11 Free and Low-Cost Prep Tools for PSAT, SAT, ACT & Subject Tests

College test-prep anxiety has caused many parents and students to wonder if solid preparation is possible without paying up for expensive tutors and classes. For self-motivated students, the answer is “yes”.

Here are eleven free and low-cost web prep tools, resources and study guides to help prepare for the college entrance exams.

  1. Sign up to receive a free daily Official SAT Question of the Day from The College Board. (http://sat.collegeboard.com/practice/sat-question-of-the-day). You’ll also find links to practice questions and tips for the Reading, Math and Writing sections, as well as a full-length practice test – all for free.
  2. MajorTests.com (http://www.majortests.com/sat) offers a free self-study SAT preparation program complete with vocabulary word lists, practice questions for math, writing and critical reading along with an eight-week guided study plan.
  3. Brightstorm’s Online Learning Network, includes low-cost video-based test prep with teaching videos in short, personalized formats as well as practice tests, downloadable materials and comprehensive study guides. More information is available at Brightstorm SAT Test Prep and Brightstorm ACT Test Prep.
  4. Number2.com (http://www.number2.com), a popular free web test prep resource that provides students with ACT or SAT questions and tracks their progress. The site includes a feature that allows parents to monitor their student’s efforts and improvement.
  5. Vocabulary is an important component of the SAT. Students can build their vocabulary while helping to fight hunger at FreeRice.com (http://www.freerice.com). When vocabulary questions are answered correctly, the site’s sponsors donate to the United Nation’s World Food Program.
  6. Spark Notes (http://www.sparknotes.com/testprep) provides lists of common SAT words along with free diagnostics, practice tests and flashcards. You’ll find a myriad of free test prep resources for the SAT, ACT and Subject Tests.
  7. For those seeking math and physics assistance, Erik Jacobsen, Ph.D. (Erik the Red) a New Jersey tutor (http://erikthered.com/tutor), shares “must know” facts, formulas and strategies on his free web site.
  8. INeedAPencil.com (http://www.ineedapencil.com), is a free, comprehensive online SAT prep program that provides dozens of lessons, hundreds of practice questions, and practice exams.
  9.  ACT Student Test Prep (http://www.actstudent.org/testprep) provides both free and inexpensive ways to prepare for the ACT including three retired exams, diagnostics, content review, practice questions and test-taking tips covering all four subjects: Math, Reading, Science and English. There is also a special page with tips for the optional essay section.
  10. Strong reading comprehension skills will help you succeed in college and on the entrance exams. This ability is best developed over time by reading challenging books, as well as articles from publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Economist. The New York Times Learning Network (http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com) offers a wealth of free tools from Word of the Day to article comprehension quizzes based on recent New York Times content.
  11. Looking for an excellent list of SAT words?  You can find more than 250 common SAT words along with concise definitions and sentence usage on The Berkeley Parents Network (http://parents.berkeley.edu/current/sat_words.html)

Test prep books (along with study and practice) can help you significantly improve your scores. Listed below are some InLikeMe.com favorites available at Amazon.com:
PSAT

ACT

SAT

SAT Subject Tests

2010 SAT ACT Prep Resources

Compiled and Written by: Lynn Radlauer Lubell, Publisher of InLikeMe.com and Founder of Admission By Design (lynn@admissionbydesign.com), an Educational Consultancy based in Boca Raton, Florida.

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