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Insider Scoop: What's New for the Digital SAT?

By Laura Whitmore

Attending the National Test Prep Association (NTPA) Summer Conference in Philadelphia provided some exciting and exclusive insights into the upcoming changes for the digital SAT in 2024 with several critical updates. These include a deeper understanding of the new scoring system, changes to scrap paper policies, a smoother scoring curve, additional practice tests, and insights into the updated score reports. I’m thrilled to share this information with you to help you stay ahead of the curve and prepare effectively for these changes.

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💯 Understanding the Scoring System

The first major point to note is the scoring system for the digital SAT. Contrary to popular belief, easy questions aren't worth fewer points than hard ones. The representative (College Board VP) clarified this misconception but didn’t provide a detailed breakdown of the scoring system. This area remains somewhat ambiguous. However, it’s important to understand that regardless of whether a student gets the harder or easier second module, they still have the opportunity to meet the college readiness benchmark in both English and Math. The key takeaway here is that achieving the benchmark is easier with the harder module because it requires getting most of the questions right in the easier module.

📄 Utilizing Scrap Paper

Starting in the fall of 2024, students will be able to request additional scrap paper before the test begins. This change aims to minimize disturbances during the test, addressing a common concern among students about running out of scrap paper. The current rule allows only one piece of paper to start, primarily due to environmental reasons. This update is a relief for many who feel anxious about needing more paper during the test.

🌊 Smoother Scoring Curve

The digital SAT offers a much smoother scoring curve compared to the paper test. Previously, missing a single question could significantly impact a student’s score. Now, the scoring increments are more precise, allowing for a more accurate reflection of a student’s performance. While there may still be some skepticism, this change is designed to make the scoring process fairer.

💻 More Practice Tests

One of the most exciting pieces of news is the announcement of more College Board official practice tests by the end of 2024. Although specific dates and numbers were not provided, this is a significant step forward. More practice tests will help students better prepare and gain confidence in their abilities.

📝 Score Reports and Detailed Feedback

Unfortunately, the current score reports with bars are here to stay. There are no plans to make them more granular, which would have allowed for a more detailed analysis of specific weaknesses. However, we at STP have developed an excellent tool in collaboration with the NTPA. Our detailed spreadsheet allows us to input each student’s data from practice tests and the College Board question bank, helping us identify specific areas of improvement. This resource is incredibly beneficial for tailoring our tutoring sessions to each student’s needs.

For those interested in a more personalized approach, consider our 1:1 tutoring sessions. We offer comprehensive support to help students target their weaknesses effectively. You can find more information and book a session through our website.

🏦 Filtering Questions in the Question Bank

Another useful feature now available in the College Board’s question bank is the option to filter out live questions. This ensures that practice test scores remain accurate and not inflated by prior exposure to the same questions. When using the question bank, make sure to check this option to get the most reliable practice test results.

I hope you found these insights helpful. For more resources and support, check out our self-paced Digital SAT English & Math Courses. These courses are designed to help you prepare at your own pace with comprehensive materials and practice opportunities.

Happy prepping! 🔥


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