Preparing for college admissions tests can prove challenging for students who cannot afford the lofty cost of tutors, preparation manuals and courses. However, a variety of free resources are available that do not only make prepping for college admissions tests more affordable, but more effective. The College Board (test maker and administer of the SAT) and American College Testing (test maker and administer of the ACT) have created test preparation tools with questions and prompts that reflect the actual tests.
Whether a student wants an in-depth comprehensive study program or a quick-fix study regime, a variety options are available:
• For extensive and in-depth SAT preparation in a friendly digital format, The Official SAT Practice from Khan Academy (created in partnership with The College Board) offers thousands of practice questions in addition to step-by-step video tutorials, four full-length practice tests, and personalized recommendations for improvement. The website provides test prep for the current SAT test (continuing through January 2016) and the new SAT (beginning after March 2016), along with detailed information on the differences between the two. Click here to view the practice tests and materials for yourself.
• For the busy student on the go, The College Board released Daily Practice for the New SAT, an iOS and Android friendly app that brings SAT preparation to your fingertips. The app offers a new SAT question each day, monitors progress, provides detailed answer explanations, and has filtration features that allow for focused studying. The app also features a Scan & Score option. Students can print a complete practice test and answer key. Once they have completed the test, they can scan the answer sheet with their phone’s camera and receive a score instantaneously. Students preparing for the current SAT (continuing through January 2016) can use the Official SAT Question of the Day app, which tracks performances and provides hints and explanations for each question.
• For the student who wants to simulate a realistic admissions test taking experience for the ACT, American College Testing offers the Preparing for the ACT manual. The manual includes study tips and a complete ACT practice test equip with writing prompts, answer keys and scoring instructions. The manual is available in English and Spanish.
With these free options available, admissions test preparation is now easier than ever. Students are free to study for the SAT and ACT—no ifs, ands or buts.