The Digital SAT
The SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) is a widely taken exam by high school students in the United States, serving as a crucial component for university admissions. While primarily used for U.S. colleges and universities, some European institutions, such as Bocconi, also accept SAT scores. Here is all the essential information about the SAT, including registration, fees, test structure, scoring, and preparation tips.
Exam Dates and Registration
The SAT is administered internationally several times a year. You can check the test dates on the College Board’s official website:
Registration for the SAT can be done through the College Board’s website, where students can create a username and password.
The SAT registration fee is $60.
Exam Structure and Scoring
The SAT consists of two main sections: Math and English (Reading and Writing), each carrying equal weight in the final score. The maximum score a student can achieve is 1600, with 800 for each section.
It is a standardized test. There will be a slightly different score curve for each test.
There are 4 adaptive tests on Bluebook. Strongly encourage your students to complete a full practice test on Bluebook to make sure they have a clear indication of their current approximate score.
Even more than before with the paper test, there is no easy ‘X correct = Y score’ equation.
Setting Score Goals
The target SAT score depends on the universities to which students are applying. Different institutions have varying score expectations, ranging from average scores of 1059 to higher scores such as 1510 for prestigious universities like Harvard. Students should aim for the highest possible score to maximize their options.
Most of our students want to go to Bocconi, for which they need a minimum of 1300.
The digital SAT is composed of two sections: Reading and Writing and Math. Students have 64 minutes to complete the Reading and Writing section and 70 minutes to complete the Math section for a total of 2 hours and 14 minutes.
Each section is divided into 2 equal length modules, and there is a 10-minute break between the Reading and Writing section and the Math section. The first module of each section contains a broad mix of easy, medium, and hard questions. Based on how students perform on the first module, the second module of questions will either be more difficult or less difficult.
|Component||Time Allotted (minutes)||Number of Questions/Tasks|
|Reading and Writing||64 (two 32-minute modules)||54|
|Math||70 (two 35-minute modules)||44|
Most of the questions are multiple choice, though some of the math questions ask you to enter the answer rather than select it.
On all questions, there’s no penalty for guessing: if you’re not sure of the answer, it’s better to guess than leave the response blank.
Bluebook is a testing application from College Board. Students use Bluebook to take the digital SAT.
Students testing on personal devices will download Bluebook to their device, then follow simple steps to get their device ready for test day. For students testing on school-managed devices, this step will be completed for them.
On test day, students log in to Bluebook, complete a check-in process, and then start their test. The app provides students with a set of tools throughout the test. There is a built-in timer so students can see how much time they have in each section and lets them know when to take a break. After the test, Bluebook submits students’ answers automatically. You can also find practice material on Bluebook.
If the student has already taken an SAT, ask the student to sign in to their Bluebook or College Board account and show you their results breakdown.
Ask them if you can take a screenshot or if they can send you a screenshot so that we know where to focus our studies.
You will see how they performed in the different categories of questions. You can see examples of the different types here:
We mainly use the Linear tests in lesson. They are non-adaptive PDF representations of the real Digital SAT exam.
The Importance of Home Study
I have never had a student who didn’t do the homework who got a good score on the final exam. Consistent practice at home is absolutely essential and as difficult as it can be sometimes, getting that idea across to the student and doing the best we can to encourage them to do practice at home is part of our role as teachers.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
Students with learning disabilities should submit their disability certificates to the College Board as early as possible. The process for registering disability-related accommodations can be lengthy, taking up to seven weeks for approval.
Ask for help and/or ideas!
We are always finding new problems or students who have different needs – never hesitate to ask for suggestions for students or help understanding certain topics or questions. You won’t be the first teacher to be confused by a colon vs comma question. We set up a whole channel on Slack just for the SAT!