As the digital SAT (dSAT) starts to roll out, students who receive testing accommodations are wondering how this will affect their testing experience. We’ll go into the various ways certain accommodations will be managed in the digital format, but we’ll cut to the chase with a positive bottom line: in general, accommodations for the dSAT will be easier and more reliable than they were for the pencil and paper format. Here are a few things we know.
Approximately 3/4 of students seeking accommodations are in need of extra time on their exam. Thankfully, with the dSAT, this is an easy ask! For the dSAT, the powers that be will simply configure devices to administer the test in the extended time – depending on the accommodation, this will be 1.5x, 2x, or 3x the normal test time. Students will be able to see exactly how much time they have left, meaning they won’t need to rely on a proctor to announce it sporadically. Additionally, administrators can set the test to allow extra or extended breaks – or even to allow breaks on demand – depending on what the student might need.
Students who need reading accommodations will be excited to hear about the Tao platform, which is built into the dSAT. There are a variety of things that Tao allows test takers to do, including isolating lines of text, increasing font sizes, masking content, adjusting contrast, and so on. One of the most noteworthy features of Tao is its text-to-speech feature that will allow students to listen to lines of text as many times as they need, at whatever speed they select. Tao also delivers refreshable braille.
The Desmos calculator, which we discussed a bit in our previous post, also offers various accessibility features for the math sections. This includes an enlarging option, text to speech, contrast adjustment, and braille.
The ACT has been delivered digitally for about five years now, so – thankfully – the dSAT has an accommodations blueprint to follow, to some degree. However, it is completely understandable if you are concerned about how testing accommodations may be affected by this transition. Do not hesitate to contact your school administrators to learn more about how they plan to ensure all students have equitable access to the dSAT! And, of course, our coaches at The Enrichery are always here to set you up for success and help you discover test-taking strategies that will work best for you.