Benefits of the Digital SAT

In classic college board fashion, the Secondary Admissions Test (SAT)—an exam that millions of students sit every year to become eligible for application to most American colleges and universities—is changing its format. This is the newest in a series of changes that date back to when the first version of the SAT was rolled out in 1926. The newest version of the test—Digital SAT–takes advantage of our computerized world to deliver more personalized tests with faster results. The change has been rolled out outside of the US since summer 2023 and will be rolled out in the US in spring 2024. At Aegis Advisors, we have been working tirelessly to understand and give expert guidance on the new exam. Our tutors see many benefits to this new format. Here are some of their thoughts. 

  1. It is nearly impossible to unintentionally skip a question. 

On the SAT, Aegis Advisors’ tutors strongly urge students to answer all the questions, especially with an educated guess and process of elimination on harder questions. While this was the case even in the paper SAT, it was much more common for students to mess up the scantron sheet or accidentally miss a bubble in the many rows of shaded dots. In the new digital SAT, students are able to skip questions, flag questions, and move back and forth between questions easily. At the end of a section, students are greeted with a page that shows them exactly which questions are flagged and which are skipped making it easy to know where to go back. In our experience with the early test takers on the actual exam and on practices, this has greatly reduced the number of accidentally skipped questions and allows students to follow an easy system of identifying difficult questions that need more time for review. 

  1. Students do not have to flip back and forth for reading comprehension. 

The change in the reading section from long passages with sets of questions to only individual stand alone questions on the new digital SAT is a coo to test takers. Rather than trying to remember the content of a page long passage and wasting time flipping back and forth between the question and the passage, students waste significantly less time by having all the relevant information to a question just above the answers. This change helps students maintain a sharper focus on the specific questions and has eliminated much of the unnecessary information that was included in the long form reading comprehension questions. Additionally, if one question feels hard, the next is on a completely different topic which allows students to move on after each answer. In comparison, one long form passage that was challenging for a student to understand at all could tank their score since 20-25% of the questions in that section were about a single passage. The new setup is much better for student confidence and speed. 

  1. The math section is dynamic for achievers of all levels.

The math section of the SAT—forever a frustration of many students who have difficulty with numerical thought—is now structured to adjust to the student taking the exam. The digital SAT has two math sections. Based on the results of the first section, a student will get more problems appropriate to their abilities in the next section. Each test is personalized to the student taking it. This allows all learners to be challenged and staves off frustration for those who struggle in math. We feel strongly that this has been a benefit to our students who felt frustrated by seeing multiple math problems they could not solve on an exam. The personalized approach plays to a students’ strengths and helps them find confidence. Additionally, the math section on the Digital SAT both include digital calculators which levels the playing field for students with lower access to technology and acknowledges that students will always have access to a calculator in their life doing math outside the classroom. 
Overall, Aegis Advisors’s SAT tutors are excited about the changes in the Digital SAT and are eager to share our knowledge to help students achieve their goals on the exam. Our tutors are skilled in all test taking strategies for SAT, ACT, and SSAT, as well as all the major curriculums for students of any age. Contact us today to get started on acing your next exam.