What Students Need to Know About Digital SAT and Adaptive Testing

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The biggest change coming to the SAT is that it will be an adaptive test, which will adjust to the student’s abilities. This is a big change from the usual SAT, which is a standardized test. This change will require students to change their usual test-taking strategies.

What Is Adaptive Testing?

The College Board plans to continue to assign SAT scores on a 1600-point scoring scale by making the exam shorter and presenting students with fewer questions.

The new SAT is adaptive by section, which means that the difficulty level of the exam adjusts based on how well you do on previous questions. This adaptation allows for a more personalized test experience and can help you focus on the areas where you need the most improvement.

The new SAT comprises two sections, Reading and Writing, and Math. Each section is split into two modules, but your performance in the Reading and Writing section will not affect your performance in the following Math section.

What Students Need to Know

The way an adaptive test works is that each question you answer correctly will make the next question more difficult. However, if you answer a question incorrectly, the next question will be easier. This model is meant to challenge students and help them improve their scores. However, it can be difficult for students who need time to warm up and get into the exam.

Adaptive tests can cause students to feel more stressed on test day because the difficulty of the questions can change as the exam goes on. If a student is struggling with the first section of the test and then the second section seems easier, it can be easy to worry that they are doing worse than they thought. However, if a student breezes through the first section, the second section can be more difficult and cause them to doubt their abilities.

The SAT will be adaptive, meaning that the questions will differ for each individual based on their answers to previous questions. There will be two modules, and digital materials will be used. Students need to take practice tests to become familiar with the format and content that could appear on the real test.

There are some key changes to the SAT, but fortunately, most of the content covered will be familiar. Studying and doing practice tests is still important to be well prepared for the SAT. If you are worried about how to take an adaptive test, it might be a good idea to work with a tutor. Test prep tutors have a lot of experience with adaptive tests and can help you develop strategies to deal with the added stress.


The digital SAT and adaptive testing can still change; students need to prepare for anything. The best way to do this is to familiarize themselves with the test format and practice as much as possible. Additionally, students should take advantage of resources like SAT prep courses, which can help them better understand the test and prepare for it effectively.

Kenny Tan Test Prep helps students get into the best public and private schools, including Ivy League and other top-tier universities. We offer tutoring for lower, middle, and high school entrance exams, as well as tutoring for college entrance exams. If you need SAT coaching in Brooklyn, get in touch with us! We look forward to meeting you.