The New Digital Adaptive SAT

The College Board is shifting the SAT to an entirely computer-based format, trading the traditional paper test booklets for a smarter, shorter, digital test experience. Summit has tutors already trained up on the NEW SAT, and we’ve revised our SAT course materials to reflect the changes on the test. We are ready to go!



When Will My Student Take the Digital SAT?

Students Taking the new SAT Internationally (class of 2024): The new digital SAT was released in March of 2023 for international students. Moving forward, all students taking the SAT internationally will take the test in the new digital format

Students in class of 2024: the new test will not affect the current junior class, and students will take the paper and pencil version of the SAT

Students in class of 2025: the new digital SAT will be available March, 2024, when these students are halfway through their junior year. From that point, the SAT will be available only in digital format (there are exceptions for students with accommodations). The test will still be administered at schools and official test locations – you won’t be able to take the digital SAT at home.

Recommendations For Students Graduating in 2025

Take Practice Tests: Take a full-length paper and pencil ACT and the new digital SAT. This will allow students to get scores from both tests, using the concordance table to compare test performances. Summit recommends that students graduating in 2025 take both of these practice tests during the summer before their junior year

Determine which Test to Prep For: By taking both practice tests in the different formats, students will get a feel of what format they prefer – paper and pencil vs. online, as well as what type of test they feel more comfortable with.

Start Test Prep: Most students will hit their peak test score late in their junior year, and Summit suggests committing to a test date in the spring of 2024. While every test prep program varies slightly to cater to the individual student, our average program length is 16 weeks, including a few practice tests along the way. Work with a Summit Program Director to schedule your tutoring sessions based on your test date.

Register for a digital SAT practice test (class 2025 and beyond)

Our Tutors Have Been Fully Trained on the New SAT, and Are Ready To Go

Summit has launched our updated test-prep materials, with all content reflecting the new test – matching new questions and test format, complete with new test-taking strategies. We’ve hand-selected our best tutors to fully train in this new test. We’re obsessed with getting this right, and our curriculum development team has successfully covered all of the details. These fully redesigned books have been formatted for the digital, adaptive SAT, focusing attention on key strategies so that your student can score to their full potential on this new test.

Verbal Changes Overview

  • Shorter reading passages
  • More Predictable Structure – verbal question types will always appear in the same order. First half of each verbal module will consist of Reading question types, and the second half will be Writing question types.
  • Some unfamiliar types of passages have been added such as poems or plays, as well as bulleted lists.
  • There are more Words in Context questions, and these questions focus on Tier-2 vocabulary that appears in college curricula.
  • Evidence questions appear in some new forms.
  • Inference questions have a new structure, requiring students to complete the final sentence in a passage, using their understanding of the passage.
  • Semicolons are tested in their usage to separate items in a complex list.
  • Dashes are testing more commonly in their usage.

Click here for a deep dive into the new reading and writing section.


Math Changes Overview

  • While conceptual material tested is staying largely the same, question categories are getting a slight rebrand.
  • While the content is staying the same, the distribution of question types has shifted.
  • The total math testing time has been shortened by 10 minutes. The number of math questions represented has been reduced to 44, from 58 questions.
  • Grid-ins (student produced answers) will now allow for negative answers. Word problems will be phrased more concisely.
  • Difficulty ranges – due to the adaptive test, there will be some notable changes in the range of difficulty experienced by a test taker, particularly in the second math module.
  • Students will be permitted to use calculators throughout the Math section. They will be allowed to use their graphing calculators, or the built-in Desmos-based calculator.

Click here for a deep dive into the new math section.


Becoming Familiar with the New Digital SAT is Critical 

Becoming familiar with the digital testing user interface is critical for students to test to their full potential. Students who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the new testing user interface will find it much harder to navigate through the testing, 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 and new digital functionalities. Our trained tutors will work with students to become confident with the test once they know where everything is and what all the features do. Once students are more confident in their ability to take the test, their scores will improve.

What Makes Summit Unique? 

We are only using official practice tests through the College Board’s official testing app – Bluebook. We do not recommend taking unofficial practice tests at this time. There is a complicated scoring algorithm working behind the scenes on this adaptive SAT test that the College Board is still refining.

We have developed our own digital score analysis. After the official practice test, your student will immediately be able to access their score results. With just a few clicks, your student can send those test results to a Summit Program Director, who will use this data to create a proprietary, complimentary score report and consultation. This detailed score report and analysis provide data above and beyond the College Board score analysis, and is key to customizing your student’s test plan with Summit.

Summit score reports detail student test performance within content areas, difficulty levels, and question categories. This detail is essential to our test prep program customization, allowing our tutors to focus on specific concepts and skills that will benefit each student.


Comparison of the current and new SAT

How Will Adaptive Testing Work on the new SAT?

An adaptive test evolves in response to a student’s performance. Whereas the older SAT is static, with each student receiving the same test form, the new SAT will adjust the difficulty of the test content to best suit each student’s skill level.

The math portion and the Reading & Writing portion of the new SAT will each be divided into two modules. The first module will have a wide range of difficulty among the questions. Based on each student’s performance on the first set of modules, the second set of modules will be “High” and “Low,” with either more difficult or less difficult questions, respectively. This adaptive structure allows for a more precise measure of student skills, so the test can offer accurate scores with fewer questions.

Old SAT Structure – Static: With the traditional SAT, there is a wide variety of difficulties throughout the test. Some questions may be too simple or too difficult for a student. Many questions are needed so that one standardized test form can provide enough data on students across different skill levels.

New SAT Structure – Adaptive: With the adaptive, digital SAT, the first modules offer a range of difficulty. Students’ performances on the first modules determine if the next modules should be easier or more difficult.

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