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The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

The Student News Site of Northwood High School

The Northwood Howler

Preparing for the new digital SAT with the digital SAT

Neil Godse
GOING DIGITAL: Junior Ayesha Siddiqui downloads the Bluebook app to prepare for the digital PSAT.

The College Board has pivoted from the paper PSAT to a fully digital version, which all Northwood juniors took on Oct. 25. 

The digital PSAT is an adaptive exam that evaluates student performance in the first module to customize questions based on skill level for the second module. The test features shorter sections, more time per question and a math section where calculator-use is permitted in both modules. 

This transition is one of many changes for standardized testing, with a digital SAT going live in spring 2024. The changes hope to protect against cheating and allow for a faster turnaround time for score releases. However, the newly introduced format of the test has also limited preparation opportunities for students, as tutoring for module based examination is still in a developmental stage.

“A lot of people preferred the features available on the digital version, like the graphing calculator,” junior Ayesha Siddiqui said. “I thought there was a lot more efficiency with selecting answers and managing time.”

The digital PSAT at schools also comes with the added responsibilities of adequate internet connection, access to technology, and any on-site technical difficulties. Upgrades to Northwood’s network connectivity this year as well as the media technicians ensuring access to technology for all students ahead of the test.

The official digital SAT will also institute similar policies to help with the change, including dedicated technology monitors and customer service staff to address technical concerns and more, according to the College Board.

“Our biggest push has been making sure that all students in grade nine and eleven have access to the Bluebook app,” Northwood counselor Megan Ostovarpour said. 

The Bluebook app, which will be used on testing day, provides students access to full length digital practice tests to practice before their official digital PSAT.

IUSD’s mandatory practice standardized tests starting in freshman year are an effort to prepare students for tests that previously determined college admissions. With only two paper and pencil SAT testing dates left in November and December, taking the first round of digital PSAT tests may help students get a better feel for the module based exam and decide between taking a 2023 and 2024 SAT, or if they want to take the test at all.

“I would definitely consider taking the digital SAT in the future, as it was a much more relaxing experience, especially with the break in between,” junior Anna Pak said. “It was much easier to organize than previous handwritten tests, and it was a lot more self paced, which benefitted me personally. 

As the process for standardized testing is poised to change even more next year, with the impending switch of the PreACT test format, Northwood counselors look toward offering more specialized training sessions for TA advisors and creating training and digital literacy opportunities for students.

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About the Contributors
Shreya Aithal, Staff Writer
Shreya Aithal is a Northwood junior and staff writer for the Howler. She loves to aggressively float in water and dance and she naps whenever she can. She can typically be found at school until at least 5 p.m. so if you ever need company, she'll be there, but she might be spreading at a pitch only dogs can hear or drowning in bio notes.
Neil Godse, Photographer
Neil Godse is a Photographer and Junior at Northwood. He used to love aviation, traveling, and youtube - until junior year happened. Now you can see him doing Physics homework, and in his 13 seconds of break time, he is mindlessly scrolling through reels until the time is just right to start work again (12:00 AM sharp). If it wasn’t obvious already, he loves taking photos, and can be seen stalking people around the school (only for Howler of course).

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