The days of paper-based SATs are over, and students will now take the SAT on a computer using the CollegeBoards Bluebook application. While the underlying academic content is largely the same, this new testing format requires new strategies, new skills, and new habits.
Here are 5 simple tips to help you be more successful when you take the digital SAT:
- Hide the timer and decide in advance when to check it. It can be distracting to see the time ticking away, so minimize the timer and check it periodically. It automatically shows up when you have 5 minutes left in a section, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally completely running out of time.
- Organize your scratch paper. Divide your scratch paper into a grid so that you can keep your work grouped by question. Be sure to write the question number so that you can refer back to your notes if you revisit a problem.
- Flag challenging problems so that you can easily return to them later if you have time. If you’re not 100% certain, flag it! While you’re at it, use the ‘eliminate answer’ feature when you feel like you have a 50/50 choice – this allows you to see what you were choosing between if you come back to review it.
- Trust your gut. Only change answers if you find a mistake or learn something new – don’t change an answer based on gut feeling alone. If you have time to check your answers, make sure you answered the question that was actually being asked.
- Use your break productively. Your break is an opportunity to take care of basic needs – go to the bathroom, hydrate, and eat a snack – and it’s also an opportunity to prepare for what’s coming next. Take this time to gameplan for the Math sections. What formulas do you need to remember? What strategies do you want to keep front-of-mind? What types of mistakes do you need to avoid? Don’t fixate on what has already happened. Instead, focus on what you can control by readying yourself for the second half of the test.
For more tips and resources for taking the Digital SAT, make sure to check out our upcoming SAT Bootcamps and info sessions on the Class Calendar! For personalized, one-on-one sessions with an expert tutor, simply fill out the intake form, and we’ll connect you with a perfect-fit tutor to help you prepare for the new, digital SAT.