Students working at computers in a campus library

As its name suggests, the Digital SAT is taken on an electronic device. (Note that the Digital SAT is not taken at home - you’ll still need to go a test center to take the SAT.) If you are taking the Digital SAT at school, your school may provide you with a device to use during the test. Additionally, a small number of test sites may provide a device for you. However, if your school or the test center doesn’t provide a device, you’ll need to bring your own device for the Digital SAT.

Device Requirements

The College Board states that “[s]tudents can take the digital SAT with any Windows laptop or tablet, Mac laptop or iPad, or school-managed Chromebook.” There are a few things to note about these requirements. First, your device must be portable— – no bringing your desktop and monitor to the test site. Second, if you are using a laptop, it will need to be running Windows or Mac OS— – no alternative operating systems. (Notably, the College Board doesn’t explicitly require any specific version of Windows or Mac OS, though using a very old machine may have other issues as well.) Third, tablets must be Windows or iPad (iOS)— – no Android tablets allowed. Finally, Chromebooks must be managed by your school – no individual Chromebooks allowed.

Whatever device you decide to use, you should download the Bluebook software from early in your preparation process. (If you are using a school-managed computer, you may need permissions from your school’s technology support team.) You’ll need to have this program on your device when you show up to take the real SAT. Furthermore, you can take practice tests from the College Board in this application. This sort of practice is essential to success on the Digital SAT because you need to be an expert with the tools available before you show up to the real test. By practicing with the device you plan to use on test day, you will feel more comfortable on the day of the test.

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What if I don’t have a device?

If you don’t have a device that meets the requirements for the Digital SAT, the College Board recommends that you borrow a device. Schools, family members, and friends may be able to lend you a device. Be sure that you have permission and ability to install the Bluebook application on whatever device you borrow.

What if I can’t borrow a device?

If you cannot borrow a device, the College Board has a process to loan you a device for the day of the SAT. When you are registering for the Digital SAT, there will be a page that will give you the option to request a device. You’ll need to fill out some extra information, including an adult reference (someone who is not related to you, such as a teacher or counselor) who can confirm that you need a device. You must request a device at least 30 days prior to your test day.

If your request for a device is approved, the College Board will send the device directly to the testing center. You must arrive at least 30 minutes earlier on the day of the exam to get set up with your loaned device. In most cases, the College Board will send a Chromebook to the test center, though there is the possibility that another compatible device will be sent instead.

Borrowing a device from the College Board is less than ideal, as you will be taking the test on an unfamiliar device. Furthermore, since you will receive the College Board device shortly before taking the actual test, you won’t have the time to familiarize yourself with the Bluebook software or take the official practice tests from College Board. If you are able to access a device in the weeks or months leading up to the exam (like at your local or school library), there are sources of practice Digital SATs that do not require this software, such as The Princeton Review’s free practice test .

High school students at computers

What if I have multiple devices?

If you have multiple devices that fulfill the College Board’s requirements, The Princeton Review recommends that you choose a device early in your preparation and use that device throughout. You may find it helpful to use a device with a keyboard (in other words, a laptop rather than a tablet) - there are keyboard shortcuts to actions such as eliminating or choosing answers, and it can be easier to type equations into the built-in calculator rather than using the on-screen keyboard.

Whatever device you use to take the Digital SAT, be sure to practice the content and strategies you’ll need to achieve your goal score. The Princeton Review’s offerings - self-paced online programs, classes, tutoring, and more - can help you reach your goals and gain admission to your dream school.