The Digital SAT is Computer Adaptive: What You Need To Know

Dec 29, 2023 by Mary Kate | SAT Prep, Test Prep

This Spring the SAT is going digital. You can check out more information here. One of the biggest assets to the change is the test is now much shorter. Only two hours and fourteen minutes compared to that paper and pencil test which would take more than 3 hours to complete. This is because the new digital SAT is computer adaptive. What does that mean for test takers? 

What does an “adaptive” test mean?

Basically an adaptive test changes its skill level and questions based on the answers you provide. There are two sections: Reading and Writing, and then Math. Each has two modules. Your answers in part one will determine which module 2 you will receive.  One is more challenging, the other is simpler. This is isolated to each subject area so how you do on reading will not affect your placement for the math portion. Also, You will be able to move around the module to preview, review, and double check questions. Once you finish module 1 the adaptive piece will group you into the appropriate module 2.

You may read online these two sections being called hard or easy module 2; however, College Board does not report which module 2 you tested into so there is no reason to stress on test day about which group you are in. It’s most important to do your best on each question!

Why should I work towards getting into harder module 2?

Getting into the harder module 2 depends on your personal goal score for the SAT. When you are grouped into either the harder or easier module 2. The College Board created a score “ceiling” which means if you test into the easier module 2 your score will range between 200-600.  Only students who test into the harder module 2 will be able to score above 600 in the subject area. 

Should I skip or Guess questions I am unsure about?

Short answer. Guess! There is no penalty for incorrect answers so guessing even during a computer adaptive test will help more than not answering at all. On average during the test a student has about 94 seconds to answer each question, which will feel much longer than the previous written tests, 60 seconds. Take your time and give your best to each question!

Follow our blog for more information on the new digital SAT!

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