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Digital SAT from 2023

How to prepare for the Digital SAT?

Digital SAT from 2023; here’s how you can conquer the test and make your way to top universities 

The Covid-19 pandemic brought with it some radical and unprecedented changes worldwide in the education sector. One significant change was that most US universities made the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) optional for students. Another big decision came in January 2022, when the College Board, the global board that conducts the exam, announced that starting next year, SAT will go digital. While for some students this might be a wave of relief, others might be apprehensive about taking the test online. The goal of this article is to demystify all your doubts pertaining to SAT and provide you with useful tips and techniques to ace your Digital SAT.

What is SAT and who should appear for it?

SAT is a standardized test designed mainly for high school students who want to pursue their undergraduate degree from the United States. However, SAT is not restricted to the US; in recent times, many universities across Canada, Singapore, Europe, as well as India have started recognizing SAT scores for admission purposes. Moreover, SAT is highly recommended for students, who don’t have Math in grade XI and/or XII and are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Science, Medicine, Economics, or related fields, because four years of high school Math is a mandatory requirement by several top universities in the UK, US, and Canada.

Why is SAT important for international students?

Standardized test scores provide an easy way to admission officers to understand the cognitive ability and college readiness of the student. SAT is especially important for international students as in many cases there may not be enough understanding of how a national curriculum compares with US high school curriculum and other boards like IB or IGCSE. A high SAT score provides a strong indicator of your academic prowess and ability to succeed in college. 

SAT Blind Vs. SAT Optional

The number of SAT Optional colleges drastically increased during the pandemic owing to the extensive cancellations and rescheduling of tests and inaccessibility of test centers. SAT Optional universities give you a choice to submit your test scores and might consider it while evaluating your overall candidature for admissions, whereas SAT Blind universities (for the current admission cycle) will not give any weightage to your SAT score no matter how well or poorly you have performed.

Should I appear for the SAT if it’s optional?

We strongly recommend students to take the SAT upon completing their grade X, since the score is valid for five years. There are three main advantages a good score provides – 1. Strengthen your overall profile and demonstrate your college readiness for undergraduate admissions; 2. Enhance your classroom performance as the efforts you put in to prepare for SAT will also reflect in your high school Math and English results; 3. Avoid the stress and eliminate the need of undertaking various entrance examinations, when applying to different geographies including the new liberal arts universities in India.

Digital SAT vs. Paper-based SAT

Digital SAT holds several advantages over the traditional SAT format in terms of time duration, results availability, and level of difficulty. The time duration for the Digital SAT is expected to come down to two hours from the current three hours. Students should be able to get their scores much faster than the current process which takes weeks.

Passages within the Reading Comprehension section will be shorter with only one question tied to each passage. This will shift the focus to analyzing the shorter passage for the relevant answer.

Moreover, students will be allowed to use a Calculator for the entire Math section. This will reduce the focus from calculation to choosing the right approach. These are significant changes that will make the SAT exam more relevant and in tune with the current university expectations.

Ansh Gupta, a student from Delhi who appeared for the physical exam last year, compared the two formats and feels, “The stress level, especially during the pandemic and sitting down for three hours with a mask, will significantly reduce. Additionally, the use of calculators will shift questions to become more strategic than before. Barring some challenges of an online exam, making SAT more convenient and accessible is a significant step.”

How to prepare for the Digital SAT?

To ace SAT (or other standardized tests), you need to prepare, appear for full-length mock tests, review your mistakes and repeat. A mock test takes three hours and then evaluating your mistakes can take several hours. The main drawback of a paper-based test is that it is time consuming to identify your weak and strong areas and analyze your overall performance. On the other hand, with an online platform, you can get a detailed analytics report of your performance, predicted score, weak areas along with personalized practice suggestions based on your shortcomings. Scholarly offers an all-inclusive online platform to its students with comprehensive tutorials, numerous worksheets, and plenty of mock tests along with live classes conducted by outstanding mentors. 

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What are some tips to ace the SAT? 

Read a variety of books, both fiction and nonfiction across the genres like science, politics, humanities, environment etc. daily. Everyday devote 30 minutes to reading business newspaper and specially the editorial sections. Try to form groups where you get a chance to discuss what you read with your friends, family, and teachers.

Writing & Language: Dedicate thirty minutes of your day to practice SAT English questions. Review your errors and put a special emphasis on topics where you are lagging. With regular practice, you will master the punctuation and language rules.

Math: Memorize formulas and learn shortcuts to solve different types of math problems. Most students face difficulty in trigonometry, geometry, and algebra questions. Challenge yourself every day to solve at least 20 sums and analyze the type of mistakes you are making. It can be either calculation error or inaccuracy in understanding the question and applying the correct formula. In any case, practice religiously, use a timer, and minimize careless mistakes.

To sum it up, we live in a digital era where the need to revolutionize our traditional teaching and learning methods has grown exponentially. It is only a matter of time and practice to get used to the computerized version of the SAT. And once you do, you will swimmingly conquer this digital and more intuitive version of SAT and make your way to the top universities.

This article has been published in The Economic Times E-paper – https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/services/education/digital-sat-from-2023-heres-how-you-can-conquer-the-test-and-make-your-way-to-top-universities/articleshow/89967240.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst


About the Author: 

Vivek Bhandari is the Chief Executive and Co-founder of Scholarly.co. He is an engineer from IIT Delhi and an MBA from IIM Kolkata. Vivek has worked extensively in financial services, real estate and mortgages space in USA, Europe, and India.

Scholarly helps ambitious international students locate the right universities and courses to pursue their education. We provide college credit courses and research papers to students that want to learn more and differentiate themselves. We help students develop and present their best version to their dream university. Our recommendations are based on the student’s field of interest, academic performance, financial resources and career plans. We provide test preparation classes from the best teachers to help improve scores and thus the prospects for admission. We also assist students with their visa and loan applications to reduce the anxiety associated with international education.

For additional questions about international education, choice of majors, university selection or admission strategies please visit the Questions section of our website.

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