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Details on the NEW Digital SAT debuting March 2023

The College Board, the company that offers the SAT, has released further details about the NEW digital SAT which will be debuting internationally in March 2023 and within the US in 2024.

This is the third redesign of the SAT in the last eight years. During this time, the competing test, the ACT has been redesigned only once, in 2016, when it moved to a computer adaptive testing model. The ACT has no plans to change their test currently, which is a relief for future test takers.

Pre-COVID, the SAT or ACT test was required as part of the application requirements to most US universities. The pandemic forced universities to reconsider this requirement as testing dates became cancelled due to the pandemic. As a result, universities moved to what is called a test-optional policy allowing students the option, but not the requirement, to submit test scores. Additional context on the test-optional landscape for admissions can be found here.

In January 2022 the College Board announced their intention to redesign the SAT which measures maths and English-based reading and writing. Little information on the redesign has been available until now.

NEW Digital SAT

SAT - Paper


Allotted Time (Hrs)




Score Range

Composite 400 – 1600 total

Two sections: Math and Evidence Based Reading and Writing, each made up of 800 points

Composite 400 – 1600 total

Two sections: Math and Evidence Based Reading and Writing, each made up of 800 points

Composite 1 – 36 total

1-36 on each of the 4 sections: math, science, English, reading

Overall composite is the average of the 4 sections

Delivery Mode

Computer based, multiple choice A-D (TBC)

Paper based, multiple choice A-D

Computer based, multiple choice A-E

Reading and Writing Timing

60 minutes

95 minutes total.

Reading: 65 minutes, writing and language: 35 minutes

80 minutes total.

English: 45 minutes

Reading: 35 minutes

Reading and Writing Format

54 multiple choice questions, each with a very short passage

2 modules with a short pause in between

Reading and Writing are intermixed

Reading: 5 long passages with 52 questions

Writing and Language: 4 long passages with 44 questions

English: 5 long passages with 75 questions

Reading: 4 long passages with 40 questions

Math Timing

60 minutes

80 minutes total

(No calculator: 25 minutes

Calculator: 55 minutes)

60 minutes

Calculator Use

Approved calculators or built in calculators can be used on all math questions

Approved calculators used only on the calculator section

Approved calculators can be used on all math questions


Reading, writing and math questions will continue to ask students to interpret graphs

Graphs are incorporated throughout the test including in the reading and writing passages

35 minutes

6 long passages with graphs and 40 questions (scored separately)


Yes, the second stage of each subject test will be adapted based on the first stage’s responses



Number of test dates per year

5 (TBC)



Penalty for guessing




Average score across all test takers


1060 (out of 1600)

21 (out of 36)

Study Resources

From end of (US) summer 2022 https://www.khanacademy.org

Test Registration

First testing date internationally March 2023





Which test should I take?

US universities admissions teams have no preference on which test a student sit. Internationally Educated encourages students to sit (free) trial tests of both the SAT and ACT to determine if one test suits them better. Once determined, test takers can sit either test more than once. Australian-educated students who have undertaken an academically rigorous course load should have no trouble scoring well on either test despite coming from a different education system. However, test preparation is recommended for all students, regardless of their secondary school performance.

The limited SAT international testing dates may deter students based on testing date opportunities. That said, the ACT is the preferred standardised test by students in the US and the SAT is the preferred standardised test by students outside of the US. As the two tests measure much of the same content, the decision on which test to sit may now be a result of personal preference combined with test date convenience.

The NEW digital SAT, although a shorter test (2 hours) and an adaptive test, is said to measure the same outcomes as the current 3 hour paper based SAT. For this reason, the College Board is confident a concordance table will not be required and the same score across either test should be evaluated equally.

Full sample tests of the NEW Digital SAT are expected at the end of the US summer and will be available for FREE through Khan Academy.

As with much of the US university admission process, there is not one answer to suit everyone but rather each students’ circumstances are different. Contact us to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in achieving your US university admission goals.

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