Analysis 

Questions about the main purpose.  Some of the questions about poetry have answers with quotations from the author.

New: Research Notes

Note-Taking questions, based on bullet notes about a wide range of topics.

  • Range in difficulty
  • Variety of topics: art to science to history

Math Modules: What to Expect

  • Most of the questions are multiple-choice; a few are short answers
  • You have a built-in calculator and reference sheet that you can open and close whenever you want
  • Questions are pretty similar to the printed SAT math test
  • Like in the Reading and Writing modules, you can mark a question for review, but you can also click on the ABC button to help you eliminate wrong answers

Sample math questions:

Source: College Board

Get a Competitive Edge for the New SAT

Given these changes, the pacing and strategies needed for taking the new SAT will certainly be different, making it important to prepare with the most up-to-date practice material and guidance. We have been actively researching and preparing for this change to bring our students the best in test prep! Complete the form below to register for a practice test!

Register for a Practice Test

When it comes to doing well on the SAT and ACT, practice makes more perfect. Register today!

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