SAT vs. dSAT: What’s the Difference? | Digital SAT Test Prep

In early 2023, international students became the first to take the new digital SAT, or “dSAT.” This new iteration of the Scholastic Assessment Test is coming to the U.S. in the Spring of 2024, making digital SAT test prep a high priority for high school students.

In this article, the standardized test prep experts at The Enrichery share everything we know about how the traditional SAT differs from the digital SAT.


What is the Difference between the SAT and dSAT?

The digital SAT and the paper SAT differ in many ways, including:

  • Quantity of Questions & Overall Duration
  • How You Take the Test
  • Difficulty
  • Adaptive vs. Progressive Difficulty
  • Calculator Usage


How Many Questions are There & How Long Do the Tests Take?

  • Traditional SAT: 3 Hours and 154 Questions
  • Digital SAT: 2 Hours & 14 minutes and 98 Questions


Sections of the Traditional SAT

  • Reading: 52 questions
    10-minute break
  • Writing & Language: 44 questions
  • Math, No Calculator: 20 questions
    5-minute break
  • Math, Calculator: 38 questions


Sections of the Digital SAT

  • 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


How Do You Access the dSAT?

You’ll need to download the BlueBook app to your computer to access the dSAT. Five days prior to testing, you’ll receive a unique entry code that you’ll use to complete a system check and confirm that the software works on your device.


Is the Digital SAT Easier than the SAT?

No, the digital SAT isn’t easier than the traditional SAT.  Many students who’ve already taken the dSAT found it to be more challenging than they expected.

The dSAT’s second modules were particularly different, likely because of the adaptive content. In these modules, some students found it difficult to pace themselves.

But it’s important to note that everyone’s experience will differ. That’s why it’s vital to invest your time, attention, and resources in comprehensive digital SAT test prep to maximize your preparedness.


The SAT is Progressive, while the dSAT is Adaptive.

On the traditional paper SAT, math questions got progressively harder. This wasn’t the case in the other sections. 

On the dSAT, the modules are adaptive. This means that your performance in Module 1 determines the difficulty of the questions you get in Module 2.


Calculator Rules

The SAT consists of two Math sections, one with a calculator and one without. On the dSAT, you can use a calculator for every math question.

However, while you can use your own trusty calculator, our test prep tutors highly recommend that you become familiar with the Desmos calculator for test preparation and practice tests. The Desmos online calculator is embedded into the Math modules on the dSAT.


Prepare for These Changes with Our Digital SAT
Test Prep

Adapting to the new digital SAT format can seem daunting, but with the right preparation, you can excel. At The Enrichery, our expert tutors are equipped with the latest resources and strategies to help you navigate the digital SAT with confidence.

Don’t leave your test prep to chance. To learn more about acing your exam with our comprehensive digital SAT test prep program, contact us today.