The Reality of "Easy" SAT Practice Tests
If you plan to take the Digital SAT Practice Test
and need testing accommodations, you can learn how to register for accommodations, what accommodations are available on test day, and more here.
You must obtain College Board approval if you require test accommodations for the digital SAT.
On digital tests, some accommodations may be administered differently than on paper and pencil tests. A screen reader, for example, may be required instead of a human reader. To find out how your accommodations will be provided on digital tests, go to Using Accommodations on Digital Tests.
If you need to change your accommodations, please contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) as soon as possible, but no later than 5 days before the test date. Please keep in mind that on test day, accommodations cannot be added or waived.
1. Request accommodations.
The Accommodations website provides information on eligibility and application procedures. Accommodations can take up to seven weeks to be approved, so begin the process as soon as possible.
2. Enroll in the SAT with accommodations.
Once you've been approved for accommodations, you'll need to confirm whether you want to use your accommodation(s) for the SAT during registration.
3. Determine how you will be accommodated on the digital SAT.
Make certain that you understand how your accommodations will be distributed on the digital SAT. For more information, see Using Accommodations on Digital Tests.
4. Check that your lodging is listed on your admission ticket.
If they aren't, please contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 212-713-8333 as soon as your admission ticket appears in the BluebookTM app.
Adaptation and Learning Disabilities
How will these changes affect students who take the SAT with special accommodations? It is determined by the nature of the learning differences and the accommodations made available to the specific student. The digital revolution appears to be providing new ways to accommodate all students in the adaptive testing process. We're waiting for College Board guidance on this aspect of the new testing.
Here are some ideas about how the new test might affect students with learning disabilities:
- Students with ADHD benefit from shorter tests.
- Computer-based testing eliminates the tracking difficulties that some students experience.
- Students who process information more slowly benefit from more time per question.
- Shorter reading passages benefit those who struggle with reading.
- Text-to-speech capability, with student control over delivery speed
- Zooming in, changing font size, font type, colours, background, and amount of white space between lines of text, and isolating one line of text at a time to block out distractions for improved readability
- Those who are having difficulty with calculations can benefit from an on-screen calculator (or their own).
- Math formulas will still be available, which will reduce the need for memorization.
- Highlighter tool for marking text or answer options, and "strikethrough" for eliminating answers (though scrap paper may be easier/faster).
- Timing is controlled by a computer rather than a proctor, ensuring consistent timing.
- Improved time management through the use of an on-screen clock that counts down the time and provides a 5-minute warning.
- Students who try to figure out the level of questions they see may experience anxiety or distraction as a result of adaptive testing.
- Using a borrowed computer could be detrimental.
Overall, the new digital SAT has the potential to enhance testing for students with learning differences.
Making Use of Accommodations on Digital Exams
On digital tests, some accommodations are administered differently than on paper and pencil tests. If you are permitted to use a human reader on paper and pencil tests, you may obtain a screen reader for digital tests. Additionally, some accommodations may not be required for a digital test. If you're approved for large print, for example, you can use the zoom tool, which is available to all test takers.
No Exam System Requirements Accommodations
Accommodations that do not involve assistive technology or a change in exam timing or breaks do not necessitate a special digital exam format. Permission for small-group testing, food/drink/medication, and permission to test blood sugar are some examples.
Examine the Digital SAT Practice Tests in Depth
The Digital SAT Format
will be available to international students in March 2023, and the College Board has released four official practice tests, giving us our first comprehensive look at this new exam. We presented our analysis of these tests in a webinar for our educational partners and international students shortly after their release. In case you missed the webinar, here's our comprehensive breakdown of what international students and educators should know about the exam.
We have a better understanding of the official scoring algorithm now that we have official practice tests. "How many correct answers do I need to get a 650?" students may wonder. A 720?” In the case of traditional testing, such as the current SAT, the total number of correct answers corresponds directly to a scaled score. When it comes to adaptive testing, scoring is much more nuanced because individual items have different weights in different sections.
The differential weighting is referred to as "item response scoring" by the College Board. The College Board states in the Digital SAT Assessment Framework that "the use of item response theory (IRT) and ability estimation will provide the basis for calculating scale scores in near real-time." At the College Board Forum, our colleagues at Summit Education spoke with Tom Proctor, the College Board's lead psychometrician, who announced that the College Board will release a technical manual explaining the new SAT's complex scoring system in 2023-2024.
We don't yet have a breakdown of the differential item weighting on any of the official tests, but we've played around with the scoring scales enough to know that students who are routed to the more difficult adaptive sections can get fewer correct answers but higher scores.
Perspectives on the Math Section
The math section feels more manageable with 44 total problems, down from 58. There are fewer word problems, which is beneficial to non-native speakers. Only 30% of math items on the digital SAT will be in the context of science, social studies, or real-world applications. 70% of the remaining items will be "pure" math problems.
Math is being tested, not reading.
Math phrasing has been updated through linguistic modification, which is an intentional edit pass of item phrasing focused on removing colloquial artefacts (idioms, odd turns of phrases, unnecessary compound/complex sentences) that make it difficult for ESL students to understand. Essentially, the goal is to ensure that the SATs math skills rather than reading skills (unless the point of the problem is specifically parsing a complex word problem).
Increased emphasis on geometry and trigonometry
The current SAT contains approximately 8% geometry and trigonometry questions. Geometry and trigonometry questions will account for 15% of all test items on the digital SAT.
Desmos is a Game-Changing App
The app's powerful Desmos graphing calculator plays an important role in this new test, and for many students, it will fundamentally change the experience of taking the test. Students who are familiar with graphing calculators can use them to answer the majority of math questions on the Digital SAT.
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