Digital SAT Launches Across the Country, Completing the Transition to Digital and Providing a Simpler Testing Experience for Students and Educators

College Board launched first fully digital SAT weekend administration on March 9. Students participating in SAT School Day and PSAT 10 are also testing digitally this spring.

New York, NY – College Board this weekend launched the new, digital SAT® to students across the United States. The digital SAT provides a shorter test, with more time per question, and an overall streamlined testing experience for students and educators. The March 9 administration completes the transition of the SAT Suite of Assessments to digital testing after the digital SAT launched internationally in March 2023, the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT®) and PSAT™ 8/9 in fall 2023, and the PSAT™ 10 and SAT School Day last week.

On Saturday, marking the U.S. launch of digital SAT Weekend, more than 200,000 students took the digital SAT at 3,000 test centers in 173 countries. In March, 99.8% of SAT Weekend digital test takers successfully completed their exam and submitted their results via Bluebook™, College Board’s new digital testing app. In addition, over 400,000 students took the digital SAT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9 during the school day last week.

“I thought that it was an easier process than the paper SAT,” said Emily, a student in New Jersey. “It took less stamina and since there was a timer right in front of you, I thought that was very useful. I felt that it was less stressful. This format allowed me enough time to get through each section and feel confident in my answers.”

“I was very nervous leading up to this, but the experience was very easy and self-explanatory,” said Doreen Ciccarini, a paraprofessional and proctor of 17 years. “I didn’t have any issues. Digital is easier and quicker, I would 100% do it again.”

A junior named Isabel echoed those sentiments: “I found the instructions for the exam to be very easy to follow, as well as the setup. I appreciated how quickly the exam was over.”

Since March 2023, College Board has successfully administered over 300,000 digital SAT tests internationally to students in 183 countries.

  • 84% of students and 99% of staff reported a better experience with the digital SAT Suite compared to the paper SAT Suite.
  • 97% of students said the Bluebook testing app was easy to use.
  • 95% of students said they felt comfortable testing on their digital device.

“We made the transition to a digital SAT in response to what students and educators were telling us. Students do a lot of their learning and testing digitally these days. Our goal was to provide a testing experience that is more relevant to today’s students and is less stressful for students to take and easier for educators to administer,” said Priscilla Rodriguez, senior vice president of College Readiness Assessments at College Board.

Key Changes for the Digital SAT

The digital SAT has key improvements from the previous paper and pencil version, including:

  • A shorter test, lasting just over 2 hours compared to 3 hours for the paper and pencil test.
  • Shorter reading passages on the Reading and Writing Section, with one question tied to each. 
  • Calculators are allowed on the entire Math section, including the option to use the built-in graphing calculator. 
  • Digital SAT Suite score reports will provide students in the U.S with insights on careers that are growing in their state and need skills like theirs.
  • A wide range of supported devices for students to use, including their own laptops and tablets or school-issued devices. If a student doesn’t have a device to take the SAT on a weekend, they can request to borrow one from College Board for use on test day. 
  • A unique version of the test for every student, making it practically impossible to share answers and ensuring a fair testing environment.
  • A shorter test day for students and educators, and no more packing, shipping, or sorting test materials.

Many important features of the SAT Suite remain the same, including:

  • Measuring the knowledge and skills students are learning in high school and that matter most for college and career readiness.
  • The 1600-point scale.
  • Administrations in a school or a test center with a proctor present—not at home. 
  • Test takers are still connected with over $300 million in scholarships and the College Board National Recognition Program.

“I like the new format of the exam,” said a senior named Isabella. “It was very easy to set up and install the application and my experience was much more pleasant!”

Bluebook App for Testing

Students take the digital SAT on the Bluebook app, which includes built-in tools and resources to support students during testing, including a timer, annotation, and more. Bluebook also has full-length digital practice tests, which students can use to prepare for the SAT in addition to the free Official Digital SAT Prep on Khan Academy.

“Use the app before taking the test,” said a student named Jake. “Do the practice tests that you can before the test, especially the ones through Bluebook and College Board because they are pretty similar to the real test.”

A senior named Sophie also used the online practice: “I really liked having the SAT online. I felt like there was more preparation because all the practice tests I did were online, so I felt like I was following that.”

The Bluebook app was designed with access in mind and can handle technology disruptions. If the internet disconnects or a student’s device runs out of battery during testing, they can continue or pick up where they left off without losing their work or testing time.

SAT School Day and PSAT-Related Assessments

The millions of students who take the exam during the SAT School Day administration will also take the digital version this spring. For states, districts, and schools that offer the SAT to their students as part of SAT School Day, the digital test delivers greater flexibility in deciding when, where, and how often the SAT is given. Schools have an 8-week testing window, from March 4 until April 26, when they can administer the digital SAT to their students whenever they choose. SAT School Day is an important driver of access and equity and has been shown to lead to higher college-going rates for low-income and rural students.

Students taking the digital PSAT 10 and PSAT 8/9 will also test during the same window throughout March and April. The PSAT 10 and PSAT 8/9 help students prepare for the SAT and as part of the SAT Suite of Assessments, help students and educators track students’ progress over time.

SAT’s Role in College Admissions

The SAT continues to play a vital role in a holistic admissions process. When viewed within the context of where a student lives and learns, test scores can confirm a student’s grades or demonstrate their strengths beyond what their high school grades may show.
When surveyed in fall 2022 by Morning Consult, more than 80% of students said they want the option to submit test scores to colleges. This finding remains consistent whether or not students have taken the SAT and across race/ethnicity and parents’ level of education. 
That’s because the SAT allows students—regardless of where they go to high school—to be seen by colleges and scholarship providers. In the class of 2023, nearly 1.3 million U.S. students had SAT scores that affirmed or exceeded their high school GPA. That means their SAT scores were a point of strength on their college applications. Among those 1.3 million students, nearly 440K were African American and Latino, more than 350K were first-generation college goers, and more than 250K were from small towns and rural communities. These numbers represent nearly 80% of each of these populations and remain very stable over time.

Find more information about the new exam and the full SAT Suite at sat.org/digital.