The PSAT is going digital! The College Board announced that its signature exam will be fully digital in spring 2024 across America, and in spring 2023 for international students, PSAT takers will take the test on a computer. The College Board promises the test will still measure the same things, be scored on a 1520 scale, and be taken at testing centers or in schools. However, the new digital test will be adaptive, streamlined to two hours 14 minutes from the current three, and students can take it on a laptop or tablet, including their own devices. So, what does all that mean?
With major parts remaining the same, the new Digital PSAT exam will come with some very significant changes that will impact the way students prepare and attempt the test. Mentioned below are some of the most significant changes in the digital PSAT:
- Time-Duration of PSAT
Trimming off an entire hour from the new Digital PSAT, the College Board has reduced the test duration from the previous three to just two hours 14 minutes. Test fatigue is a real thing, and this time cut comes as a relief to the students who found it tough to stay focused for three hours.
2. Shorter Sections in PSAT
With the total test duration coming down, section lengths will also be cut down. The new PSAT exam will have 2 Sections. Section 1 (Reading & Writing Combined) and Section 2 Math. Each section will have 2 Modules with a set of questions. The question set will have a mix of questions of easy, medium, and hard difficulty level. Module 2 questions set will depend on the module 1 performance of the students. The passage will be shorter with only one question. Moreover, passage topics will be from the high school Reading curriculum.
3. Use of Calculators in PSAT
Presently, PSAT Math is divided into Math with a calculator and Math without a calculator. The new digital PSAT will allow a calculator for all math questions. An on-screen calculator will be available to students. They no longer have to worry about carrying the right calculator on the PSAT exam day.
4. Score Report
The current PSAT report was available a few weeks after the exam day. For Digital PSAT as soon as you complete the test and once the score is calculated the score report is available in the student portal. Score Report provides a detailed break down of the scores.
After your scores, you can view information related to the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) as well as your calculated PSAT/NMSQT Selection Index score, including the index range (48–228).
5. The PSAT will be more secure
With the current paper and pencil SAT, if one test form is compromised, it can mean cancelling administrations or scores for a whole group of students. Going digital allows every student to receive a unique test form, so it will be practically impossible to share answers, making the exam more secure.
Four Ways the PSAT Will Remain the Same
With so many exciting changes, some fundamentals about the PSAT will remain the same. Here are a few of them:
- The test will remain on a 320 – 1520 scale.
- Exams still need to be taken in a testing center/School, and students cannot take the exam at home.
- There will be a proctor to administer the test at the exam center.
- Students taking the SAT Suite will continue to connect to scholarships and the College Board National Recognition Programs.
The PSAT has evolved and adapted to the changing times. The exam’s structure, question types, and scoring pattern have all witnessed alterations. The PSAT is moving towards a simpler test structure that is both student and administration-friendly.
Regardless of the format, the PSAT remains a critical step in the journey toward college admissions, aiding students in assessing their readiness for the SAT and charting their future academic paths. High school Juniors also have high chances of being selected for the National Merrit Scholarship.
Socrato Digital PSAT Practice Test –
Also, check the Socrato You Tube channel for grading SAT/PSAT (Non-Adaptive) Practice test.