Can You Take the SAT Online? A Guide to Computerized Testing (2023)

Can You Take the SAT Online? A Guide to Computerized Testing (1)

As appealing as the option might sound, you can't take the SAT online yet—it must be administered on paper at a designated test center. However, in coming years, the SAT will be administered entirely online!

This guide will answer all your questions about the upcoming digital SAT, including when students will be able to take it, where it can be taken, and what the format will be like.

The Current Online Testing Situation

On January 25, 2022,the College Board announcedthatthe SAT would be undergoing significant changes, including becoming a computer-based testinstead of one you take with pencil and paper.

It's important to know that these SAT changes aren't happening right away. The exact dates haven't been announced, but the College Board stated thatthe digital SAT won't be rolled out until sometime in 2023 for international students and sometime in 2024 for US students.New, digital versions of thePSAT/NMSQTand thePSAT 8/9will roll out in 2023, with thePSAT 10going digital in 2024.

What all this means is that if you don't want to take the digital version of the SAT, you still have time to take the current, paper-based, version (even several times if you want). SAT scores technically never expire, and as long as your scores have been taken within the past five years, nearly every college will accept them.

What the Digital SAT Will Look Like

Even thought the SAT is going digital, many major aspects of the test are staying the same, including the general format and content, as well as the scoring scale out of 1600. But how will the digital SAT be different from the current SAT? Below are the key changes. You can also learn more by reading our in-depth guide to the digital SAT.

You'll Still Have a Set Test Date and Location

Don't start thinking you'll be able to take the digital SAT in the comfort of your own home. We expect that the computerized test will still be administered at set test centers and on specific dates.


The exam can either be taken on a computer at the testing center, or students will be able to bring their own laptops from home (although some testing centers/schools may require you to take the test on their computers only). Students who don't have access to a computer or laptop will be loaned one by the College Board to take the SAT. If the internet goes down during the SAT, your work will be saved, and you won't lose time on the test.

It'll Be Shorter Than the Paper-Based SAT

The College Board hasn't released the exact format of the new version of the SAT, but they did announce thatthey're trimming a full hour off the test.The SAT will now lastroughly two hours instead of three. Expect each section to be whittled down slightly.

It Will Look a Lot Like the Khan Academy Practice Tests

As I'll describe in more depth below, the College Board has partnered with Khan Academy to provide free SAT practice online, including online practice tests. The format is very similar to the GRE, a computerized test also administered by ETS. See the images below to get a sense of the format.


Can You Take the SAT Online? A Guide to Computerized Testing (2)

You can see the total time in the top left and the time remaining in the top right. Each page includes one passage (on the left) and its associated questions (on the right). On the bottom, directions are on the left and navigation is on the right.

The College Board has announced that Reading questions on the digital SAT will have several changes:

  • Reading passages will be shorter
  • Each passage will have only one question tied to it
  • Passages will cover a wider range of topics

Currently, SAT Reading contains six passages, each about 500 to 750 words long. Each passage has about ten questions linked to it. These changes are designed to make the passages easier and faster to read and interpret.


Can You Take the SAT Online? A Guide to Computerized Testing (3)

Writing looks pretty much the same as Reading — just slightly different introductory text.

(Video) The NEW Digital SAT: Everything You Need to Know | The Princeton Review


Can You Take the SAT Online? A Guide to Computerized Testing (4)

Since there are no passages, each math question is on its own page. There's also more information in the bottom left, including a link to the formulas provided with the test. The College Board has announced that, for the digital SAT, you'll be able to use an onscreen calculator for the entire section, as opposed to the current no-calculator and calculator sections SAT Math currently has.

SAT Resources That Are Available Online

Even though you can't take the actual test online yet, the College Board offers tons of SAT information and resources on their website. You can:

  • Register for the test
  • View your score report
  • Send scores to colleges
  • Try practice problems

The College Board also offers a free test prep program through Khan Academy. It includes full official practice tests, extra practice questions, and helpful math review videos. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer much guidance for the reading and writing sections, so I would recommend supplementing it with a more strategy-focused guide.

There are also a lot of unofficial SAT materials, of varying quality, available online. PrepScholar has both excellent free resources (just scroll through the topics on the right sidebar to find what you're looking for) and a best-in-class adaptive SAT prep program.

Testing Accommodations

If you were hoping to take the SAT online now because you have a learning difficulty or physical disability or cannot reach any of the available test centers, the College Board offers accommodations that can make the test more manageable for you.

If You Struggle With the Paper Test

If you have a learning disability, visual impairment, or other condition that makes the paper format of the test challenging for you, you may qualify for SSD accommodations. These can include using a larger bubble sheet, taking the essay section on a computer, or even having a scribe record your answers for you.

If You Can't Reach a Test Center

If the nearest SAT testing center is more than 75 miles from your home, you can request testing closer to your home. Should the College Board grant your request, they'll set up a more conveniently located testing center.

Keep in mind that there are some exceptions: you can't request closer-to-home testing when registering late or in India and Pakistan.

(Video) SAT Test online registration reviews 2023

Can You Take the SAT Online? A Guide to Computerized Testing (5)

What's Next?

Do you have other questions about registering for the SAT? Check out our full guide to the process (with pictures), read up on the admission ticket, and learn how much the test costs.

Make sure you know what to expect on test day, including how long the test takes, the test instructions, and the rules you must follow.

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points? We've written a guide about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

Can You Take the SAT Online? A Guide to Computerized Testing (6)

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Can You Take the SAT Online? A Guide to Computerized Testing (7)

Alex Heimbach

(Video) What Happens if You Cheat on the SAT? #shorts

About the Author

Alex is an experienced tutor and writer. Over the past five years, she has worked with almost a hundred students and written about pop culture for a wide range of publications. She graduated with honors from University of Chicago, receiving a BA in English and Anthropology, and then went on to earn an MA at NYU in Cultural Reporting and Criticism. In high school, she was a National Merit Scholar, took 12 AP tests and scored 99 percentile scores on the SAT and ACT.

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Is it better to take SAT practice tests online or on paper? ›

There's no denying that having practice tests online definitely uses less paper and comparison after the exam on your part. With less or no paper, they're much easier to keep track of, both your answers and the results. Most programs will also grade them for you, showing what answers were incorrect or unanswered.

Is the virtual SAT easier? ›

To sum it all up: the digital SAT is not designed to be easier than the pencil-and-paper SAT. However, some of the changes to the digital SAT may make accessing the exam, taking the exam, and receiving scores easier for students. But adjusting to the new digital SAT might mean you have to work harder, too.

Does the digital SAT study count? ›

In August 2022, we'll begin sending colleges and universities scores for a small number of students who are participating in our digital SAT® research studies. The scores from these studies are valid for use in any campus process for which the paper and pencil scores are used.

Is there a computerized SAT? ›

Starting in fall 2023, all students taking the PSAT-related assessments will take the digital tests. SAT School Day and SAT weekend administrations in the U.S. will still be paper and pencil. Starting in spring 2024, all students will take the full SAT Suite of Assessments digitally.

Is the digital SAT harder? ›

Yes, the digital SAT is easier than the paper-and-pencil version according to students who have taken the exam and experts at College Board. “The digital SAT will be easier to take, easier to give, and more relevant,” says the vice president of College Readiness Assessments at College Board, Priscilla Rodriguez.

Which SAT practice test is hardest? ›

In online forums, students also tend to identify Test #3 as the hardest of the official practice tests, so there truly seems to be a clear consensus. It's important to remember though that a hard practice test can actually be a great resource!

What's the difference between SAT and digital SAT? ›

The digital test will feature shorter reading passages with one question tied to each, and passages will reflect a broader range of topics representing the works students read in college. SAT Reading contains six passages, each about 500 to 750 words long. Each passage has about ten questions linked to it.

What is the difference between digital SAT and normal SAT? ›

Digital SAT is a computer-based test. SAT is a paper-based test. It is a bisectional test consisting of a Reading & Writing Section and a Math Section. It has 3 Sections consisting of Reading, Writing, and Math Sections.

What is the easiest SAT to take? ›

Myth: The March SAT® is the easiest SAT test date. Fact: There's no such thing as “the easiest SAT test date.” While it's true that some versions of the SAT are easier than others, it's false that some test dates are predictably easier than others.

How do I ace my digital SAT? ›

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.

What does the online SAT look like? ›

The digital test will feature shorter reading passages with one question tied to each, and passages will reflect a wider range of topics that represent the works students read in college. Calculators will be allowed on the entire Math section. Students and educators will get scores back in days, instead of weeks.

Is SAT changing in 2023? ›

College Board has stated that digital testing will replace the paper materials and pencils currently required. A paper PSAT test will not be available starting in the fall of 2023, and a paper SAT test will not be available starting in the spring of 2024.

Do you take SAT on paper or computer? ›

The SAT exam is offered by the College Board, which is a leading higher education advocacy and outreach organization. The SAT is the other most widely used college admission test. However, they do not offer online tests, but instead offer traditional paper format tests through their test centers.

Do you take the digital SAT at home? ›

Beginning in spring 2024 across America, and spring 2023 for international students, SAT takers will take the test on a computer. The College Board promises the test will still measure the same things, be scored on a 1600 scale, and be taken at testing centers or in schools.

Is SAT test on paper or computer? ›

There will be no overlap in the transition from paper to digital testing. Starting in spring 2024, the new adaptive, computer-based test will be the only way to take the SAT.

Is the SAT on paper or computer 2023? ›

The SAT is transitioning to a computer adaptive test in 2023. The new digital SAT will cover the same content as the current paper version. However, the digital test will have an entirely new format and will be 46 minutes shorter than the current paper test.

Will the digital SAT have an essay? ›

The digital SAT School Day with Essay takes 4 hours 7 minutes (with breaks only) for each student. If a school includes a 30- minute lunch, test time is 4 hours 35 minutes. Note: Additional time is needed for pre-administration and post administrative activities.

Does the 2023 SAT have an essay? ›

It includes four sections: Reading, Writing & Language (English) and two Math sections. The test takes approximately three hours, not including breaks. There is also an optional Essay portion that lasts an extra fifty minutes at the end.

What is the best month to take the SAT? ›

It's generally best to take the SAT in the fall or spring of your junior year and then again in the fall of your senior year.

What level of Math is SAT? ›

Some questions on the SAT Math test may include concepts that seem unfamiliar to you, but don't worry–all the topics tested on the SAT Math test are taught in your typical high school Pre-algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus classes.

What Math topics are hardest on SAT? ›

Linear equations and inequalities and their graphs and systems. Problem Solving and Data Analysis: 29% of test, 17 questions. Ratios, proportions, percentages, and units; analyzing graphical data, probabilities, and statistics. Passport to Advanced Math: 28% of test, 16 questions.

Is Khan Academy good for digital SAT? ›

Taking a standardized test can be an intimidating prospect, but practicing on Khan Academy can sharpen your skills, boost your confidence, and ensure that you're prepared for anything the test might throw at you.

What is the new SAT pattern 2023? ›

A Shorter New SAT Exam

The SAT Exam will be held for two hours instead of three. Instead of four, there will now be only 2 sections — a reading and writing section and a Math section. The reading section will have shorter passages, and students must answer one question per the SAT reading passage.

How many Math questions are on the digital SAT? ›

The digital SAT is composed of two sections: Reading and Writing and Math.
How the Digital SAT Is Structured.
ComponentTime Allotted (minutes)Number of Questions/Tasks
Math70 (two 35-minute modules)44
1 more row
Feb 23, 2023

Is the new SAT harder than the old SAT? ›

In many ways, the new SAT is much easier than the older version. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't study and be prepared! While the format may be better for some students, the questions are still designed to test your ability and skills in each particular subject.

Is SAT more important than GPA? ›

There are several reasons that the SAT is considered a more valuable admissions tool than your GPA. The most obvious is that the SAT is a standardized test. While your GPA compares you to the rest of your school, your SAT score compares you to the rest of the country. GPAs are not standard.

What is the new SAT online format? ›

Each assessment in the digital SAT Suite 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. Each section is composed of two equal-length modules of test questions.

What is the lowest SAT score colleges accept? ›

Less selective public institutions, as well as many small liberal arts colleges, regularly accept applicants in the 950-1050 range. Public universities in your state might also accept residents with scores on the lower end of the scale depending on their policies and your other qualifications.

What months are easy to take SAT? ›

Try to take the SAT in August, October, or November. These three test dates should have little trouble getting your scores to colleges in time, assuming your earliest deadline is somewhere around January 1.

Is the SAT hard without studying? ›

Although it's possible that you will earn a higher score without studying, even if you are a strong student, you will likely score slightly below the average SAT score of 1051. The SAT was designed to create a bell curve where the average score falls around 1000-1050 each year.

Is Digital SAT better? ›

The digital SAT will be more secure because each student will have a unique test form and will use their own or a school-issued device. Faster Score: Students will have access to their scores in days rather than weeks.

Can you pass the SAT without a calculator? ›

The first important thing to note is that every mathematics question on the SAT can be solved without a calculator. So if you are unfamiliar with using a calculator during math tests, don't try to force the issue during the SAT. Just solve those math problems the same way you've been doing them.

What is the maximum score for digital SAT? ›

The total score is the sum of the two section scores; its range is 400–1600. Students receive scores in the range of 200–800 for each of two sections. An official student score report called “Your Score Report” is provided as a downloadable PDF for every SAT test taker.

How long does an online SAT take? ›

How Long Does the SAT Take? The SAT clocks in at 3 hours (3 hours and 15 minutes with breaks). And if you choose to sign up for the optional essay, the SAT takes 3 hours and 50 minutes to complete (or 4 hours, 5 minutes with breaks).

Can I see my SAT answers? ›

Depending on when and where you take the SAT, you will receive either the Question-and-Answer Service (QAS) or the Student Answer Service (SAS). If you order a service, its information will be available online with your score report. If you're eligible for an SAT fee waiver, you can get the QAS or SAS for free.

What is the difference between the old SAT and the new SAT? ›

The new SAT math is similar to old SAT math section; both sections have scores out of 800. However, the new math section has some different content than the old section; the College Board says the section has moved away from highly abstract problems to emphasize concrete, skills-based math.

Will class of 2024 take the SAT online? ›

U.S. students will take the SAT entirely online beginning in 2024 Students will take the SAT on computers and tablets at testing centers. The test will shrink from three hours to two, include shorter reading passages and allow calculators for the math section.

Does class of 2023 need SAT for college? ›

According to FairTest, more than 1,750 schools will have ACT/SAT-optional policies in place for fall 2023, meaning that applicants can choose whether to submit test scores and have them be considered in a college's admissions process.

Do colleges look at SAT 2023? ›

The short answer is that the vast majority of schools are NOT requiring SAT test scores for the class of 2023 but that can absolutely change for those students entering fall 2024 and later.

What do I need to bring to the digital SAT? ›

What to Bring on Digital SAT Test Day
  • Your fully charged testing device with the Bluebook™ application installed (see detailed device requirements).
  • Face covering (if required at your test center).
  • Your up-to-date admission ticket.
  • Acceptable photo ID.
  • Pencils or pens for scratch work.
Feb 23, 2023

Are paper tests better than online tests? ›

According to the AIR researchers, the students who took the test online performed as if they'd had five fewer months of academic preparation in math and 11 fewer months of preparation in English than their peers who took the test on paper.

What is the best way to practice for the SAT? ›

Planning your SAT practice
  1. Diagnose your skills early on. ...
  2. Take at least two full practice tests. ...
  3. Familiarize yourself with the instructions for each test section. ...
  4. Study outside the box. ...
  5. Take a break the night before the test. ...
  6. Set yourself up for success on Test Day.

Which SAT practice tests are the most accurate? ›

The College Board, which administers the SAT, offers eight official practice tests on its website. Because these are official practice tests created by the test-makers themselves, these resources arguably provide the most realistic practice you can get.

Are SAT practice tests harder than the real SAT? ›

Some students claim that the questions were harder on the official SAT or at the same level as their practice ones. So to put it simply, it is neither harder nor easier. It all depends on how prepared you are for the official test and how well you do while taking a test.

Which test is most difficult to pass? ›

Top 10 Toughest Exams in World To Crack in 2022
  • Gaokao. ...
  • IIT-JEE. ...
  • UPSC. ...
  • Mensa. ...
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination) ...
  • CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) ...
  • CCIE (Cisco Certified Internetworking Expert) ...
  • GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, India)
5 days ago

What is the hardest test to pass? ›

Here's the list of the top toughest exams in the world:
  • Gaokao Exam - China.
  • IIT JEE Exam (Joint Entrance Exam - Indian Institute of Technology) - India.
  • UPSC Exam (Union Public Service Commission) - India.
  • Mensa - England (found)
  • GRE (Graduate Record Examination) - United States.
Dec 20, 2022

Can online tests detect cheating? ›

The short answer is yes. Online exams can detect cheating. Authentication procedures, web monitoring, data forensics, and proctoring (just to name a few) make it hard for examinees to get away with cheating.


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