What is a Diagnostic “Linear” SAT?

Starting with the March SAT in 2024, the College Board will be changing its traditional paper-and-pencil exam to an adaptive, digital test. Students taking the PSAT in October of 2023 will also have a chance to try out the digital version of the test.

Bluebook, the College Board’s digital SAT testing app, currently has four full-length practice tests for students to become comfortable taking the SAT on their devices. After submitting their results, students are given their section and cumulative scores, see which questions they got right and wrong, and review answer explanations.

Simply knowing your scores and reviewing answer explanations falls significantly short of our standard of preparing students for the SAT. Our current score reports for the paper-and-pencil version offer a deep anaylsis of a student’s test performance. It breaks down how they do on different question types, with different categories of content, and how well they did with the timing.

To receive Curvebreakers’ unique diagnostic score report of the new SAT, students can take the full, linear version on paper.

The reason diagnostic testing is not possible for the Bluebook digital practice tests is because the digital tests are adaptive. This means students are not tested on all available questions. Which questions they are given to answer are based on their individual performance in the exam. There is no way to efficiently match which questions the student was required to answer with the full (linear) version of the test.

Adaptive vs. Linear

The new SAT is available in two versions:

  1. An adaptive, digital format accessible on Bluebook
  2. A linear, PDF format of the full set of exam questions

The tests students take in the Bluebook app are considered adaptive. Questions are dynamically prompted based on how well the student is performing.

The full set of questions for each of the four practice tests currently available in the Bluebook app are available on the College Board’s website as linear versions in PDF format.

Curvebreakers created diagnostic reporting for each of these four linear versions that offer the same level of detail as our current score reports do for the linear test.

Schedule a Diagnostic SAT Practice Exam

Curvebreakers offers proctored practice exams every weekend at the office in Garden City and virtually with a live proctor. Schedule your practice test online or call (516) 728-1561.