With the December 2023 rollout of the Digital SAT, many students (like perhaps you!) are now wondering what are the best Digital SAT books to use to study for the updated exam. While the core content areas of the SAT remain the same, there are enough changes that you’ll need to make sure you are using Digital SAT books and resources rather than books for the old test. In this post, I’ll recommend to you the best resources available for the Digital SAT, including both books and online resources.
Digital SAT: Math Section
The Math section of the Digital SAT has undergone significant modifications, presumably to better reflect the kind of mathematical understanding and application students need for college and career readiness. The questions are designed to be more straightforward, focusing on data interpretation, problem-solving, and algebra. These changes aim to reduce the abstract nature of math problems, making them more applicable and relevant to everyday scenarios.
The most notable change, however, is the incorporation of the Desmos graphing calculator directly into the testing interface. This advanced tool allows for a more interactive and efficient way of solving complex problems, emphasizing real-world applications of mathematics. Learning to use Desmos effectively, therefore, is an essential part of prepping for the Digital SAT.
Dr. Ela Sharma’s The Desmos Graphing Calculator: Digital SAT Math Prep, is a great SAT prep resource. It doesn’t teach math content. Instead, it shows you how you can use Desmos to make quick work of complex SAT math problems, offering clear, step-by-step solutions for a wide variety of math questions–including questions that don’t involve graphs at first glance. Its user-friendly approach makes it an indispensable tool for students, and my students so far have all learned something new about how Desmos can make their lives easier on the test.
Khan Academy remains a reliable resource for SAT preparation. It provides a range of free, customizable practice tests and instructional videos, making it a practical supplement to textbook learning. The lessons are broken down into “Foundations”, “Medium”, and “Advanced” level problems, which gives you a great way to customize their preparation. And of course, one of the greatest strengths of the Khan Academy prep course is that whenever you need extra practice on a particular topic, there are plenty of videos and lessons you can work through.
SAT Suite Question Bank
For thorough practice, the SAT Suite Question Bank from the College Board is a go-to resource. It offers a comprehensive collection of practice problems created specifically for the Digital SAT by the test creators themselves. This question bank is an excellent tool for familiarizing yourself with the types of questions you’ll encounter on the test, and best of all, you can filter the questions by topic and difficulty level.
To use this question bank, first select the option to use the digital version of the questions rather than the paper version. Then select the SAT (or PSAT, if you prefer) from the drop-down. After that, select your subject (Math) and domain area (Algebra, Advanced Math, etc.), and then you’ll get into the question bank itself. From there, use the Difficulty and Skill drop-down menus to filter the questions, then check the boxes for the questions you want to practice.
I recommend selecting a set of questions, exporting them without correct answers and explanations, and then exporting them AGAIN, this time with correct answers and explanations. That way, you’ll have both a blank set of questions to work through, as well as the answers and explanations to check yourself against afterward.
Be aware, though, that some of these questions show up on the Collegeboard official practice tests. Still, the question bank is a great resource.
Digital SAT: Reading and Writing Section
Meltzer’s SAT Reading and Grammar Books
Erica Meltzer’s The Critical Reader: The Complete Guide to SAT Reading is a focused resource for the reading comprehension questions on the Digital SAT. Meanwhile, her Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar provides all the information you need for the grammar-based questions. Meltzer’s books were the gold standard for the old SAT, and they are rock solid Digital SAT books as well.
For extra practice, Meltzer’s Reading and Writing Test Book: Digital SAT contains practice test sections and thorough explanations targeting key areas of the exam’s reading and writing components. The book provides strategies for approaching passage-based questions and writing responses, which are essential for this part of the SAT.
After a long hiatus (that means “break”), vocabulary is back on the SAT. Erica Meltzer’s SAT Vocabulary book is an effective resource for learning the kinds of words likely to show up on the test. The book goes beyond mere word lists, offering insights into word usage and context. It also contains plenty of drills so that you can test your progress.
Just like for math, Khan Academy also offers valuable resources for the Reading and Writing section. Their lessons cover practice questions for reading comprehension and writing, as well as special lessons on grammar topics. The questions are clearly labeled by sub-topic so that you can choose to focus on exactly the topics you want extra practice on.
SAT Suite Question Bank
Again, just as it is for math, the Collegeboard’s SAT Suite Question Bank is an essential resource to prep for the SAT Reading and Writing section. It provides a variety of practice questions created specifically for the Digital SAT by the test creators themselves. And like the math questions, the reading and writing questions can be filtered by topic, subtopic, and difficulty level. (See the explanation above.)
The Digital SAT is a new test, and so more resources will surely be developed in the coming months and years. I’ll revise this post as I come across other effective books and resources, so check back on this post for updates.
But for the time being, the Digital SAT books and resources above offer the best preparation available for the new Digital SAT. Combining textbooks, online platforms, and question banks, you can prepare effectively and approach the SAT with greater confidence.
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