Digital SAT Tips: How to Succeed in the New Format

Padya Paramita

Digital SAT Tips: How to Succeed in the New Format

The College Board has shaken up the college admissions scene recently with the announcement of the digital SAT. While this is a step in reducing students’ anxiety about the test since data has shown students do better in digital tests, many high schoolers might still be lost about how to start preparing for the test. To help guide you through how to best focus and prepare, we’ve prepared a list of digital SAT tips. Take a look below. 

Create a Study Plan

Just like the regular SAT, the electronic version of the test shouldn’t just be taken on a whim. Don’t try to cram everything at the last minute. Once you know when you’ll be taking the test, number one on our list of digital SAT tips is creating a study plan. Hash out a 3-month (ideally) or 2-month study plan to get a sense of what the next few months will look like. Allot as much time as you need to the specific sections but make sure you’ll have enough time to go over everything. You can also work with your friends to make study groups or flashcards that all of you can use.

Utilize the resources available to help you study

Sometimes students just buy a big SAT prep book and have no idea what’s going on when they try to go through the pages and the problems. Luckily, the College Board has partnered with Khan Academy to prepare official SAT prep videos that guide students through different sections and different problems and past SAT questions. And this will apply to the digital SAT as well! If you’re confused, don’t hesitate to look into what the official resources are for studying for the test. 

Take TIMED Practice Tests

The SAT will now be a total of 2 hours instead of 3 hours. So, next on our digital SAT tips is the fact that you shouldn’t just take practice tests (which you always should for any test) but you should time yourself to make sure you won’t be caught off guard at the actual testing center. Plus, you should remind yourself that you won’t be taking the digital SAT from your own home. So, you should not only adjust your practice tests to match the new time limit, but you should also mentally prepare yourself to take the test in a room surrounded by other students.

Familiarize yourself with the devices

Next on our digital SAT tips: the device you practice on. Gone are the days of the number 2 pencils and shading in the little circles. As the name suggests, the digital SAT will take place on laptops and tablets. So, when you start studying for the test, there’s no need to sit down with a pen and paper. Of course, they’re helpful when you’re writing down notes and learning the material, but when you take the actual test, make sure you’re taking them on an electronic device. 

Take Advantage of the Calculator

One of the new updates the College Board has made to the digital SAT is that students can now use a calculator throughout the entire math section. Make sure you take advantage of this! You might have been practicing for the SAT without any device so it might not come naturally to you to turn to checking your work or verifying your method using a calculator. However, using a calculator can actually help you with time management and make the test easy for you!

Read—Outside the Classroom As Well

Another change the College Board has announced for the digital SAT is that the reading section will have passages that are more relevant to college-level reading. If you’re not much of a reader, you have to step up your game. We’ve included this on our digital SAT tips not because we can predict exactly what passages will appear on the test, but because this is a great way to expand your vocabulary and scope of reading as a bonus. This is a way to both study for the SAT and  read for fun as well since most high schoolers don’t usually have time for that during the academic year. always want with a quick search of “college syllabus books” or “college reading list” on Google you can gain a sense of what kind of books you should be reading. 

Don’t Forget to Prioritize Rest

The brain can get very overwhelmed if you constantly try to input vocabulary and formulae without taking a pause. So, while this might seem redundant to include on digital SAT tips, it’s quite important that you set aside time to eat all your meals, take a walk outside, and get plenty of sleep while you study for the SAT. Plus, you’ll have to save time for schoolwork and eventually college applications. It’s undoubtedly a busy time, and if you’re falling asleep in the middle of the test, you’ll regret not resting later. 

Don’t Panic—It’s Still Early 2022

Finally, remember that you have plenty of time before the digital SAT kicks into play. The test doesn’t start internationally until 2023, and in the US until 2024. Even if you know you’ll fall among the group of students taking the test digitally, you’ve got plenty of time, resources, and support. There’s no need to start panicking now. Take it easy, and start preparing with a few months in hand. You’ve got this!

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