Autor: Danielle Ticherich, The College Blueprint’s Testing & Tutoring Coordinator
As college planning and test prep experts, we are vitally aware there are some big changes coming to the test prep world. The College Board is releasing its Digital PSAT in October 2023 and its Digital SAT in Spring 2024!
Although we acknowledge the exciting advancements coming with this digital exam, we recognize that some students may feel more comfortable taking the paper exam. If this sounds like your student, please note the following dates: Last Paper SAT Test: December 2, 2023 & First Digital SAT Test: March 9, 2024
The SAT is a standardized test used by many colleges and universities in the United States as part of their admissions process. Until recently, the SAT was only available in paper format. However, with the rapid advancement of technology, the College Board, which administers the SAT, has introduced a digital version of the test. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between the digital SAT and the paper SAT.
Format and interface:
The most significant difference between the digital SAT and the paper SAT is the format and interface. The digital SAT is taken on a computer and presents questions on a screen, whereas the paper SAT is taken with a pencil on paper. The digital SAT allows students to navigate between questions, highlight text, and mark answers without needing an eraser or extra paper. The paper SAT is more familiar to students who have taken standardized tests before, while the digital SAT may be more comfortable for students who use technology regularly.
Timing and pacing:
Another difference between the digital SAT and the paper SAT is the timing and pacing. The digital SAT allows students to skip and return to questions with ease, and the clock counts down the remaining time, so students can better manage their time. In contrast, the paper SAT requires students to move through the test linearly, and students must manage their time by themselves.
The writing section of the digital SAT is different from the paper SAT. On the digital SAT, students must type their essay response into a box on the screen, while on the paper SAT, students must handwrite their essay on a separate piece of paper. Students who are more comfortable typing may find the digital SAT's writing section easier, while those who prefer handwriting may prefer the paper SAT.
The digital SAT has some unique features designed to enhance test security. For example, the digital SAT uses an algorithm to ensure that each student receives a unique set of questions, making cheating more challenging. Additionally, the digital SAT's use of multimedia allows for more engaging questions that are more difficult to replicate than paper tests.
The scoring process for the digital SAT and the paper SAT is the same. However, the digital SAT has the advantage of automatic scoring, meaning that students can receive their scores more quickly than with the paper SAT.
In conclusion, while the digital SAT and the paper SAT have some differences, the goal of both tests remains the same: to measure a student's academic ability and readiness for college. Ultimately, the choice between the digital SAT and the paper SAT will depend on each student's preferences and needs. Regardless of the format, students should prepare for the test thoroughly and give it their best effort.