Digital SAT: 7 ways to prep when you've run out of practice tests

Students studying for the digital SAT

Updated April 2024 

Prepping for the digital SAT, but you’ve run out of practice material? We've got you covered.

By now it's old news that the SAT has switched from paper to digital. If you're preparing for the digital SAT, you’ve almost certainly run into a problem: since the digital SAT is brand new, there just isn’t much prep material out there.

So far, there are six official practice tests, available through the Bluebook testing app. Yes, the College Board has promised that they will gradually release more practice tests, but for the foreseeable future, there will still be far fewer high-quality practice materials for the digital SAT than there were for the paper SAT. That's why—if you're just starting to prep for the digital SAT—you should carefully ration these official practice tests so that you can get the most out of them.

But what if it’s too late? What if you’ve already used up the available practice tests?

No problem. Here are 7 ways you can keep prepping for the digital SAT, even after you've used the available practice tests.

1. Retake the Bluebook tests for their alternative second modules

Just like the real digital SAT, the official practice tests are multi-stage adaptive. So, in each test section, how well you do on the first module determines how difficult the second module will be and which scoring band you'll be in. After each section's first module, there are two possible second modules—one that's higher difficulty and one that's lower difficulty. If you get enough questions right on the first module, you’ll get the higher-difficulty second module and be able to get a higher score. Conversely, if you miss too many questions on the first module, you’ll get the lower-difficulty second module where there's a lower ceiling on your maximum score. 

Because your testing performance changes which second module you'll see, if you’ve only taken a Bluebook test once, then you’ve only seen about two-thirds of its questions. To see the rest of the questions, take the test again. This time, answer all the first-module questions incorrectly to guarantee you'll get the lower-difficulty second module, or use the answer key to quickly answer every first-module question right and guarantee you'll see the higher-difficulty second module. Since two questions repeat between the lower and higher difficulty second modules, you'll get 25 more Reading & Writing questions and 20 more Math questions out of every Bluebook test.

2. Use the PSATs

College Board has released two practice tests for the PSAT—one for the PSAT NMSQT, the other for the PSAT 8/9. True, the questions on these tests don't get quite as challenging as some of the questions you'll see on the SAT—but the format, duration, and types of questions you'll encounter are the same. So these tests are still good practice for the SAT.

3. Practice with Khan Academy

Khan Academy has partnered with the College Board to produce official practice for the digital SAT. Compared to Khan Academy's SAT practice material, the available content is still somewhat limited, but over the past year, they’ve continued to add to this material and add hundreds of official practice questions, plus lessons and explanatory videos.

4. Selectively use the linear (nonadaptive) tests

The linear tests are paper-based versions of the digital SAT and PSAT, designed for students whose testing accommodations allow them to test with a paper exam rather than a digital. While the linear tests mostly reuse questions from the Bluebook tests, there are unique questions scattered throughout.

By combing through the 8 available tests, our curriculum team has determined that 234 questions—93 Reading & Writing and 141 Math—are unique to them.

ArborBridge tutors selectively incorporate these practice questions into their students’ prep at the moments we’ve calculated the questions will make the biggest impact, reinforcing the skills and strategies that each student is already learning. 

A word of caution: the questions in the linear tests significantly overlap with those in the Bluebook tests, and each linear test contains a mix of questions from multiple Bluebook tests, so if you're prepping on your own, do not take any of the linear tests until after you’ve exhausted the Bluebook tests.

5. Use the question bank

The Educator Question Bank includes questions from the first four Bluebook tests, the PSATs, and the linear (nonadaptive) versions of those same tests.

It also has approximately 1000 new questions—400 Reading & Writing and 600 Math—that don't show up in any of the practice tests.

ArborBridge's curriculum team has combed through the question bank, pulling out the unique questions. This way, ArborBridge students can make full use of the question bank, without spoiling the other official prep materials.

The same caution applies here that applies with the linear tests. If you're prepping on your own without a tutor or a guide to which questions overlap, don't use the question bank until you've already used at least the first four Bluebook tests.

6. Use 3rd-party materials

To supplement the material released by the College Board, ArborBridge has written over 300 lessons—which collectively include more than 5,000 questions on the concepts, question types, and strategies that students need to master for the digital SAT.

We’ve also designed our own digital SAT practice tests. Just like the official tests, our tests are multi-stage adaptive, and our students take these tests using a testing interface that mirrors the functionality and Desmos-calculator integration of the real test.

These digital SAT practice tests and lessons are available exclusively for ArborBridge students. Click here for more information about working with one of our digital SAT tutors.

7. Work with a tutor

Even with these additional resources to prep, the hard truth is that high-quality practice material for the digital SAT is still limited. Prepping on your own, if you’re not careful, you could easily find yourself in a situation where you’ve exhausted the available practice material but still haven’t hit your target score.

This is where a tutor can help.

At ArborBridge, our tutors have years of experience tutoring students for similarly adaptive tests, such as the GRE and GMAT. We’ve also been helping international students prepare for the digital SAT since the pilot test dates in 2022.

Even though the digital SAT is new, our team already knows it inside and out, and we know how to help you get the most out of the prep material available.

Need more individualized advice?

The recommendations above are general suggestions. If you have specific questions, or want to start working with a tutor who specializes in the digital SAT, reach out to us here. We’re happy to help in any way we can.


About ArborBridge

ArborBridge is the global leader in innovative, digital, one-on-one tutoring. With nearly a decade of experience teaching students online, ArborBridge supports students of all kinds: home schoolers, AP students, test preppers, and more. Our tutors specialize in creating personalized plans and in providing compassionate support for students and families.

Jordan Browne

About Jordan Browne

In addition to graduating summa cum laude from Emerson College and holding an M.F.A. from Columbia University, Jordan was a Fulbright scholar to Montenegro, where he taught seven courses for the University of Montenegro. Along with teaching writing, rhetoric, and literature at the college level, Jordan has taught test prep for several years in New York public schools and across three continents. Ever since he was young, he’s been the weird one who actually enjoys standardized tests, and, for several years now, he’s taught students of every skill level and background how to like them too—or, at least, how to get the scores they need.

You also might like: