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Digital SAT Vs The Old SAT

Students taking the digital SAT can utilize either personal laptops and tablets or school-issued devices. Test-taking must still occur at schools or testing centers under supervision, not from home.

Counselors and prep experts express concern that the shift to digital may widen admissions gaps between students from rich and poor communities, with some students lacking the proficiency required for taking an examination on a computer.

What’s the Difference?

Welcome digital testing! One major change to the new SAT exam is that students now take it on computers instead of paper, making the exam both more secure and allowing it to better adapt to each individual student.

Reading and writing sections have been combined into one shorter test; and page-long passages have been replaced with paragraph-length mini-passages in math; lengthier word problems have also been reduced significantly. Furthermore, digital SAT allows students to use calculators during this math section of testing.

Finally, the SAT will no longer be item-adaptive; rather it will use stage adaptation – meaning that questions on each module of each section will become easier or harder than those found in subsequent modules – in order to increase security (it becomes harder for leakers to leak questions when every student receives different questions), make the exam more relevant to real world skills, and more accurately reflect student abilities.

The Reading Section

Although many aspects of the digital SAT don’t differ substantially from its paper equivalent, there are several significant distinctions you should keep an eye out for. One key change is that its Reading Section now incorporates longer passages with text complexity ratings up to grade level 16 and poetry excerpts and bulleted statements among its answer choices.

As the digital SAT is an adaptive test, its questions will depend on your performance in each section. Each first module of each section may contain questions of various difficulty levels – easy, medium and difficult; subsequent modules depend on how well you did on the first.

Furthermore, Reading and Writing passage questions will be reduced significantly; and you won’t have to deal with those notoriously difficult-to-decipher historical passages anymore. Furthermore, test structure has been simplified: separate Evidence-Based Reading and Writing sections have now been combined into one Reading/Writing section; no calculator/calculator math sections have also been consolidated into a single Calculator section for shorter testing times.

The Writing Section

Students taking the Digital SAT’s Writing section will find one question per short passage instead of multiple ones for long paragraphs, with its difficulty determined by your performance in its first module. The section has also been split into two modules to allow for personalized testing on both fronts.

Writing section tests use multistage adaptive testing similar to Reading and Math sections, meaning the computer adapts based on your performance to provide easy, medium, and difficult questions in the first module. Based on how well or badly you perform in that first module, second module questions could either be easier or harder than those found in first.

Another distinct advantage is being able to navigate freely among questions within a module, including skipping or flagging any for further review – unlike with traditional SAT exams which required you to answer each question before moving onto the next. This makes taking multiple sittings of an exam much simpler.

The Math Section

The new Digital SAT Math section is divided into two equal-length modules with questions and time evenly split. The first module may consist of easy, medium, or difficult questions; depending on how well you do on this first one, the second one may contain either less difficult questions or even none at all.

Reading and Writing passages in the new test will be shorter than in its predecessor but will still cover a range of topics that reflect what students encounter in college. Math word problems will also be reduced significantly.

At last, students taking the Digital SAT are able to use calculators throughout the Math section – an unprecedented change compared with old SAT exams which only permitted calculator use during two designated calculator sections – 25 minutes no-calculator and 55 minutes calculator sections. Furthermore, you’ll have access to an integrated graphing calculator as part of Math section testing.

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