Schools and districts have an essential role in ensuring that all students are prepared for the Digital SAT, particularly in states where the SAT is a required state assessment or can be used in place of a passing score on the state test to meet graduation requirements. A district-wide strategy for supporting SAT preparation can help ensure all students have equitable access to preparation resources and that they understand the importance of SAT in shaping their college and career opportunities.
In early 2022, College Board announced that the SAT will move to a digital delivery format beginning in the 2023-2024 school year for U.S. based students. As students, teachers, administrators and districts prepare for the transition, we’re here to help you understand what to expect with the new digital SAT and how you can best prepare your school or district for a smooth transition in your support for students’ success.
What’s new with the Digital SAT?
- In the Fall of 2023, all PSAT-related assessments will be administered digitally, while the SAT will be administered as a paper-based assessment. Starting in the Spring of 2024, all SAT assessments will be administered digitally.
- Many aspects of the test will remain the same: it will continue to assess the most important college and career readiness skills, it will be scored on a 1600 scale, and, most importantly, students will continue to have access to free preparation resources on Khan Academy.
- In addition to taking the test on a laptop or tablet, other important things are changing. The test will now take about two hours instead of three, reading and writing passages will follow a new format, calculators will be allowed for the entire math section, and scores will be delivered faster.
- Practice Tests will now be administered through College Board’s Blue Book application, the same platform that students will use on test day.
As the Official Partner of the College Board, Khan Academy Districts has worked closely with them to understand what’s changing and why. College Board has put together a number of resources to help educators prepare for the transition, but here are some key things you need to know.
These are just a few of the ways the digital SAT will be both a familiar and completely new experience for students, teachers, and administrators. There are also a number of subtle, but important ways the new exam has shifted how it assesses skills.
To continue to support students on the new digital assessment, Districts will need to use updated instructional resources designed for the new exam. Khan Academy Districts is here to support districts in transitioning to the digital SAT. With practice, students can get the extra support they need to prepare for the test and reach their full potential. Khan Academy Districts offers a variety of resources, including practice questions, instructional videos, and customized feedback, to help students improve their skills and feel confident on test day.
District-Wide SAT Preparation: Developing a Transition Strategy
As an administrator, you play a crucial role in supporting your students as they prepare for the digital SAT. By providing the right resources and guidance, you can help your students make a smooth transition to the new format. First, start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What resources, systems, and curriculum does our district currently use to support students preparing for the SAT? Consider your state’s requirements, the size of your student population, and whether or not you participate in In-School Testing.
- How are you currently communicating with teachers and students about how and when they should be preparing for the SAT?
- Which students are currently taking which exam? Does the timing of the digital transition for the PSAT and SAT impact who will sit for what exam when?
- If you are currently providing preparation resources or curriculum, when will those resources be updated and available to support students on the new exam format?
- What data are you currently using to track SAT preparation progress and student performance on the exam? How do those systems need to adapt and adjust?
These are some focus areas that your district needs to identify as you transition through the changes to Digital SAT. Once you’ve worked through the answers to these questions, here’s a checklist to help you support your district through the transition:
- Understand the testing schedule or schedule tests in advance: Understand when and how students will be taking the exams. If you are a district with School Day administrations of the test, work with your contact at The College Board to make your plan.
- Communicate Early and Often: Communicate to students, teachers, and parents about the upcoming changes so they know well in advance what to expect. For students who took the PSAT this year in a paper-based format, they’ll need to know that they’ll be taking a digital assessment in the Spring of 2024.
- Understand student readiness: Evaluate how students are preparing for the exam. Are they using resources designed for the paper-based or digital assessment? Khan Academy Districts, as the official partner of The College Board, has updated our resources for the new assessment.
- Train teachers: Teachers have a vital role in ensuring students are preparing for the Digital SAT. Consider dedicating professional development time to support teachers involved in SAT preparation, so they are ready for the changes to the test.
- Access to technology: Ensure that your students have access to the technology they need to take the digital SAT. Students may use a personal device, or one will be provided for them on test day.
- Encourage practice: Encourage your students to practice taking the digital SAT before the actual exam using the College Board’s Bluebook app. This will help them become familiar with the format and feel more confident on test day. Then, they can utilize Khan Academy for free, personalized practice for the SAT, including interactive practice problems and instant feedback.
- Align your data: Track student progress as the exam approaches if your preparation platform supports that, and set benchmarks and expectations based on prior performance so you’ll know how to evaluate student results when they come in.
You are critical in supporting your students as they prepare for the digital SAT. By aligning your preparation resources with the new exam and communicating clearly and frequently with students, teachers, and parents, you can ensure that everyone knows what to expect. This is how you can plan for SAT success in the digital era.
Want to learn more about the transition to the Digital SAT? Khan Academy Districts is hosting a webinar on April 13th to review the upcoming changes. Sign up here for this webinar!
How Khan Academy Districts supports district-wide SAT Preparation
Since 2015, Khan Academy has offered free, openly available SAT practice resources in partnership with the College Board. Official SAT Practice helped millions of learners better prepare for the SAT. With the transition to the digital SAT, Khan Academy Districts is transitioning to Official Digital SAT Prep as our free resource for anyone, anywhere to prepare for the digital SAT.
Since 2019, Khan Academy Districts has been supporting districts who want to support and reach all students with an SAT support strategy through Khan Academy Districts. These paid district partnerships offer robust professional learning for educators and robust data and tools like automatic rostering to enable student success.
Official Digital SAT Prep is the first and only official digital SAT prep course. Official Digital SAT Prep uses the same mastery course format as other Khan Academy Districts content, helping teachers easily incorporate SAT prep into their classroom workflows.
With a library of over 1,000 lessons, videos, and practice questions, our materials will help students sharpen their skills and prepare for every type of question they might see on the test. Students will also learn test-taking tips and strategies shared by Khan Academy experts to help them feel confident and prepared come test day.
Our digital SAT Math course is organized into 37 math skills and features three levels of difficulty in each skill. Our digital SAT Reading and Writing course is organized into 11 skills and covers the full range of questions for the exam. Throughout these courses there are articles and videos covering each skill, followed by practice opportunities and related exercises. The more skills students level up to proficient, the better prepared they’ll be for test day.
For our district partners, our Professional Learning offerings to help teachers and administrators support student preparation for the digital SAT will be available starting in Spring 2023. Topics will include the differences in how students will need to prepare and how student performance data should be analyzed by teachers and administrators.
Administrators will have more data on student performance on SAT skills, and will be able to better track student progress over time. For more on how Khan Academy Districts can support a district-wide SAT strategy, visit us on our website here.
If you’d like to learn more about how other schools are planning for the Digital SAT: watch this webinar here to get more insights. Stay tuned for more resources coming from Khan Academy Districts to help you plan for Digital SAT success.
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