Because SAT scores can be a key factor in college admission and/or scholarship consideration, many students also search for practice questions that will help them prepare for the test. The SAT tests concepts on a college-bound level, so precision and detail are essential to any study program. You will want to seek out quality practice material, not cheap knockoffs.
If you are looking for SAT practice questions, always use official College Board materials. When the difference between getting a question correct can be a matter of a few words, using official practice materials ensures that you are preparing with questions like those you will see on test day. You don’t see professional baseball players practicing with softballs! You don’t want to waste your time or money practicing with questions that are close, but not quite the real thing.
Fortunately, College Board offers many online resources that will help you prepare for the SAT. Unfortunately, the SAT is going to change in 2016 and currently there are very few materials available for the redesigned test. This is one reason current juniors and sophomores may want to hit the books and take the current SAT before the last one is given in January of 2016.
Here are the current resources available to students. (Note: most are free or low cost.)
Question of the Day
Every day, College Board releases a practice question to help students test their abilities in reading, math, or writing. Students can access the past month’s questions on the College Board website or use the SAT Question of the Day app. These practice problems give feedback to help students learn. If you give an incorrect answer, you will have the opportunity to try again, then read an explanation of the solution. In addition, you can see what percentage of people answered the question correctly, which will help you determine if a particular problem is easier or harder.
Students who want to practice a particular type of question may want to use College Board’s online practice questions. These questions are divided by type: sentence completion, passage-based reading, multiple-choice math, student-produced response math, error identification, and sentence and paragraph improvement. Because the questions are grouped by question type, a student can focus on one area at a time.
Full-Length Official Practice Test
Working on individual questions or question types can be helpful, but students who want to practice their pacing or put together all of their skills in a realistic test environment will want to take the College Board’s full-length practice test. Students can pick up a print copy at their schools’ guidance counseling offices. You can also download and print an entire ten-section practice SAT, complete with answer key and scoring guide. (Try to get the print copy. It comes in booklet form—like the actual test—and will save you printing 60+ pages.)
Print Book: “Official SAT Study Guide”
If you have used SAT Question of the Day, practice materials, and the full-length practice test from College Board’s website, but still need more sample SAT questions, you can order “The Official SAT Study Guide.” This book—available on the College Board website, online retailers, or local bookstore—contains ten full-length official SATs. It provides hundreds of pages of official SAT questions for those students who want to practice more before they take their official test.
The College Board has partnered with Khan Academy to provide practice material and lessons. Students can view tutorials and solve previously un-released official questions. Khan Academy will also have questions for the new SAT/ PSAT, so students taking the October 2015 PSAT or March 2016 SAT with the redesigned test will find official practice materials here.
Unofficial SAT Questions
If you are looking for additional SAT practice questions online, you will find that there are many other websites that offer sample questions. Use caution when studying with questions that are not provided directly by College Board. As you prepare for the SAT, you will see that many questions are detail-oriented; using materials that emulate official problems but are not actual problems may not be in your best interest for studying– like practicing baseball with a softball.
In my experience as an SAT coach, these unofficial materials often do more harm than good. I would actively discourage you from using practice tests that come from any source other than the College Board—this includes those free tests offered by big-box test prep companies (these tests are skewed and are intended as a sales tool not simply a diagnostic service.)
Be thoughtful when you review questions so you can get the most out of every question. There is enough official material for you to study.
The SAT underwent substantial changes in 2005. Analogy and quantitative-comparison questions were eliminated, and the writing section was added. Practice materials from before 2005 will not be useful in preparing for the current test.
As the SAT changes in the next year, new practice materials will be released. Students and parents will want to pay attention to use the right materials for the right test. Current materials will NOT be useful for the redesigned test and vice versa.]]>
ACT® is a registered trademark belonging to ACT, Inc. ACT, Inc. is not involved with or affiliated with College Prep Results, LLC, nor does ACT, Inc. endorse or sponsor any of the products or services offered by College Prep Results, LLC.
SAT® is a registered trademark belonging to College Board and is not involved with or affiliated with College Prep Results, nor does College Board endorse or sponsor any of the products or services offered by College Prep Results.