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.

Exam Fees

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
Total 134 98

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:

In class

We mainly use the Linear tests in lesson. They are non-adaptive PDF representations of the real Digital SAT exam.

Lesson 1 – Go through Linear Test 1 Module 1 and explain common strategies.

There isn’t enough time to try every question, so do 2-3 from each category to get an idea of where the student is stronger or weaker. Tell the student we will focus on individual types in future lessons.

Homework 1 – Ask them to complete the second module of linear test 1.

Stress that it is essential that they do this, otherwise we won’t know their strengths and weakness and what we should focus our study time on. Be sure to send them the answers. Ask them to check their scores and be ready to tell you them at the start of the next lesson and to note any particular question types which gave them difficulty.

Include a link to an SAT Vocabulary game and an online exercise on one of their weaker areas.

Understanding the key vocabulary is so vital to having the chance to get a good score on the SAT. Stress the importance of them regularly practicing their vocabulary. I try to convince them to play a vocabulary game at least a little bit every day!

Following Lessons

You should combine Linear test practice with chapters from our writing or reading books (we have hard copies at the school and PDF copies) about questions which the student has the most problems with. If you’re not sure where to focus, the following chapters are useful for most students.

Common Reading Chapters:

    • Vocabulary in context

Common Writing Chapters:

    • Commas, Dashes and Colons
    • Transitions
    • Word Choice
    • Data Interpretation

A typical lesson would start with looking at the key info from one of these chapters, trying some of the exercises, then trying some questions of the same type in one of the linear tests.

If a student hasn’t done one of these chapters previously, they are all usually good choices if you don’t know what to work on next.



Find full-length practice tests on Bluebook™ as well as downloadable linear SAT practice tests.

Start Practicing

Khan Academy

Official Digital SAT Prep on Khan Academy® is free, comprehensive, and available to all students.

Go to Khan Academy


These exercises are generally lower quality but can work well as practice of specific question types for homework.

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!