7 SAT Studying Alternatives if Your Current Ones Aren’t Working For You


Art Generated by Dall-E

Frustrated students throw toss their desks in anxiety

On April 12th, 2023, LAUSD schools administered the official SAT exam to all 11th grade students, several months after the PSAT in October. Last semester, Taft issued out an announcement before the PSAT testing session, encouraging students to utilize online resources to study for the exam and be better prepared for the most recent SAT.

The PSAT, also known as the NMSQT, is a practice version of the SAT exam. The SAT itself, though, is a scantron exam handled by the College Board. It is used to determine the readiness and proficiency of high school students who plan to venture off to college after their high school years.

Alongside the PSAT, students were provided with other studying resources, such as Alberto.io and Shmoop.com, before taking the SAT in hopes that students, especially juniors, would practice.

A Taft student who was studying for the PSAT last semester expressed their dislike with the studying resources, explaining that websites like Albert.io were not helpful or encouraging due to the design of its practice tests.

“This was the first PSAT I had taken, and I was really nervous,” said the Taft student. “I wanted to do really good, but when I went onto the websites we were assigned, I felt even worse, to be honest. When I was on [Alberto.io], it would tell me the percent of students that got the question right. When I’d get a question wrong, and it told me most people didn’t, it made me feel stupid.”

Although the PSATs aren’t taken in admissions, and most colleges in America do not look at a student’s SAT score anymore, the infamous test can put a lot of stress and worry on students, especially if they can’t find a suitable, free studying resource.

Whether you are a sophomore taking the SAT next school year or a junior retaking next semester, here are 7 PSAT and SAT studying alternatives if the ones you use leave you feeling worried rather than prepared:

Magoosh’s Vocabulary Builder

In the SAT, there are two portions of the test; the English section and the math section. In the reading and English sections, students are given the task to read and write. Since it is expected to use formal grammar and structuring, along with the given literature that includes a wordy vocabulary, it can prepare a student to build their vocabulary beforehand. Magoosh’s free app on the AppStore serves that sole purpose. The app allows students to study commonly used SAT words and remember their definitions with multiple-choice questions. Students don’t have to create an account to use it, and the app eases the user into it, beginning with easier words that become progressively harder.

GRE Study Guides

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized test used by many universities and graduate schools to record the level and skillfulness of students. The score is largely taken into account to determine the probability of achievement and success for students who want to proceed into said graduate schools and their programs. Although the SAT is used much differently than the GRE, the questions it tests you on are fairly similar. This makes GRE test preparation materials an excellent study guide for students taking the SATs. Since GRE questions are generally more challenging than SAT questions, using practice GRE questions can prepare a student and make the SAT questions feel a bit easier. Most GRE prep study guides can be found in public libraries or free online PDFs.

College Board’s SAT Unscored Practice Tests

College Board, the organization that administers the SAT itself, provides many free practice tests. Not only this, but the College Board website also provides many helpful resources, such as PSAT dates, what’s included in the PSAT, and preparation guides for the PSAT. All of their practice tests are available online and are printable, as well as their answer keys. Students who are looking for accurate, unscored testing questions can find countless amounts of tests supplied by the College Board.

Khan Academy’s Free PDF Practice Tests

Khan Academy, a website recommended and even listed by the College Board, has many variations of both the PSAT and SAT practice tests. The company will personally recommend and make a personalized SAT prep based on previous scores you have gotten. You can take the tests on the website or as PDFs, and it is all free. Like College Board, Khan Academy creates and generates questions that are very similar to the real ones. They’re all full-length and Khan Academy also allows students to browse through hundreds of lessons and videos to make sure they understand the material they will be tested on. There’s persistent feedback and critiques, along with multitudes of tips and suggestions when studying for an exam.

Varsity Tutors

Varsity Tutors is a massively helpful website that provides free diagnostic and practice SAT tests. Like many of the alternatives listed above, said preparation resources are printable and doable online, with or without an account. They have over 200 practice tests and 17 diagnostics for the SAT. Each one of their faux exams includes the number of questions, average time spent, and difficulty level on the front page, allowing students to choose what they believe would work best for them. Additionally, students are able to learn the subjects by concept, use provided flashcards, and stay on track with studying through a daily “Question of the Day”.

Test Prep Review

Test Prep Review, created by Mometrix, is a website that allows thousands of students to review and amplify their exam scores by using their free preparation products. While they also provide an online SAT course with required payment and a physical book, their costless practices help students just as well. They have free SAT practices for the math, reading, and writing portions of the exam. They also have SAT flashcards and study guides. Like College Board, they don’t only supply tests and guides, but as well as preparation resources, like managing test anxiety, test vocabulary, and advice for proofreading writing.

PerfectPrep – ACT & SAT Prep

Similar to Magoosh’s Vocabulary Builder, PerfectPrep is a free app on the AppStore that gives students the opportunity to improve their vocabulary for the English sections of the PSAT and SAT. Not just this, but like Khan Academy, users can receive personalized study plans and check their progress as they study. Students can cover and study all sections and areas of the exam they’ll be tested on. PerfectPrep gives explanations for every answer, right or wrong, gives reminders for the student to practice, has over 800 practice questions, along with 4 tiny prep tests and a full-length exam.


The SAT’s are stressful, and sometimes, studying can only increase it, but hopefully, these additional resources only make the test feel a little more palatable.