In October of 2023, the PSAT will be fully digital (as opposed to paper-and-pencil) for the first time. Though this change may feel drastic, you can become fully equipped for this pivot by knowing what to expect.
What is the PSAT? The PSAT is an exam that is a less difficult version of the SAT. Taking the PSAT this year is important as it will allow students to practice the new digital format. Even though some schools allow 10th graders to take the exam, it is in 11th grade that a high score on the PSAT can qualify students for the National Merit Scholarship.
Changes: The digital PSAT will be an adaptive test, meaning that a student’s performance on the first set of questions will determine the difficulty of the second set of questions.
A calculator will now be permitted on all math sections, instead of just one section as was the case in the previous PSAT.
The Math section, which was once broken down into two different modules, will now be streamlined into one, as will be the Reading & Writing section, which also was previously two different modules.
The digital PSAT will now be 2 hours instead of 2 hours and 45 minutes, with more time allotted per question.
The digital PSAT will offer accommodations of larger text size, extended time, and a paper version for those who qualify.
Scores will be received faster than before. If you take the test in the first half of October, you can expect your results in early November. If you take the test in the second half of October, you can expect your results in mid-November.
What will stay the same: The scoring of the test will remain the same, with scores calculated out of a total of 1520. You will also still be able to review questions that you’ve previously answered within each module.
The PSAT will be taken at school. If you are allowed to use your personal device you can download Bluebook to practice (https://bluebook.collegeboard.org/students/download-bluebook), or if a school device is used, you will need to wait until the school gives you access to the app.
How to prepare: Since the digital PSAT and the SAT are so similar, it is recommended that you use the PSAT as a benchmark if you plan on taking the SAT. It is important to fully familiarize yourself with the format so that you are acquainted with the changes and similarities between the old and new tests. Also, make sure you know what to bring on test day. For more information:
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published by The College Advisor, and prepared for our clients and their families.