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Digital SAT Vs SAT: A Comparative Analysis

Dec 21, 2022

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SAT is a standardized test that is commonly used for college admissions in the USA. The SAT score is an indication of the cognitive ability and college readiness of the test taker. Since this test is primarily for students who want to pursue their undergraduate degree in the United States, SAT is important to understand the academic curriculum. High SAT scores will prove the test taker’s high chances to succeed in their undergraduate degree. 

Acknowledging the unprecedented changes in the education sector, the College Board has announced a significant change in the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). From 2023, this test is going to become Digital, so it is time to say goodbye to the 3-hour paper-and-pencil SAT and get set for Digital SAT.

The major change in the mode of examination has become a matter of the moment. This change has brought up several questions in the minds of the test takers. To clear the air, we have undertaken the task of providing a comparative analysis between Digital SAT and SAT, which was the previous testing format.

Read this article carefully before you start your test preparation for SAT so that you can prepare according to the latest changes in Digital SAT. 


Digital SAT vs SAT: An Analysis

Features of Test

Digital SAT


Test Format

Digital SAT is a computer-based test.

SAT is a paper-based test.

Exam Sections

It is a bisectional test consisting of a Reading & Writing Section and a Math Section. 

It has 3 Sections consisting of Reading, Writing, and Math Sections. 

Test Duration

The test duration is 2 hours and 14 minutes. 

The test duration is 3 hours and 15 minutes. 

Test Adaptivity

The Digital SAT will be two-stage adaptive. So based on the first module of each section, the difficulty of questions in the second module will be determined. 

The paper-based SAT did not have this adaptive feature. 

Length of In-context Questions

The average length of in-context questions (commonly known as word problems) has been reduced in digital SAT. 

This change has been made keeping in mind the application of Math skills in the academic and real world. 

The average length of in-context questions in SAT was longer than the new mode of examination. 

Length of Passages

The Digital SAT Reading and Writing section will have several short passages instead of long passages. These passages will cover a wide range of topics that will determine the college readiness of the students. 

Furthermore, every short passage will have a single question. 

SAT had longer reading passages. So limited topics were covered in this mode of test. Also, there were multiple questions asked for a single passage. 

Use of Calculator

Calculators are allowed during the course of the entire Math section. 

However, test takers should abide by the calculator policy if they want to bring their calculator, or they can use the graphing calculator that is built into the testing application.

Calculators were allowed for SAT Math section but there were separately timed no-calculator and calculator-allowed sections. 

Allowance of the calculator was restricted in SAT.

Test Security

Digital SAT tests will be more secure. Since it will be a two-stage adaptive test, every test taker will get a unique form of test so sharing answers is impossible in this mode. 

The paper and pencil test didn’t have the adaptive test feature, so every test taker had to give the same test which increased the probability of sharing answers. 

Hence SAT was less secure than Digital SAT. 

Test Attempts

The Digital SAT will be held seven times a year in all international locations including India. 

Test takers get two extra attempts in Digital SAT. 

The SAT test used to happen five times a year in all international locations including India.

Score Scale

The Digital SAT will continue to be scored on the 400–1600 scale. 

The scoring scale is 1600.


The Digital SAT Test fee is $103.

The SAT Test fee is $109.


Digital SAT results will be faster, and the test taker will receive their results within a few days. 

SAT results used to take a few weeks. 

As you are now acquainted with the changes and new features of this test, we are sure that you will be ready to take the Digital SAT test with no hassles. We would like to bring to your attention that the College Board has already announced Digital SAT 2023 test dates and deadlines for registration. So, it is the most appropriate time you start your Digital SAT online coaching or offline coaching based on your coaching preference.

Adapting to a new mode of testing can be challenging but with the right guidance and mentorship, you can successfully overcome this challenge. We at KC Academy have industry experts as faculty with us, who will guide you about these new specifications of Digital SAT and how you can reach your targeted SAT score.

Our dedicated and resourceful faculty will provide you with top-quality test preparation material, practice questionnaires, and timely mock tests. 

KC Overseas is one of the leading study abroad consultants in India that believes in creating a better test preparation experience for test takers. Enroll with us and get accustomed to the changes in Digital SAT. 

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