SAT Prep Resource Guide
The SAT is a standardized test given to high school students across the United States. Its purpose is to determine a student’s readiness for college, and because of this a student’s SAT scores can play an important role in the college admissions process. Naturally, the significance of the SAT is intimidating to many test takers, especially those who struggle with test anxiety. However, the SAT isn’t something that needs to be feared. In fact, with plenty of study and preparation – and a lot of deep breaths – it can be conquered. In this guide, you’ll find more than 50 resources that can help you understand the SAT, know what to expect, organize your study sessions and ultimately excel on the SAT.
General SAT Prep Resources
Thinking about the SAT can be overwhelming, in which case it might be best to start from the beginning. The resources in this section will help you do just that, whether you’re new to the SAT or want a quick refresher.
What is the SAT? A Complete Explanation of the Test – As its title suggests, this article from PrepScholar is an in-depth explanation of what the SAT is, why it’s used and what it covers.
SAT History – The Evolution of the SAT – Although knowing the history of the SAT is not technically necessary, it can give some context to the test which you’re going to spend so much of your time studying for.
How Important is the SAT? Admissions Officers Weigh In – Some people will tell you that the SAT can make your break your entire educational experience, while others will swear up and down that your SAT score is insignificant and “just a number.” This article from USA Today cuts through the opinions and gets to the facts by interviewing the people who have the final say: college admissions officers.
ACT vs. SAT: Which Test Should You Take? – If you, like many other students, are confused about the difference between the SAT and the ACT (another standardized college preparedness test), take a look at this side-by-side comparison.
SAT Sections – The Princeton Review gives a concise, clear overview of the sections included in the SAT. Includes the number of questions in each section as well as the amount of time allotted to complete them.
How Is the SAT Scored? – Understanding how your performance will be scored can help you score higher. Check out this resource to find out what the SAT scoring process involves.
What Do SAT Scores Measure? IQ? Income? – Now that you understand how the SAT is scored, read this to find out what that score measures.
5 Things Students Must Know About the New SAT – A newly revised version of the SAT was released in 2016. Here is some important information about the new SAT that is not included in pre-2016 test prep guides.
Compare New Vs. Current SAT Specifications – This handy chart allows you to easily compare each difference between the pre-2016 SAT and the current SAT.
When Should I Start Studying for the SAT? – This article can help you decide when to start studying for the SAT based on your age and goal.
Daily Practice for the New SAT App – When it comes to standardized tests, the phrase “practice makes perfect” is certainly true. Check out this app from the College Board that sends you an official math, reading or writing question every day, so you can practice your skills on a regular basis.
Find a SAT Tutor – While a tutor isn’t necessary for you to do well on the SAT, you might want to consider finding one if you’re struggling with certain subjects. Chegg connects you with online SAT tutors for $30 per hour or less.
SAT Registration – Click here to find out when and where you can register to take the SAT. This page also includes tools which allow you to find testing centers, view dates and deadlines, read policies and requirements and find out how much it costs to take the SAT.
SAT Reading and Writing Section Resources
While the pre-2016 SAT had one section for reading and another section for writing and language, the new SAT combines all of those components into one big section. The following resources will help you understand the reading and writing section and brush up on the skills you’ll need to score well on it.
SAT Reading Test – The College Board provides a simple and comprehensive overview of the SAT reading test. Learn what it’s like, what you’ll read and what it covers.
Writing and Language Test – Find out what the writing and language test is like and what it measures.
Reading Sample Questions – There’s nothing quite like experience, and these sample questions will give you just that. Both the instructions and the questions themselves resemble what you’ll encounter on the real test.
Writing and Language Sample Questions – Learn what it’s like to actually take the writing and language test by taking this online practice test.
SAT Reading Test: Content Areas – An extensive explanation of the three types of content areas that you’ll find in the reading test.
The SAT Writing and Language Test: Overview – A well-rounded look at the topics, passages and questions you’ll find in the writing and language test.
5 Must-Know SAT Reading Tips – The way you approach the reading test is just as important as your level of reading knowledge. These tips can help you improve your approach in order to optimize both time and accuracy.
5 Must-Know SAT Writing Tips – Learn how you can better manage your time spent writing as well as what to look for when checking your work.
SAT Reading and Writing Practice – This series of more than 50 videos is the next best thing to spending a study session with a private tutor. Here, a Khan Academy instructor walks you through the passages you’ll read and skills you’ll need in the entire reading and writing section.
SAT Critical Reading Flashcards – Easily zero in on the reading skills you need to work on with this library of almost 3,000 flashcards.
SAT Writing Flashcards – Choose from more than 4,000 free writing flashcards in order to make your study sessions quicker and more efficient.
SAT Math Section Resources
The main focus of the new SAT math section is algebra, problem solving and data interpretation. The following resources tell you everything you need to know to prepare for each of those areas.
SAT Math Test – Check out this quick overview of the SAT math test from the College Board.
What’s Tested on the SAT Math Section? – If you’re looking for a more in-depth overview, take a look at this article from PrepScholar that explains the contents of the math section with graphs, charts and examples.
Math Sample Questions – Reading about the math test is one thing, but actually completing it is another. Try your hand at these sample questions to get a feel for what the test will consist of.
How to Get 800 on SAT Math, by a Perfect Scorer – In addition to explanations of what you’ll find on the math test, this article explains how to strategically prepare for the SAT math section in order to get the highest score possible.
5 Must-Know SAT Math Tips – Even if you’re already an algebra whiz, these 5 tips can help you tackle the SAT math section in a smarter and more efficient manner.
SAT Math Practice – This library of nearly 80 video tutorials methodically guides you through every possible type of problem you’ll need to solve on the SAT math test.
The 10 Essential Math Formulas You Need to Know for the New SAT and PSAT – Trying to figure out what you should focus on studying for the math section can be confusing. Luckily, this article distills the math section into 10 must-know formulas.
Top 5 Tips for the Calculator on the SAT – Although bringing a calculator to the SAT is important, knowing how to use it is even more important. These tips explain how you can make the most of your calculator.
SAT Math Flashcards – Completing an entire practice test can be time-consuming, but reviewing a few flashcards only takes a couple minutes. This collection of more than 3,000 flashcards makes it easy for you to quickly review the specific areas you need more practice on.
SAT Essay Section Resources
The most recent SAT overhaul has rendered the essay section optional rather than mandatory. However, many colleges still require incoming students to have completed the essay section, so it may still worth studying and preparing for. Take a look at the following resources to find out what you’ll need to know in order to write a great SAT essay.
SAT Essay – The College Board gives a quick and comprehensive overview of what you can expect to find in the SAT essay section.
The New SAT Essay: First Look – This article includes a side-by-side comparison of the pre-2016 SAT essay section and the new SAT essay section.
Should I Take the SAT Essay? How to Decide – If you’re not sure whether you should bother completing the essay section or not, read this article which explains the pros and cons of either decision.
College SAT Essay Policies – In the end, the biggest determining factor in whether or not you choose to take the SAT essay should be the essay policy of your college of choice. This extensive database allows you to view the SAT essay policy of any college in the United States.
New SAT Scoring Rubric – What makes an essay good or bad can seem nebulous and subjective. This article explains exactly how SAT graders will judge your essay, so you can focus on the criteria that matter most.
Essay Prompts and Sample Student Essays – Reading essay prompts is helpful, but what’s even more helpful is reading the essays of other students in response to those prompts. Here, each prompt is accompanied by 8 student essays, arranged from lowest score to highest score.
3 Steps for Writing a Strong SAT Essay – Start your preparation process by reading these three essential tips for writing a high-scoring essay.
How to Write an SAT Essay, Step by Step – From the intro to the conclusion, this article explains how you can approach every step of the essay-writing process in order to score as highly as possible.
SAT Essay Strategies – Before you even start writing, you’ll need to unpack the prompt and analyze the passage. This tutorial shows you how.
Test Anxiety Resources
Test anxiety is anything but unusual – in fact, the majority of students experience exam anxiety to some degree or another. Whether you’re confident in your preparedness or are doubting yourself every step of the way, the following resources can help you combat and overcome your test anxiety.
What is Test Anxiety? – Learn the difference between a normal level of nervousness and a full-blown panic attack.
Test Anxiety Assessment – If you’re not sure whether you have test anxiety or not, take this five-minute quiz to find out.
What Causes Test Anxiety? – Develop a better understanding of the root of the problem by reading this article.
Ten Test Anxiety Myths – Many students tend to blame themselves for their test anxiety, but that belief is not only unhelpful but also untrue. Here, psychology consultant Bill Cole debunks this and several other myths about test anxiety.
Overcoming Test Anxiety – This guide provides advice for managing test anxiety before, during and after a test.
9 Tips for Overcoming Test Anxiety and Crushing the ACT or SAT – These tips are specifically geared towards students preparing to take the SAT.
6 Breathing Exercises to Relax in 10 Minutes or Less – These expert-approved breathing exercises are designed to be as simple and quick as they are effective. Use these during study sessions or whenever else you feel anxious.
Countdown to the SAT Resources
Check out these helpful resources for how to spend the days – and hours – leading up to test day.
Tips for the Last Week Before the SAT – Studying in the months leading up to the SAT is relatively straightforward: review, take occasional practice tests and read sample questions. In the last week before the SAT, however, it’s time to start managing your time strategically. Find out how to do so here.
What NOT to Do the Week Before You Take the SAT or ACT – In addition to knowing what you should do, it’s also important to know what you should avoid.
A Day Before Your Test: What to Do – From listening to 60bpm music to using positive visualization techniques, this list is full of specific strategies which are backed up by scientific studies.
7 Things to Do the Night Before the SAT – It’s the night before the SAT, and you’re not quite sure what to do. This list can help.
Test Day Checklist – The official list of what you need you bring, what you’re encouraged (but not required) to bring and what you can’t bring with you on test day. Make sure you have everything packed and ready to go the night before the SAT takes place.
10 Snacks for SAT Success – Snacks are optional, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. Read this to find out which snacks can maximize energy, improve focus and increase mental clarity, and remember to pack your snacks the night before the test.
The Morning of the SAT Test – Instead of sitting around feeling nervous, use these tips to figure out what you can do on the morning of the SAT in order to boost performance.
Quick Stress Relief: 8 Fast, Easy One-Minute Tension-Busters – Whether you’re waiting for the test to begin or taking a breather break between sections, these easy relaxation techniques can help you de-stress and refocus.
How to Send SAT Scores to Colleges – Congratulations! You finished the SAT and you’re happy with your score. Read this to learn how you can send your scores to colleges.