Studying for the SAT for Free

While you can’t take the SAT in the summer, this time of the year is a great time to study for the test when there are fewer distractions. Perhaps that’s why I am getting more questions about SAT and ACT prep. Consequently, I’m devoting today’s post to test prep. I have these two goals:

No. 1: I want to emphasize that you do not have to pay a fortune for SAT or ACT test prep. The key to any of the method of studying is to actually do the work. Enrolling teenagers in a $2,000 or $3,000 program isn’t going to work if they aren’t motivate enough to study. Just using the resources that the College Board makes available for free and/or for a incredibly cheap price, can be all a kid needs.

No. 2: I want to share some great test-prep blogs that can help prepare your children for these big tests and they are absolutely free. Just as importantly, I want to solicit ideas from you about other free or cheap online test-prep sources that you’d like to share.

Free SAT Resources

Here are some test-prep sites that I particularly like. I know there are many more out there, but here’s a start:


Earlier this year I read rave reviews about this test-prep blog on a college-related LinkedIn group. A New York math tutor name Mike McClenathan, who scored a perfect SAT score, and attended Brown University, created the site. Concerned about the high cost of test prep, McClenathan started the blog in 2011 and regularly contributes tons of SAT advice — particularly on the math section – to his site. He shares drills, explains concepts and techniques and answers visitors test-prep questions.

If you don’t want to slog through his blog for all his math advice, you can buy his book, that complies a lot of it in one place. Here it is: PWN the SAT:  Math Guide. On Amazon, all the reviews have been five stars.

Perfect Score Project

It’s hard to believe that a mom would want to do this, but the goal of the mother who created this fantastic test-prep blog was to ace the SAT. That’s right – earn a perfect score. Debbie  took it seven times in one year. You can see all her SAT scores here, but what makes her site so valuable is the advice she gives teenagers (or parents) about how they can score well on the SAT. One of my favorite bits of advice is her following post, where she explains how a teenager can study for the SAT for under $250: SAT Prep on a Budget

The Critical Reader

The Critical Reader is the site of Erica Meltzer, another New York test-prep tutor who provides a great deal of free advice via her test-prep blog on the critical reading and writing portion of the SAT test. You’ll also find free study guides on her site. Including the Complete SAT Grammar Rules and the Complete ACT Punctuation Rules. She also offers free sentence completion and grammar questions for the SAT. If you crave more, you can order her book, The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar.

What Are Your Favorite Test-Prep Sites?

Have a favorite? Please share it with us. Just add your suggestions in the comment box below.

Learn More About the SAT and ACT:

SAT and ACT: Which Test is Better?

Sizing Up Your SAT and ACT Scores

Why You Can’t Take the SAT in the Summer

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of the newly released second edition of The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price.


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  1. Erica and PWN are Pros. And,I am forever amazed at the poor grammar written by people who claim to know about the SAT. Not you, Lynn.

  2. I just went to buy your book for a friend and discovered that the Kindle edition is free (at least right now). Both my friend and I have Kindles, so I saved money and we will both be able to read your book immediately. Oh happy day!

    1. Wow, I didn’t know the Kindle edition was free. What a deal! Kate if you like the book, I’d love it if you gave me a review on Amazon. Thanks.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

      1. I have read several chapters and love it so far. I also recommended it to a few friends and relatives. I will leave a review, I have followed your blog for a few years and it is now crunch time (I have a rising senior).

      2. Lynn, someone posted about a free Kindle version of The College Solution on the NACAC Daily Digest today. Another said the same was true for the Nook.

  3. Hi Lynn,

    A year ago I was up to my ears with PWN, Debbie, and Erica. All GREAT stuff!!

    The Payoff was a 2320 SAT and 229 PSAT.

    Now if only my daughter would consider schools outside the west coast and northeast so college would be financially doable (merit aid/non-profile)


    BTW — As I’m writing this, I’m staring at The College Solution 2nd Edition sitting next to me 😉

    1. Congratulations Dan! Very impressive scores. And I hope you enjoy the second edition of my book!

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy

  4. Hey Lynn, has a great free online test prep program. We purchase Method Test Prep for all our students at the school I am the college counselor at and I work pretty extensively with students in that program. They just purchased PrepMe which looks like a good program as well. These aren’t free programs per say but the students don’t pay for them because the school pays a flat fee for the year to give all their students free access and it’s worth it in my mind.

    Thanks for all your great advice,
    Trevor Creeden
    Director of College and Career Counseling
    Delaware County Christian School

    1. Thanks Trevor for the test-prep suggestion. is one site that I have definitely recommended. I like the feature where a parent can see how much or how little time their child has spent on the program, as well as their progress.

      Lynn O’Shaughnessy