Study Abroad: News

New SAT Digital 2023: Prep Up For an Easier, Shorter Test!

Yocket Editorial Team

The Scholastic Assessment Test or SAT is a standardised test that is widely accepted by universities globally and is used as a common base code. It measures the academic skills and knowledge of students and consists of 3 areas of study: Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. It is a standardised test that is used as a common data point by colleges to judge your readiness for college. You can appear for the test in the months of March, May, June, August, October, and December. It is a 3-hour long test, and the highest possible score is 1600.

Being a globally recognised test, the SAT score is accepted by colleges worldwide in countries like the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and India, those which come under the alliance with the College Board.

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What is SAT Digital?

The SAT test will be taken in the digital format from now on. You can take the exam from your own laptop or tablet or on a computer provided by your school. This is done while keeping the test security and convenience of the students in mind. In this format, even if your computer crashes or you lose connection, your progress will be recorded.

A look at what’s new in the SAT from 2023 and how it will help students planning to join US universities.

  • The Digital SAT 2023 will be easier to take, easier to administer and more relevant, according to the College Board.
  • It is expected that more students will take the SAT next year after the Board ran a pilot in November 2021 which showed that it is less stressful for 80% of students.
  • The move to deliver it online would also give an impetus to the Biden administration’s plans to bring back international students to US universities. 

More students across the globe, including Indians, are likely to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) in 2023, which will be conducted online, as announced by the College Board recently. With most students and institutions adjusting to learning and assessment in the digital mode post pandemic, the Digital SAT 2023 will be another step in that direction. 

This is also aimed at minimising the delivery costs involved in a high-level standardised test. It will also see some changes after 2016 which test takers need to prepare for. The digital version is likely to be less stressful for test takers, doing away with any logistical or other challenges involved in the offline test. 

The Board conducted a pilot version of the online SAT globally in November 2021. The results showed that it is less stressful for 80% of students and also received a positive response from 100% of educators, meaning it is easier to administer. According to Priscilla Rodriguez, vice president of College Readiness Assessments at College Board, “There is a full advantage in delivering an assessment online… it is easier to take, easier to administer and more relevant.”

The online SAT will be available for American students in 2024. This indicates that the US universities are focusing on getting more international students early. The move to deliver it online would also give an impetus to the Biden administration’s plans to bring back international students to US universities. 

Asian students are among the largest takers for the SAT. As per data from the Board, around 223,451 Asian students took the SAT in 2020 with 24% of them scoring between 1400 and 1600, 32% between 1200 and 1390, and 285 between 1000 and 1190. The SAT is also popular among Indian students aspiring to study in the US.

SAT Old vs New Format

Test Section

Task Type

Number of Questions

Time Allotted 

(in minutes)







Multiple choice





Writing and Language

Multiple choice






Multiple choice











Suggested: SAT Exam Pattern 2023

What Has Changed in the New SAT Format?

Though SAT is known for making changes in the exam format, the 2023 change is the biggest upgrade yet. Here is what has changed this time around:

Shorter Exam

The exam will be shorter this time. The time limit will be changed from 3 hours to 2 hours. Only two sections would be there- Reading and Writing and Mathematics. The Reading section will no longer have lengthy passages, and the Mathematics passages will be concise. You will also be getting more time to answer the questions.

Use of Calculators

The new SAT format 2023 has allowed the use of calculators for the entire math section. In case you do not have a calculator, a graphic calculator will be provided in the digital testing app.

Unique Tests

Due to the digital nature of the tests, the SAT can give unique tests to each individual to avoid cheating or the use of any other unfair means. You will first get an introductory module, and the rest of the questions will be based on your performance in the intro module. This will also allow different districts to schedule their own dates. 

What Remains the Same in Both Formats?

Though huge changes have been made, there are still some things that have remained unchanged in both formats, such as: 

  • You must take the test at your school or a test center. You cannot take the test from home.
  • SAT scores will still be determined out of 1600 even though the sections of the test have changed.
  • The content and the type of questions will remain the same. Multiple-choice questions will be asked.

Suggested: SAT eligibility Criteria

Advantages of Digital SAT 2023

Here are some more benefits of the digital SAT. 

  • Secure: The paper-pencil version of tests is subject to cancellation in case of any external or internal issues. The digital SAT will provide more security as every student will have a unique test form and use their own device or a school-issued device.
  • Faster score: Students will get access to their scores within days instead of weeks.

Some of the major changes in the SAT were in 2016 and 2021 when the overall score benchmark was reduced to 1600 from 2400. In 2021, the Board did away with the optional SAT Essay along with the SAT Subject tests. With all changes over the years, the approach has been to make the test simpler and an overall complete experience for test takers. The next test date for SAT will be March 12, 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions about Digital SAT

What is the difference between the new vs old SAT format?

Is SAT Digital easier?

Can you use a calculator on the new Digital SAT?

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