Whether you’re building your own SAT prep program or just supplementing a class, finding SAT practice tests and questions can pose a serious challenge. This article will go through every type of practice SAT test, how to best use them, and, most importantly, where to find them.
What You Need SAT Practice Tests For
Before we get into the many different sources of SAT practice tests, let’s talk about why you need a deep well of practice material to draw from and the different ways you’ll use these resources.
Real Practice Tests
A key part of SAT prep is taking full-length practice tests in realistic conditions. Since you want to mimic the SAT experience as closely as possible, you’ll need to use real SATs. Using official tests for SAT practice questions also gives you a better prediction of your score and can help you determine what areas you need to focus on.
You’ll want to use at least three tests for this purpose and make sure they’re the most current version of the SAT (from 2016 onward).
Official SAT questions have their own style and logic, which other test writers aren’t always great at imitating. Unsurprisingly, then, the best way to understand the SAT is to study with actual SATs.
As part of your test prep, spend some time looking really closely at official SAT questions and thinking about what they’re asking and how each question is constructed. The more familiar you become with the unique structure and language of SAT questions, the less daunting the test will seem.
The final type of SAT prep is practicing with the various types of test questions to hone your section-specific strategies and grasp of the content. Subject-targeted practice will also ensure that you know how to employ your math and grammar knowledge effectively to answer SAT-style questions.
Though official SAT questions are the ideal materials for this type of practice, it's less important that you focus exclusively on real SAT questions. Using unofficial materials to practice general strategies will help you save official SATs to use as full practice tests.
Now that you know what you'll need SAT practice tests for, let's go through the different places you can find each type of them—starting with official College Board tests.
Instead of a map of the world, you need a map of SAT practice tests.
Where to Find Current and Old Official SATs
As I described above, there are a number of types of practice that you should only use official SAT questions for. As such, they’re the most valuable type of SAT prep material and you’ll want to build up as large of a collection as possible.
I’ve divided these tests up by which version of the SAT they are:
- Current (2016 and onward)
- Old 2400-scale format (2005-2016)
- Very old format (pre-2005)
You’ll want to focus mostly on the current tests, but the other versions can still provide helpful extra practice. For more info on how to get the most out of older SAT practice tests, check out our complete guide to old SATs.
Most of these materials are free, but I've included the best materials for sale as well. After all, spending $10-$20 dollars on great practice tests can be well worth the investment!
Current SAT Practice Tests
Below are all the official practice SATs for the current version of the exam.
10 Official Free Practice Tests
The College Board has released 10 practice SATs for the current version of the test. You can download them below or take them online at Khan Academy (see next section for more details):
- Practice Test 1: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations | Essay
- Practice Test 2: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations | Essay
- Practice Test 3: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations | Essay
- Practice Test 4: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations | Essay
- Practice Test 5: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations | Essay
- Practice Test 6: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations | Essay
- Practice Test 7: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations | Essay
- Practice Test 8: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations | Essay
- Practice Test 9: Questions | Answers| Answer Explanations | Essay
- Practice Test 10: Questions | Answers| Answer Explanations | Essay
Unfortunately, the practice tests in The Official SAT Study Guide, 2020 Edition are the same as those above (except that the book doesn't include practice tests 2 and 4), so these are really all you have in the way of full official new SATs. Plan accordingly!
Official SAT Prep at Khan Academy
There are a bunch of official SAT practice questions available as part of Khan Academy’s free SAT prep. You’ll need to sign up for an account to access these resources, but it's completely free and tracks your progress over time.
The lessons and practice questions are all divided by type, so they're very helpful for more targeted studying. While the strategies and suggestions aren’t super useful for the Reading and Writing sections, there’s a lot of Math content if you want to brush up on any concepts you might have missed or forgotten. You can see a sample question below:
Practice Questions on the SAT Website
Finally, there are some extra practice questions available on the College Board website:
- 24 Reading questions with two passages
- 22 Writing and Language questions with two passages
- 30 Math Calculator questions
- 18 Math No Calculator questions
Keep in mind that some of these questions also appear in The Official SAT Study Guide.
Although the 2016 overhaul involved big changes to the format of the test, previous versions of the SAT can still provide you with helpful study material.
Free Full Practice Tests
There are four older practice tests you can download for free:
- SAT Practice Test (2013-2014) Questions | Answers
- SAT Practice Test (2012-2013) Questions | Answers
- SAT Practice Test (2007-2008) Questions | Answers
- SAT Practice Test (2004-2005) Questions | Answers
Unfortunately, these tests don't have explanations for the answers, so you'll have to figure out why the correct answer is correct on your own or ask a friend, family member, or tutor for help.
If you really run out of practice materials, you can turn to the pre-2005 SATs:
- SAT Practice Test (2004-2005) Questions | Answers
- SAT Practice Test (2003-2004) Questions | Answers
- SAT Practice Test (2002) Questions + Answers
- SAT Practice Test (2001) Questions + Answers
You’ll notice some question types that no longer exist on the SAT, so make sure that you know which questions to use and which to ignore.
The Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd Edition
This official book offers 10 more full official old SATs and can be worth buying if you're studying aggressively and need some extra practice tests. Just remember that they are all in the old format, so there will be some irrelevant content and question formats. You can usually get this prep book for around $10-$20 on Amazon.
Other Resources for Official SAT Practice Tests
You might also be able to find official SATs through unofficial channels. Try searching for "old SAT practice test" or a similar phrase on Google and clicking through the results. If you're lucky, you might find some PDFs of previously administered SATs (though they'll likely use the old test format). Be aware that there's no guarantee these are real SATs.
One helpful website you can use for this purpose is CrackSAT.net. They offer a huge collection of (what they claim to be) official SATs and practice questions. While the website can be tricky to navigate, it's definitely worth looking at if you want more realistic-looking SAT questions to practice with.
X marks the spot—where you can find SAT practice tests.
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Where to Find (and How to Use) Unofficial SATs
Sadly, there aren’t a ton of official SAT practice tests available, so if you’re planning 40+ hours of studying, you’ll probably need some supplementary materials. Note that practice materials not sanctioned by the College Board can vary wildly in quality: some are very similar to the actual SAT, whereas others don’t even share the same basic structure as the test!
I've collected the most helpful resources and provided some suggestions on how to get the most out of them in your SAT prep. This list is extensive but not exhaustive—there are a lot of SAT books and tests out there. Be aware, however, that many of them aren’t very high quality, so use your judgment when deciding whether to incorporate something you find into your prep.
Unofficial SAT Prep Books
SAT prep books are a good alternative for extra content review and practice. Their questions aren’t always quite right—for example, they might cover material you don’t really need to know or are easier or harder than those on the real SAT—but prep books can be a great resource for both reviewing concepts and trying out different strategies.
I've provided some suggestions for general SAT prep books below. These each cost between $10 and $20, but you might be able to find them for free at your local or school library. Just make sure that they aren't written in before you check them out. Also, note that many of the best SAT books cover only one subject, so buying books can get expensive quickly.
Best Book for High Scorers: Barron’s SAT, 29th Edition
Barron’s SAT, 29th Edition has a lot of in-depth study material that's particularly helpful for high scorers looking to fine-tune their test-taking strategies and ensure that they know every concept that might appear on the test.
That said, the questions (especially those for Reading) tend to be much more difficult than those on the actual SAT, so this prep book isn't a good choice for students who get easily frustrated.
You'll get a total of five full-length practice tests (including one diagnostic test) with this book.
Best Book for Low Scorers: Kaplan's SAT Prep Plus 2020
Kaplan's SAT Prep Plus 2020, as well as its other SAT prep books, are better for students who need a basic foundation on what to expect on the test and how to approach it. The questions skew easier, so it doesn't provide great preparation for the more challenging aspects of the exam.
This book is a good place to start if you have a low baseline score and want to increase it by a lot, since it will let you save official tests and more challenging practice for later in the process.
This book offers five full-length SAT practice tests (two in the book and three online).
Free Online Practice SATs from Test-Prep Companies
Since these tests are free, they’re often (though not always) of a lower quality than the tests in books. If you really need more free practice materials, stick to using these for untimed content review and don’t worry if something seems weird or unusual.
If you’re a high SAT scorer, trying to figure out how the test is different from an official SAT can be a good exercise and will help you understand exactly what makes the real thing tick.
Ivy Global offers two free SAT practice tests, which are pretty decent in terms of quality. As you can see in the example below, both tests mimic the style of the official test very closely. Given the scarcity of materials for the current version of the SAT, these practice test PDFs could be a helpful addition to your prep—as long as you keep in mind that neither are official resources.
This website has a large selection of SAT practice questions divided by type. They're in the same basic styles as old SAT questions, though the online format is less streamlined than that of the College Board or Khan Academy websites. You can see an example below:
These SAT questions are best used sparingly—to test knowledge of math and grammar content and to practice general strategies (such as plugging in answers or numbers). Keep in mind that they might contain some errors.
The format on these SAT practice questions isn’t especially accurate, and they sometimes ask about concepts that aren’t tested on the SAT. I generally wouldn’t recommend using them, but you can if you really want more questions to help test your general SAT knowledge. Here's an example of a question:
Other Free Unofficial SAT Practice Tests
Big test-prep companies, such as The Princeton Review and Kaplan, often offer a free practice test if you register for an account on their website. Sometimes you can even sign up to take the practice SAT at one of their test centers.
As always, keep in mind that the quality of the practice SAT will vary wildly, and the company might aggressively pitch you their services.
You'll probably end up using a mix of books and online resources for your SAT prep.
Making an SAT Study Plan: 3 Essential Tips
Now that you know where to start compiling the materials you'll need to prepare for the SAT, let's discuss how best to use these resources in a study plan. For more details on how to plan your SAT prep, check out our guide on how to build a prep plan that fits your schedule.
#1: Find Your SAT Baseline Score
Make sure to take a real SAT to determine your baseline score—unofficial diagnostic tests won’t give you a realistic sense of what the SAT is like or what your actual strengths and weaknesses are. Take the test in a quiet room without any distractions, and be sure to follow the official time limits.
#2: Practice Skills and Review Content With Supplementary Materials
Because there’s a limited number of official SATs available, you should supplement these tests with practice materials focused on specific subjects or question styles, including the official questions on Khan Academy and the SAT website, as well as those from unofficial sources.
Making strategic use of these materials will allow you to try out new strategies and drill specific skills without having to worry about how many full official tests you have left.
#3: Focus On Using Official SATs as Full-Length Practice Tests
Again, because your supply of official SATs is limited, you want to use them judiciously. Don’t waste these tests by taking them in bits and pieces or while you’re distracted or stressed out.
Instead, use most of the official SAT practice tests as full-length practice tests under real testing conditions: timed, all in one sitting, in a quiet room, etc. Once you’ve taken a test, take time to carefully go over the questions you missed and the ones you guessed on, analyzing why you got each one wrong and how the question is actually solved.
Remember to also save one or two official SATs for the end of your prep schedule!
Taking an SAT practice test is only the first step—you also need to go over your answers. Make sure that you know the best way to review your mistakes.
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Alex is an experienced tutor and writer. Over the past five years, she has worked with almost a hundred students and written about pop culture for a wide range of publications. She graduated with honors from University of Chicago, receiving a BA in English and Anthropology, and then went on to earn an MA at NYU in Cultural Reporting and Criticism. In high school, she was a National Merit Scholar, took 12 AP tests and scored 99 percentile scores on the SAT and ACT.