Taking the SAT exam in 2023? Pay attention to these updates

sat exams
Anxious about taking the digital SAT exams? Don't be — here's what you need about this college admission test and the latest changes. Source: Frederick Florin/AFP

The SAT exams are changing.

In January 2022, College Board announced its decision to conduct the SAT exams digitally

This new mode of assessment is expected to roll out internationally in 2023. In the US, however, this change will be implemented in the spring of 2024.

Whether you are looking to get more insights into this new mode or need a quick refresher on what the SAT exams are all about, we are here to clear all your doubts:

sat exams

The SAT exams is one of the most common way to assess college admission in the US. Source: Christophe Archabault/AFP

What are SAT exams? 

The SAT (short for Scholastic Assessment Test) is an entrance exam by College Board, a non-profit, used by many  colleges and universities in the US to decide whether to admit an applicant or not. 

While the math questions require you to write an answer, most questions are multiple-choice, according to College Board.  

In this, you may wonder: what is a good SAT score? 

That depends on which uni you plan to go to. Each institution deals with SAT assessments differently, so be sure to check out their website for more information.

On that note, College Board has some great advice. 

“In 2019, the average SAT score was 1050. Any score above that would be above average and perfectly acceptable for many colleges. A score of 1350 would put you in the top 10% of test takers and help make your application competitive at more selective schools,” says College Board.

sat exams

While students have to attend test centres, they would be taking the test through a phone or tablet. Source: Frederick Florin/AFP

4 things to know about the Digital SAT

Shorter times 

The SAT exams will be held for two hours instead of three. Now, there will only be two sections – a reading and writing section and a maths section.

This digital test has shorter reading passages – with one question tied to each. Passages will reflect a wider range of topics that represent the works students read in college.

Scores will be delivered faster

The results are released two to three weeks after the exam, according to CollegeBoard

It will be more convenient for students to take the exam

As the word “digital” suggests, you will be able to take the test on your laptop or tablet, as well as a calculator for the math section of the test. 

Don’t have a calculator? Remember to look for a graphic calculator built into the digital testing app. 

College Board’s digital testing app, Bluebook, will help you ease into the new format

You know the feeling of transitioning to remote learning — it felt scary, unfamiliar, and foreign.

Lucky for you, Bluebook helps you familiarise yourself with functions in the app, see the structure of the test, and try sample test questions. 

The best part? You can do a trial run test day by taking a practice test in Bluebook. 

SAT exams 2023: What is staying the same

Scoring will still be assessed on a 1,600 scale. If you are taking the SAT exam, you have to do so at a school or test centre with a proctor present. 

Ultimately, the SAT exam remains as a way to measure the knowledge and skills that are necessary for students in uni. 

sat exams

Ensure that you have a stable internet connection when taking the digital SAT exams. Source: Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America/Getty Images/AFP

Tips on how you can prepare for the digital SAT exams 

For starters, log on to Khan Academy®. It’s free! Plus, you can practise with the test questions to receive feedback. 

This academy also offers a range of high-quality skills and knowledge-building activities.

Before you go for the exams, browse through this link for more information on how part of the SAT exams is structured.

What’s more, here are extra tips on how you can prepare for each section of the digital SAT exams:


Focus on being a more informed reader. You can start by reading The Economist, New York Times, or Washington Post. 

That’s because the reading text passages may come from a fictional work or a text from the US Constitution. Hence, it’s essential to not only read widely, but also have an analytical mind to understand the context of these passages.

Writing and Language

Through reading more, you’ll pick up the proper grammar and punctuation rules — which are still relevant in the digital SAT exams. 


Familiarise yourself with all the formulas related to the SAT, including algebra, coordinate geometry, categorical data and probabilities. 

Practice tests are a handy way for you to learn these concepts and plan how long you need to complete a particular section.