First in Line: How The New, Digital Adaptive SAT Will Impact International Students Beginning Next Year

August 15, 2022

Overview of the New, Digital Adaptive SAT

This past winter, College Board announced plans to introduce a new, shorter (2 hr 14 min vs. the current 3 hrs) digital adaptive SAT. And while the new test will retain the same basic content and scoring format of the current version of the SAT, the real difference will be seen and felt with the new all-digital user interface and mode of testing. It’s a big change, to be sure, but one that students here in the US won’t have to contend with for some time.  The new digital adaptive SAT won’t be rolled out domestically until the Spring of 2024 (meaning that the US Class of 2025 will be the first class year to encounter the new format). But for students testing outside of the US, the change is coming a lot sooner: international students in the Class of 2024 will be taking the new digital adaptive SAT this coming March of 2023.

What Does the SAT Mean by ‘International?’

Essentially, anyone planning to take the SAT outside of the United States from next March onward should prepare for the new testing format. This includes students in Canada and Mexico (which are sometimes considered “domestic” by other testing agencies, such as the ERB). The same is true for international students who board in the US but plan to take the test back home or American students who will take it while traveling abroad. Outside of the US, the SAT’s going to be all-digital, all the time beginning in March of 2023. It will be essential for international students to be comfortable taking the SAT in this new digital environment.

The SAT Gets a New Look

Since much of the content and the way questions are structured will stay the same (Reading and Writing passages will be shorter, yes, but they’ll still be recognizable as SAT passages), the SAT is undergoing more of a cosmetic change. But it’s a big change nonetheless; students who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the new testing user interface will find it much harder to navigate through the test, opening the door to allowing pre-existing testing anxieties to impact their performance. It will be a process for students just to get used to the layout on the screen. Students will be much more confident with the test once they know where everything is and what all the features do (this includes the new built-in Desmos calculator). And once students are more confident in their ability to take the test, their scores will improve.

One great thing about the way College Board has structured the digital adaptive SAT test is that scores on this new test will concord exactly with those on the current pencil-and-paper version. This means that international students who plan to test in the Spring of ’23 can get a jump on their test prep planning now by taking both an SAT and ACT to determine which test will be the best fit for them.

A Shorter Testing Window for International Students

Unfortunately, international students will have less time than ever to prepare for and familiarize themselves with the new digital adaptive SAT. For many students, it’s common practice to take their first full-length practice tests in the summer of their rising junior year; but due to College Board’s release timeline, we won’t be getting our first look at new digital adaptive SAT practice tests until the fall at the earliest. For international students who are planning to take the SAT in March of 2023, the truncated timeline is not ideal.

Summit is Ready

Fortunately, we’ve been planning for a digital adaptive SAT for years. For the last several years we’ve been preparing for this change by developing plenty of SAT content as well as our own Digital Testing Platform.

By the end of 2022, we’ll be launching a new March 2023 SAT prep program specifically designed for international SAT students taking the digital adaptive SAT internationally. Included will be revamped SAT prep materials and practice tests. We’ll hand-selecting from among our very best tutors to train up on the new digital adaptive SAT and give them everything they need to be successful working with students in preparation for this new test.

For over 30 years, we have successfully navigated the ever-shifting standardized testing landscape, and this time is no different. We will be ready with updated test-prep materials, test-taking strategies, and practice-test options to ensure that students will be ready to score to their true potential on this new version of the test.

For international students, it’s time to start thinking about the new SAT. To learn more about this test, or to determine if the SAT or ACT is the best fit for your student, please give us a call today. We’re always happy to help! 

Contact us at 1-800-MY-TUTOR or