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What’s on the Digital SAT? Ask our Experts.

In just a few weeks, students outside the U.S. will take the first official Digital SAT. Although this is the first official administration of the new test, it is far from our first look. The College Board released official practice tests a few months ago, giving testing geeks like us here at Applerouth plenty of time to dive in and figure out what this new test is all about.

For a deep dive on the new test, check out our previous article here

This month, we’ve culled our insights into a few key takeaways about what students need to know. Scroll on to learn what the new Reading and Writing and Math sections hold in store for you.

Reading and Writing
  • Short texts. Big range. The reading texts are quite short, typically two to three sentences. However, the range of text types has expanded, so you need to deal with everything from Shakespeare’s sonnets to cutting-edge scientific discoveries.
  • Sentence completions: back but better. Sentence completions have returned after being excised from the test in 2016. The good news is that these questions focus on the types of words you need to read a college textbook and aren’t just pulled from Victorian literature. 
  • Know your transitions. Transitions have proven themselves to be the most useful words to know on the SAT, as they feature not only in questions that ask which transition is most logical but also in many other question types where you need to understand the claim of the text. 
  • Question types in order. The order of question types is consistent, so one of the best ways to prepare is to become familiar with each of them and the order in which they appear on each module. 
  • Word problems are (a bit) less wordy. The range of math topics on the digital adaptive SAT is very similar to the range of topics on the current test. However, the College Board has decided to make sure the questions test the intended math concepts rather than incidentally testing reading comprehension, so you can expect the phrasing of questions to be more straightforward. That said, there are still plenty of word problems and reading the question and answer choices carefully is still very important. 
  • Built-in graphic calculatoruse it wisely. The Bluebook, the College Board’s new testing app, has a Desmos graphing calculator built in. Like any tool, you have to learn how to use it effectively, but Desmos is a very powerful tool. Getting comfortable with Desmos has the potential to be a game changer – especially for students who struggle with abstraction. 
  • Old school tools are still available. While Desmos is useful, you are also still allowed to bring your own calculator and will be provided with blank scratch paper. Students will want to practice using blank sheets of paper to take notes and organize their scratch work for those problems that they don’t solve entirely in a calculator. 

If you’re an international student taking the SAT, you’ll need to be ready for this new test and all it has in store. Schedule a call with an Applerouth Advisor to discuss how an expert tutor from our team can help you prepare, and join us for Get Ready for the Digital SAT on Feb 27.

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