Conquering the Digital SAT: A Guide for Students

Many universities are now reinstating the standard test requirements as a part of their admission process into bachelors programmes. So, attempting SAT or ACT is going to be normal again for those who want to study in the USA. Let us look into the test pattern and what all concepts are covered in SAT exam.

The SAT is a digital-only standardized test used by many colleges to assess a student's college readiness. It measures your critical reading, writing, and math skills through a variety of question formats. Here's a complete guide to help you understand the digital SAT and prepare for success:

The digital SAT is composed of two sections: Reading and Writing and Math. Students have 64 minutes to complete the Reading and Writing section and 70 minutes to complete the Math section for a total of 2 hours and 14 minutes.

Digital SAT Format:

Section Time Limit Description
Reading & Writing 64 minutes
  1. Passages from various sources (literature, history, science)
  2. Multiple-choice questions testing reading comprehension and analysis
  3. Writing prompts requiring analysis or expressing your ideas
Math 70 minutes
  1. Two parts: calculator-allowed and calculator-not-allowed
  2. Questions covering algebra, data analysis, geometry, and probability

Each section is divided into two modules of equal length. The first module presents a mix of easy, medium, and hard questions. The difficulty level of the second module adapts based on your performance in the first. This "adaptive testing" makes sure that the test focuses on your skill level and provides a more accurate assessment of your abilities.


The digital SAT is scored on a scale of 200-800 for each section such as Reading & Writing, and Math. Colleges consider various factors when evaluating scores, including the total score, that is, out of 1600. Any score above 1050 is considered good.

Preparing for the Digital SAT:

Acing the SAT requires a strategic approach. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Familiarize yourself with the digital format: Practice using the digital interface and question types offered by the College Board.
  • Take digital practice tests: Simulate the real test environment by taking timed practice tests available online or from prep books. Analyze your performance to identify areas needing improvement.
  • Sharpen your reading comprehension skills: Read a variety of challenging texts (news articles, novels, etc.) and practice summarizing key points and identifying writer’s views.
  • Build a strong vocabulary: Regularly learn new words and their definitions. Expanding your vocabulary will improve your reading comprehension and writing skills.
  • Master math concepts: Review core math concepts such as algebra, geometry, and data analysis and practice applying them to solve problems.
  • Consider a course or tutor: While not mandatory, enrolling in a preparation course or hiring a tutor can provide personalized guidance and targeted practice.
  • Manage test anxiety: Do not be tense or afraid of test. This is just like any other entrance test. Be confident and attempt all the questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Digital SAT is the computer-based version of the SAT college entrance exam. Yes, it's mandatory for all students taking the SAT in 2024 and onwards, including Indian students.

The cost of the SAT registration is $60, plus a $43 regional fee.

Ideally, yes. The test can be taken on a school-issued device or your own laptop/tablet that meets College Board specifications (

The Digital SAT is shorter (around 2 hours), uses adaptive questioning (difficulty adjusts to your performance), offers digital tools (highlighting, flagging questions), and provides immediate scores.

Yes, the content (Reading, Writing and Math) and overall difficulty remain similar to the old SAT. There might be slight variations in question presentation due to the digital format.

Benefits might include a shorter test duration, immediate scores, potentially less test anxiety due to the digital format, and the ability to use digital tools for highlighting and review.

Yes, all colleges that accepted scores from the paper SAT will accept scores from the Digital SAT for Indian students (and all other test-takers).

You can get four free score reports after taking the SAT exam. These reports can be sent to any colleges you designate at the time of registration or within nine days of your test date. After that time, there's a fee for additional reports.