Digital SAT Vs Paper SAT – An Analogy

Digital SAT Vs Paper SAT – An Analogy

Paper SAT and Digital SAT can be compared based on following parameters as listed below


In Paper SAT, candidates used to get the offline test paper with an OMR sheet to fill in their answers to each question. On the contrary to it, Digital SAT will be a digital test that candidates can attempt on an electronic device such as a laptop or computer. College Board has built an online testing platform specifically for conducting Digital SAT where all the registered candidates will be provided with an interface to access the test questions.

Test Structure

The structure of the Paper SAT was divided into four sections viz. Reading Section, Writing & Language Section, Math (No Calculator) section and Math (Calculator) section in the same order.

However, In Digital SAT, there are a total of four modules – two for English section and two for Math section. There are no separate sections for testing Reading, writing & Language skills instead English section modules containing a mixed of Reading, Writing & Language questions. Two modules for Math section again contains a mixed of questions from all four categories of Math.

Adaptive Testing

Adaptive Testing has been incorporated in Paper SAT since 2023. Earlier, Paper SAT used to be a linear test and multiple students attempt on the same test form. On the other hand, Digital SAT will be a Section-wise adaptive test and the difficulty level of the questions in Module-2 of English & Math sections will be based on the performance in the Module-1 of English & Math sections respectively. The better you perform on the first module, the harder the questions will be on the second module. This would make SAT more secure as each student will have a unique test form.

Length of the Test

College board has made the length of the Digital SAT shorter as compared to Paper SAT. Earlier, the test is of a total of 3 hours (excluding breaks of 15 mins) but now Digital SAT will be of 2 hrs & 14 mins only (excluding a single break of 10 mins).

Number of Questions

There is a decrease in the number of questions in both English & Math sections of the Digital SAT as well. Paper SAT contains 52 questions of Reading, 44 questions of Writing & language and a total of 58 questions in Math. But now Digital SAT will have a total of 54 English questions (27 questions in each module) and a total of 44 Math questions (22 questions in each Module).

Reading Passages

Paper SAT contains 5 long Reading passages & 4 writing passages with approximately 10 questions per passage. On the other hand, Digital SAT contains 54 short passages with 1 question per passage.

Math Answer choices

Paper SAT has 15 MCQ and 5 Grid-in questions on No calculator Section and 30 MCQ and 8 Grid-in questions on Calculator Section given separately while Digital SAT will have 33 MCQ and 11 Student produced response questions mixed within the two modules of the Math section.

Calculator Usage

Paper SAT contains two Math sections one in which a calculator is not allowed and the other in which a calculator is allowed but now in Digital SAT calculator is allowed for all the questions in both modules of the Math section. Desmos (Graphing Calculator) will be inbuilt in the testing software. A student may also bring any of the permitted graphing calculators to use during the test.

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