How can the test be an hour shorter but still measure the same things just as effectively?

The digital test will be adaptive, so it can continue to measure the same core reading, writing, and math knowledge and skills much more efficiently, shortening the overall length of the test while also allowing students more time per question.

This means that for the digital SAT Suite, each test section (Reading and Writing, Math) is divided into two parts called modules. Students answer a set of questions in the first module before moving on to the next. The questions that students are given in the second module depend on how they performed on the first module. Students will be able to practice with the new digital adaptive format starting this fall.

Many large-scale assessments use adaptive testing, and more than 30 years of research shows the benefits of adaptive testing, including:

  • More precise measurement
  • Tailored questions to meet students’ needs
  • Shorter tests
  • More secure testing