In order to do any job well, you have to have the right tools. 

Imagine an accountant without a calculator, or a scuba diver with nothing but a tiny snorkel.  Would Michael Jordan have been as successful if he played without shoes?  And where would Frozone be without his Supersuit? 

When there’s a task at hand, many times your success or failure is predicated on having the right resources for the job.  

Unfortunately, when it comes to access to SAT prep resources, there are often barriers that prove difficult to overcome for many students.  While sometimes it’s a question of getting accurate information and support from schools, many times it’s a matter of affordability for resources like private tutoring or multiple attempts at the test.*

But here’s the great news: you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to make great strides with your SAT prep.  In fact, there are plenty of free SAT resources to give you a leg up.  (I know, I know.)  Keep reading to find out our favorite free SAT prep resources to help you succeed – no matter your financial background. 

*If you’re worried you may not be able to afford to take the SAT, check out our post on how to take the SAT for free.  If you’re eligible, an SAT fee waiver will cover two free attempts at the SAT and more!

Best all-around free SAT resources

1. Collegeboard SAT Study Guide for Students  

Collegeboard is the maker of the SAT, and they have put their entire SAT prep book online – totally free of charge.  The Study Guide tells you about the history and format of the test, gives you test strategies and provides a comprehensive breakdown of each subject.  It basically has everything but a side of fries. 

They also have 8 practice SATs on their website, which you can — and should — download, print out and use to help you prepare for your test.  Try to mimic the real-world test conditions as closely as possible, and take one practice test every few weeks to measure your progress.  That way, you’ll know what to expect and feel more confident heading into test day. 

2. Khan Academy SAT Practice

Several years ago, Khan Academy partnered with College Board to create a free SAT prep course, complete with videos, lessons and practice questions just like the ones you’ll see on the SAT.  They cover everything from the content itself to study tips and test taking strategies.  

If you have recent scores from a diagnostic or actual SAT, or even the PSAT, you can upload them and get a study plan customized to you.  Practice on Khan Academy is best done in conjunction with SAT practice tests so you can monitor your progress as you go.

3. Free SAT Prep Guide from Test Geek 

If you’re easily overwhelmed by all the SAT prep resources out there, I’d highly recommend starting with this guide . . . from us!  This one-pager is your one-stop shop for free SAT prep.

In this study guide, we provide overviews of each subject and the best strategies to tackle them.  Plus, we field some FAQs and cover the top concepts you need to know to succeed on the test.  If you’re looking for an easily-digestible resource to swiftly take your SAT score to the next level, look no further!

4. Quizlet

Quizlet is a wonderful study resource in general, and it has powerful applications for SAT prep as well. The primary way students use Quizlet is for making notecards, and that will definitely come in handy for your prep process.  You can make flashcards for math formulas you’ll want to have memorized, test-taking tips you want to keep fresh and common SAT vocabulary words (affect vs. effect, anyone?).

I highly recommend their (also free) app for on-the-go studying! 

Best specific study resources

1. Cheat sheet for SAT math

One reason many students struggle with SAT math is because there is so much material to keep up with.  But once you’ve brushed up on all those old concepts, an excellent way to keep them all fresh in your mind is to review an SAT math cheat sheet.  Once every week or two, before a practice test or even a day or two before your actual SAT, you can quickly look it over to make sure you remember everything.

IvyGlobal has a wonderful free resource for SAT math.  It is organized by subtopic, and it functions well as an “at a glance” document.  You can also always create your own cheat sheet for extra review!

2. Read Speeder   

If you constantly struggle to finish the Reading section on time, even after attempting various strategies to speed up, you might want to consider a program designed to help increase your reading speed.  Of the many speed reading programs out there, few are budget-friendly options. Thankfully, Read Speeder is about as budget-friendly as it gets . . . because it’s free.

Read Speeder trains your eyes to look at groups of words, chunking them together into concepts, rather than reading one word at a time.  It claims you can double your reading speed (while increasing comprehension) in as little as 12 days.  And hey, if it doesn’t work for you, at least it was free!

Resources to level-up your study space

SAT prep resources are great, but what good are they if your study environment is suboptimal?  Where you study matters.  An ideal SAT prep location would be one that reduces distractions — especially because distractions not only increase the amount of time it takes to complete tasks, but they also lower the quality of your work. 

A library or a quiet corner of your house would be best, but sometimes we have to make do with what we have.  Thankfully, there are ways you can still set the tone for a productive study session — you guessed it — for free. 

1. White noise 

If you have to study at home but have loud pets, siblings or neighbors, you need to be using white noise during your prep sessions.  White noise does an excellent job of drowning out all other sounds, enabling you to deeply focus and get your work done

Youtube has a 10 hour video called “White Noise Black Screen”, which also doubles as an amazing sleep aid (hey, getting enough sleep is important for studying, too).  Pop in some headphones, tune out the real world and focus in… or fall asleep.  User discretion is advised. 

2. Music (with no words)

But maybe you don’t need to completely block out any and all outside noise; maybe you just want to make studying a little less . . . bland.  Try putting on some music!  Music is helpful for SAT prep because it can keep you motivated and put you in a better mood, and it can even increase your concentration and memory recall.  That’s, like, a win-win-win-win. 

But before you rush over to Spotify to get lost in Billie Eilish’s new album (sorry, Billie), you should know that the best study music is music with no lyrics.  Research suggests that while studying, our brains are less distracted when we listen to music without words. 

My personal favorite study music genres include classical music and famous movie scores, but you could try lo-fi beats, acoustic guitar, instrumental jazz or cello covers of popular songs.  Sign up for a free three-month trial on Spotify or find an ad-free playlist on YouTube. 

Free time management tools

So now you have resources showing you what to study and how to improve your study space . . . next, assuming you know how much time to devote to your SAT prep plan, you’ll need some tools to boost your time management skills. 

1. Google Calendar 

Google Calendar is a wonderful resource, and you should consider using it for more than just SAT prep.  It has several features that will make your life as a student (and burgeoning SAT expert) so much easier.

First, you can share your calendar with other people . . . which, let’s be honest, really means you can share your calendar with your mom.  But that also means your mom can share her calendar with you, so you can schedule your SAT prep around pre-planned family events.  You can also share your SAT study calendar with your friends so they’ll know exactly when you’ll be busy. 

There are many other features that make Google Calendar a great SAT prep resource, like the ability to add a to-do list directly into your agenda.  You can use this tool to plan out your study schedule so you know exactly what to do during each prep session.  You can also add attachments to your calendar events (like practice tests for you to print out), sync Google Calendar with your iPhone, set recurring events and create reminders. 

2. Pomodoro timer online

If you struggle to stay focused during your study sessions, you may benefit from the Pomodoro technique.  This technique is a time management method which consists of 25 minutes of work followed by five minutes of rest.  Once you’ve done three cycles, you take a longer, 20- to 30-minute break. 

The Pomodoro technique can be helpful for your productivity for a couple of reasons.  First, it forces you to take breaks.  Have you ever tried to force yourself to study for hours on end, only to realize you’ve been reading the same sentence over and over?  Building in breaks to your study time will help you feel refreshed so you can actually absorb the SAT content you want to learn. 

Second, they may also help you increase focus and willpower because you know you only have a set amount of time until your next break.  When you know a break is coming, you’ll be more willing to dig in and concentrate.  Less time spent staring into the void, more time getting stuff done.  What’s not to love?

There are several free Pomodoro timers out there, but I’m partial to Tomato Timers.  This site lets you create custom timers, so if you find that 25 minutes is too short for you to accomplish much, you could set it for 35 or 45 minutes — especially if you’re doing a practice SAT section in your study session.  Just remember to take a slightly longer break afterward! 

There are also very cute tomato graphics, which is a big plus. 

3. Screen limits on your smartphone

Did you know that every time you experience a digital distraction, it will take you, on average, 23 minutes to get back on task

Luckily, smartphones have features that can help manage distractions.  Your iPhone enables you to set time limits on websites and apps (both individual apps and categories of apps, like Social or Games).  You’ll get a notification once you’ve hit your limit for the day. 

You can also set “Downtime”, which is scheduled time away from the screen.  You can further customize what apps you can access or who you can communicate with during your downtime.  To set these time limits, go to Settings → Screen Time. 

Androids have a similar feature where you can set timers for specific apps (go to Settings → Digital Wellbeing & parent controls).  Once you’ve hit your daily limit, the app will close. 

Before you set your limits, take a look at how much time, on average, you spend on your phone every day.  Now ask yourself how much time you can really afford to spend on your phone every day.  I’d recommend aiming for less than 90 minutes on games, entertainment and social media apps.  If that’s too much of a shock to your system, you can stair-step your usage down over the course of a couple of weeks. 

If you’re like most students, this is likely an area you can do yourself a huge service.  Whether by reducing interruptions that distract you from your SAT prep or by forcefully pulling you back from the edge of a TikTok-binge abyss, the ability to set screen limits is a free resource you should take full advantage of. 

Resources for managing test anxiety

Many students struggle with test-related stress and anxiety.  While not unusual, managing this stress is crucial to your success on the SAT. 

Higher levels of stress have been associated with diminished test performance.  The National Bureau of Economic Research found that fluctuations in cortisol (the stress hormone) the week of a high-stakes test correlated with a decrease in test scores — the equivalent of an 80-point drop on the SAT.  With those kinds of points on the line, it’s crucial to get your stress in check. 

Not to make you anxious about being anxious!

Thankfully, for most students, there are plenty of ways to manage test anxiety.  If you suffer from chronic anxiety or severe test-related stress, however, it’s best to speak with a professional.

1. Test Anxiety Guide for the SAT and ACT 

Brian Stewart, author of the Barron’s SAT, PSAT and ACT series, put together a document with everything you need to know about test anxiety.  This free resource explains the most likely causes of your anxiety, explains how it is impacting your test performance and gives you practical tips on how to reassure yourself before test day. 

2. Headspace

Headspace is an app that promotes mental wellbeing through meditation and mindfulness.  With tools specifically targeting test anxiety, it’s a wonderful resource for SAT prep.  It has meditations to increase your focus, help you step away when it’s time to take a break and put you in the right frame of mind before your big test. 

While not technically free, it does offer a free, 14-day trial.  If you try it and see results, it may be worth the $13/month (billed monthly) or $6/month (billed annually) to spring for the subscription. 

But whether you use Headspace or a different program (or you just want to try meditating alone in your room at home), meditation will likely benefit you if you’re having symptoms of test anxiety.  Studies support the link between meditation and lower levels of catecholamines, your “fight or flight” hormones, as well as lower levels of cortisol.

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to manage stress and anxiety: exercise, spending time outdoors, laughter, getting enough sleep and my personal favorite, eating dark chocolate.  The important thing is that you find a stress-management technique that works for you.  If you don’t find relief from any of these methods, however, consider speaking with your school counselor or another mental health professional. 


The SAT isn’t perfect, and barriers of access still exist.  But with these free prep resources, hopefully you’ll find yourself a few steps closer to reaching your target score — regardless of your financial background.  Now all that’s left is for you to create a study plan and commit to it.

Katherine Webster
Katherine was a Program Advisor at Test Geek. She loves acting and singing and making your dreams come true.

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