The College Board launched the new digital adaptive PSAT in October 2023 and will administer the new digital adaptive SAT here in the US for the first time in March 2024. The current paper-based SAT will be phased out after the December 2023 administration.
Students will take these tests using the College’s Board Bluebook App, which has to be downloaded onto their own personal or school-issued devices. Students can download the Bluebook app here. In addition to downloading the app, students will also need a College Board account to officially register for and take the official PSAT or SAT test.
In this article, we will highlight some of the features of the Bluebook app so students have a better feel for what their testing experience will be like using this platform. Even though students are taking the test online, many of the features of the testing platform were designed to mimic the look and feel of the paper-based SAT.
Reading and Writing
Below is a screenshot of what the Reading and Writing module looks like.
As with a paper-based test where students can flip back through the test booklet to read the directions, students can access the directions at any time by clicking on the directions tab.
The timer will count down the remaining time that students have left in a given module. Students can hide the timer at any time if seeing the countdown is distracting or anxiety-inducing. Students can unhide the timer at any time to see how much time they have left. A 5-minute warning will pop up on the student’s screen when there are 5-minutes remaining in the module.
On the multiple-choice questions, process of elimination is an important strategy. The Bluebook testing platform allows for the elimination of answers through their answer eliminator feature. By hitting the undo tab students can bring back any answer that they have eliminated.
Through the annotation feature, students can highlight parts of the passage and add additional notes as well.
Mark for Review
Similar to a paper and pencil test, on the digital PSAT or SAT, students can skip questions, return back to any question, and change any answers to questions within a given module. Just as with a paper-based test where students can circle question numbers in their test booklet as reminders that they want to return to those questions, through the Mark for Review feature, students can flag questions on the digital PSAT or SAT that they want to return to.
Assessing students’ progress as they work through a module
By clicking on the black box at the bottom of the screen, students can easily and quickly see every question that they answered, skipped, or marked for review. Clicking on the question number will immediately take the student to that question in the test.
There is a 10-minute break after students complete the 2nd module of the Reading & Writing Section. On the official PSAT and SAT test day, the breaks will be timed by a counter.
Below is a screenshot of what the math modules look like in the Bluebook app. It has many of the features that are included in the Reading & Writing Modules with the exception of the annotate feature. There are 2 additional features to help students answer the math questions.
Students have access to the same mathematical formulas that were included in the paper-based SAT. By clicking on the Reference button, students can bring these formulas up at any time.
On the paper-based SAT, calculator usage is allowed on one section and prohibited on the other. On the new digital adaptive PSAT and SAT a calculator is allowed on both math modules. Students are welcome to bring in their own graphing calculator, but they can also use at any time the Desmos-like graphing calculator that is built into the platform by clicking on the “Calculator” button.
Summit is here to help
The Bluebook app interface is user friendly and intuitive. However, we encourage students to take a practice test in order to familiarize themselves with the features of the online platform before they take an official PSAT or SAT.
Our practice tests closely mimic the look and feel of the official tests and are easy to take. In addition, after they complete the test, students will receive an itemized score report that shows their scores and every question they answered correctly and every question that they missed. This report will also highlight areas of strengths and weaknesses.
Please reach out to us to schedule your practice test today and to speak with one of our expert program directors who can help you to map out your student’s standardized testing plan. Our Program Directors can be reached at 800-698-8876 or you can book an appointment here.