Free Official SAT Practice Tests
January 29, 2019
There are a lot of crucial elements when it comes to a truly effective SAT study program. Not only do you want to seek the guidance of an experienced tutor or instructor, but a rigorous class of study—whether online or in-person—is important, as well. How else will you learn game-changing test day SAT strategies? It's hard to go it alone, especially with a test as important as this one. That's why planning your SAT course of study in advance to where you have more than enough time is key.
Another big factor that plays into student SAT success is practice exams. That's right—taking the test before "the test". This is recommended every few weeks throughout a class or course, preferably one that is supervised or proctored so you can get the real "SAT effect". Thankfully, there are official practice tests online—many that can bring about a lot of continued understanding and insight as you go along in your journey.
Let's take a look at the importance of SAT mock exams and where you can find the best free ones.
The Value of Practice Exams
It's hard to extol all the virtues of diagnostic SAT practice exams. First and foremost, they should be a staple in any rigorous course of study. While focusing on specific exercises and practice drills is of paramount importance for strategy building—to experience "the test day experience" is of great value, as well.
Mock SAT tests allow you to track your progress. How fun is it to see how far you've come from your beginning SAT practice days? This is important to see tangible growth, but it's also highly encouraging, as well. After all, anyone studying for the SAT wants to know that they are doing better on the SAT as every day goes by. Mock exams help make this a reality.
Second, practice tests facilitate a holistic SAT experience. What do we mean by that, exactly? Well, since the SAT happens over a hefty stretch of time, it's important to feel firsthand how those minutes and hours pass by as you focus on each testing area. While it may be a frustrating element of the SAT, there is a very real and visible ticking time clock, so practicing these exercises in a complete test under the constraint of time is crucial for success.
Finally, SAT diagnostic tests build your overall confidence. When you know what's ahead of you, you fear less what's ahead of you. That could not be more true for the understanding and insight you attain from incorporating these into your daily study practice.
Before delving into specific sites that offer official practice tests, let's review the SAT sections first so that we can have a better understanding of the test as a whole.
|SAT Section||Time||# of Questions||Time Per Question|
|Reading||65 minutes||52||75 seconds|
|Writing & Language||35 minutes||44||48 seconds|
|Math No Calculator||25 minutes||20||75 seconds|
|Math Calculator||55 minutes||38||87 seconds|
Official Test Links
While there may be websites promoting SAT practice tests, we are focused only on official practice tests, which we find far more credible and useful to determining projected scores.
First and foremost, the top place to seek official practice tests is the College Board, the makers and administrators of the SAT. The College Board website has 8 official practice tests that you can take at your own leisure. They also provide paper-based ones if you prefer to time yourself. We consider this the best form of contact for official practice tests since the College Board controls the SAT.
Manhattan Review also offers a free official SAT practice test, in addition to a question bank with a variety of free SAT practice questions. This test is also 100% free of charge, in addition to the ones the College Board supplies, so it's worth taking them up on the offer so that you can better identify your weaknesses and pinpoint your testing strengths.
If you're still in need of more paper-based tests, there is a final idea when it comes to working with official ones. There are four printable SAT exams available from before 2016, which is considered the "old" SAT. The new SAT is graded on a scale of 0 to 1600; the older one—before 2016—was done so to a total of 2400.
Even though these exams are older and based on a different point system, they are still very similar to the new SAT. Practice is practice, as they say. The links are below:
And if you're looking for even more practice and are willing to sit through even older tests, there are four additional printable practice SATS at the below links. However, please keep in mind that these are pre-2005 tests, making them several versions ago. For these exams, in particular, you can skip the analogies on Reading, the comparison questions on Math. Also, please note—there is no Writing section on the following four pre-2005 printable SAT exams. (The scoring scale for the pre-2005 practice tests are 0 to 1600.)
Tips for Taking a Diagnostic Exam
When taking diagnostic SAT tests, it's important to keep several important factors in mind. First, did you meet all of the time requirements? This is one of the major differences between practice drills and full-length tests. If you didn't meet the time requirements, did you take note of where you fell short? Knowing where these mistakes were made is the first way to remedy them.
Furthermore, asking yourself the following questions will help you further evaluate your own relationship to mock SAT tests:
- Did you get nervous?
- Did you get tired?
- Did you get hungry or excessively thirsty?
- Were you able to stay focused?
- Were you able to make use of your section breaks? Did you feel you had enough time to use the restroom or eat a snack?
- Was it easier or harder to apply strategies you learned in your studies to the practice exam?
Additional Official SAT Practice Material
While the focus of this article is on official SAT practice tests, if you're seeking further sample practice questions, the College Board does have an assortment with which to work. The following is a breakdown of what they have to offer in terms of official questions and drills:
- 24 Reading questions (two reading passages)
- 22 Writing questions (two reading passages)
- 30 Calculator Math questions; 10 No-Calculator Math questions
- 2 Essay prompts (16 sample essays)
In the end, only you know how many practice exams you have to take to feel comfortable on test day. Everyone is different; for some, taking all 8 that the College Board offers is the way to go—and for others, taking just one at the beginning of their studies and one at the end is sufficient. However you choose to proceed, it's important you realize the value and importance of mock exams, particularly when it comes to the SAT.
While much of SAT prep costs money, it's nice to know these free of charge SAT tests are available to any and all students. "The best things in life are free", right? Nice to know it can apply to practice SAT tests for ambitious students!