On March 11th, 2023, international students became the first to take the new digital SAT (aka the dSAT), coming to the U.S. in early 2024. We won’t waste your time with a lengthy preamble – here’s what we are hearing about the initial rollout, and exactly how the dSAT differs from the SAT.
The dSAT uses a special software that you’ll need to test out prior to test day.
The test uses a software students have to download called the BlueBook app. Students get a specific entry code five days prior to test. At this point, students will need to complete a system check to load the actual exam and get admissions ticket and ensure software works on their device
The majority of students found the dSAT harder than their practice tests and prep material.
According to the international test prep coach (whose students have already taken the dSAT), most of her students found dSAT to be more challenging than they may have expected. They shared that second modules were particularly different (likely because of the adaptive content- more on that next), and they found it difficult to pace themselves in these modules.
The dSAT is adaptive!
On the traditional paper SAT, math questions got progressively harder. This was not the case in the other sections. On the dSAT, the modules are adaptive, meaning your performance on Module 1 determines the difficulty of the questions you get on Module 2.
They shared that the test prep material available on the College Board website was helpful for them.
The website offers free prep content specifically for the dSAT. And, two weeks prior to your scheduled test date, you can even take a full practice test!
Familiarity with the in-app Desmos calculator is key.
The Desmos online calculator is imbedded into the Math modules on the dSAT. While students can use their own trusty calculators, this particular test prep coach highly recommended that students become familiar with the Desmos calculator. She recommended using the Desmos calculator for test prep and practice tests.
It is important to note that the SAT consisted of a calculator section and a no calculator section. On the dSAT, you can use a calculator for every math question.
They dSAT differs from the SAT in duration and number of questions.
The traditional SAT is three hours long and consists of 154 total questions. The dSAT is 2 hours and 14 minutes long, and consists of 98 total questions. The section breakdown is as follows:
- Reading (52 questions)
- 10 minute break
- Writing & Language (44 questions)
- Math, No Calculator (20 questions)
- 5 minute break
- Math, Calculator (38 questions)
- Reading & Writing, Module 1 (27 questions)
- Reading & Writing, Module 2 (27 questions)
- 10 minute break
- Math, Module 1 (22 questions)
- Math, Module 2 (22 questions)
In short? It’s a big change headed our way! If you’ve got questions about the digital SAT, we will be hosting a virtual informational meeting next week! We’ll discuss what to expect as you navigate the dSAT and beyond, and the other things you can do to set yourself up for admissions success. We will send the details out soon.