So, you've made it this far! First things first, give yourself a pat on the back. If you've worked your way through all that Magoosh has to offer you, you're going to be in a great place on test day. Now that you're ready to bear down and focus on practice tests, you have a few options remaining. Here they are, in no particular order:
College Board Official SAT Practice Tests
Because starting with official tests is always your best bet, you can print out PDFs of the eight official SAT practice tests. You can also print out PDFs of answer explanations for each question! All tests also include a practice essay, although no explanations are provided for these (though if you poke around on Google or other search engines you can frequently find commentary on them).
The Khan Academy
If you want to engage with the College Board practice tests in a more interactive format, you can head over to the FREE Khan Academy SAT course website. They have also paired up with the College Board to offer free official practice! You can take the same Official SAT practice tests online (with the added bonus of a timer counting down) with Khan Academy as well! Again, these are the same exact tests you’ll find in the College Board’s other resources, but you can take these online.
Here's how Khan Academy describes their official practice offerings:
"If you are a new learner, the website will start by asking you a series of questions, including whether you want to sign into College Board and send your PSAT results to Khan Academy. If you’ve already taken the PSAT and want to practice for the SAT, the PSAT can now serve as your diagnostic. All you need to do is link your Khan Academy and College Board accounts, and we’ll automatically recommend practice based on your PSAT results. We recommend that you link your accounts so that you can get started more quickly!"
PSAT Practice Test
Now that the PSAT and SAT are so similar (really the only differences between them are that there are a handful more questions on the SAT versus the PSAT and the SAT’s questions are slightly harder), you can also use the College Board’s SAT practice tests on Khan Academy to prepare for the PSAT.
Reviewing Practice SAT Tests
Now that you have some SAT tests to practice with, you'll need to review them effectively so that you can keep making progress with each test you take!
In addition to reviewing each question carefully, you can also use our free resource, the Official SAT Study Guide, which compiles video explanations to 116 math questions from the first and second test and related free video lessons. These video explanations are also available on our blog so that you can ask questions and share the explanations that you find useful with friends who are also studying.
Note that we’ve only done explanations for the math sections of the first two tests at the moment.
Should I Use Other Prep Company Practice SAT Tests?
If you are prepping for the long haul, or if you are a tutor wondering which tests to give your students over an SAT summer course, you will need more than the four tests offered above, regardless of repeats.
The Princeton Review, Kaplan, and Barron’s each have practice tests. Before you get excited, I should warn you that there are significant downsides of taking these tests. Simply put the material is some a poor imitation of the real thing. Sure, you’ll get practice but you really won’t be prepping your brain for the rigors of the real test. It is sort of like jogging 5 miles on a treadmill, a bottle of water in front of you, and a fan blowing a gentle breeze in your phase. The actual test is more like running 5 miles up a windy summit, rain pelting your face.
Besides complexity, another issue is that the questions in these books were not tested on students. I know, that conveys a sense of a mad scientist in a laboratory, the students serving as hapless rodents. It’s not nearly as nefarious, though. Each SAT has an experimental section that determines the validity of questions based on the difference between the percentage of high-scoring students (they’ll know this based on the score you get on the other sections) and the percentage of low-scoring students who miss a question. If low-scoring students do as well on a question as high-scoring students, then the question is not very good. If high-scoring students perform much better on a question than do lower-scoring students, then that is a sign that the question is valid. To the best of my knowledge, none of the questions in these books are vetted in this way.
With that caveat out of the way, it is true that some second party publishers do a better job than others. To get a sense of how this shakes down, you’ll want to check out my Best SAT book review post. The short of it? Barron’s is the best of the big publishers so if you have to choose practice tests from one company that should be the one.