The College Board’s official SAT tests are the ultimate gold standard for SAT practice questions. Each official practice exam comprises questions that were administered to real students during past SAT administrations.
In this article, I’ll show you where to find all the official SAT practice tests online. More practice tests are available in this thorough guide than in any other resource. The majority of these tests are free and provide excellent practice for your SAT preparation. We’ll also go over how to make the most of these practice tests so you may improve as much as possible.
Table of Contents
- 1 UPDATE: College Board Ends the SAT Essay
- 2 A Quick Intro to SAT Practice Tests
- 3 All Free SAT Practice Tests (2016 and Later, Out of 1600)
- 4 Free SAT Practice Tests, Old Format (Pre-2016, Out of 2400)
- 5 Free SAT Practice Tests, Very Old Format (Pre-2005, Out of 1600)
- 6 3 Additional Resources for Official SAT Practice
- 7 How to Use Official SAT Tests Effectively: 5 Key Tips
- 8 Related
UPDATE: College Board Ends the SAT Essay
The College Board declared in January 2021 that the SAT Essay would no longer be available after the June 2021 exam date. The essay was formerly an optional portion of the SAT, and many students already elected not to take it. Taking the SAT Essay, on the other hand, will no longer be an option. Only on a SAT School Day is it possible to take the SAT Essay. Even in these circumstances, your school must choose whether or not to include the essay, which we think many will not.
Official practice SATs still include an essay because this is such a fresh decision. The good news is that you don’t have to be concerned. If you come across any practice SAT Essays, skip them and concentrate on the remaining areas of the exam (Math, Reading, and Writing and Language).
A Quick Intro to SAT Practice Tests
I’ve divided the sources of SAT practice tests into a few categories based on what version of the SAT the tests follow. There are three basic versions:
- SAT (2016 to present, out of 1600)
- Old SAT (pre-2016, out of 2400)
- Very old SAT (pre-2005, out of 1600)
All free tests are released publicly by the College Board and made available for download without copyright concerns.
Tests based on the current SAT are by far the best to use for SAT practice since they’re exactly like the SAT. While you can still use old SAT practice tests, it’s important to be aware of out-of-date question types, scoring systems, and sections.
All Free SAT Practice Tests (2016 and Later, Out of 1600)
Free SAT Practice Tests, Old Format (Pre-2016, Out of 2400)
These exams use the same 2400-point format as the SAT, with distinct sections for Reading, Math, and Writing. The last time this test was given was in January of 2016.
These tests are good for studying even for the current SAT. However, keep in mind the fundamental differences between the old and new SAT. The following is how you should use these older practice tests:
- Be aware that the structure and timing are not the same. The new SAT contains only four sections and does not skip courses like the old SAT.
- The SAT reading section is substantially comparable to the old SAT reading section. Reading passages and questions are all excellent to practice with in these vintage SAT practice tests.
- The SAT writing section examines identical grammar skills, but in a distinct passage-based manner. You can utilize these past SAT tests to practice key SAT grammar rules, but be aware that questions based on isolated sentences will no longer be available.
- The SAT’s math section is similar in format, but it now stresses algebra over geometry. Use these historical examinations for math practice, but be sure to concentrate on the skills tested on the current SAT.
All of the other years are repeats of these tests, including 2011-12, 2010-11, 2009-10, 2008-09, 2006-07, and 2005-06. You might find these on other forums or websites. Don’t waste time taking these tests, as they’re the same tests as the four above.
Free SAT Practice Tests, Very Old Format (Pre-2005, Out of 1600)
The last time the SAT changed was in 2005, prior to the new SAT in 2016. This was when I took it and got a perfect score on the SAT.
The following links lead to a hidden gold mine of past tests that few students are aware of, giving you a significant advantage over current students if you take them.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind before taking these tests:
- On the Reading portions, skip the analogy questions. The questions that start with “CAR: ENGINE::” are these. This question type will no longer appear on the SAT, so don’t waste your time on it. Nonetheless, the passage questions are still really beneficial.
- On the Math portions, skip the comparison questions. These are the ones where you are presented with two boxes and are asked to determine whether A or B is greater. It’s pointless to practice this question type because it’s no longer on the SAT.
- These tests do not have any writing sections. As a result, you won’t acquire the necessary grammar and English practice for the Writing and Language component of the SAT.
Thank your lucky stars you didn’t have to do some of these old-style questions—analogies were the main reason the SAT earned a terrible reputation for forcing students to memorize jargon!
Official SAT Test 2002: Questions + Answers
Official SAT Test 2001: Questions + Answers
3 Additional Resources for Official SAT Practice
We’ve given you all official SAT practice tests above, but is there anything else you can use for quality SAT practice? Each of the following resources contains more official, quality SAT practice.
On top of full-length practice tests, the College Board website offers a decent number of sample SAT questions for the Reading, Writing, and Math sections. While some of these questions appear on official practice tests, not all do. Thus, I highly recommend using this resource for extra SAT practice.
In total, you’ll get the following number of questions for each section:
- Reading: 24 questions (with two reading passages)
- Writing: 22 questions (with two reading passages)
- Math: 30 calculator-permitted questions, 18 no-calculator questions
The College Board has partnered with Khan Academy to offer free and official online SAT prep to test takers.
Although the website doesn’t offer a comprehensive prep program or any new practice tests (all of the tests here are those on the College Board website), it does offer a lot of extra, high-quality SAT practice questions not available elsewhere.
Khan Academy’s best feature is its tutorial videos, which teach you step by step how to solve and approach specific SAT question types, from Math questions dealing with linear functions to Writing questions focused on parallel structure.
This is not the newest version of the book available, but the 2nd edition of the official SAT prep book contains 10 old-format SAT practice tests not available online, and it’s helpful if you’re looking for a massive source of practice material.
That being said, remember that the format used here differs considerably from the current version of the SAT. Therefore, I recommend using these practice questions in isolation instead of taking the tests in full. As you go through the book, pinpoint the questions most like those on the current SAT, and then drill them for extra practice.
How to Use Official SAT Tests Effectively: 5 Key Tips
1: Stick to a strict timetable for each section.
On the SAT, most students struggle with time constraints. Adding two minutes to the time limit on a section can impact your score by hundreds of points. So don’t kid yourself about your abilities; the purpose of practice examinations is to expose your flaws.
Here are the stated time limitations for each section, as well as an estimate of how long you should spend on each question:
|SAT Section||Time||# of Questions||Time per Question|
|Reading||65 minutes||52||75 seconds|
|Writing and Language||35 minutes||44||48 seconds|
|Math No Calculator||25 minutes||20||75 seconds|
|Math Calculator||55 minutes||38||87 seconds|
2: Complete the exam in one sitting.
The SAT is a three-hour marathon that takes place on a Saturday morning. Hundreds of students have told me how tough it is to stay focused and avoid making sloppy mistakes at the end of a test. You must ensure that you have enough endurance for the SAT, just as you would for a marathon, which is why it is critical to complete each SAT practice exam in one session.
If you can’t complete a practice test in one sitting, it’s fine to spread it out over a few days. Ideally, you’ll divide the test so that you don’t have to stop and start in the middle of any portions.
In the end, doing some practice is preferable to doing none at all. Just keep track of your time in each section.
3: Go over your answers again.
It’s not just about answering a lot of questions on practice tests; it’s also about learning from your blunders.
Spend time on each test going through your mistakes as well as the questions you answered well. If you’re unsure why you missed a question, don’t ignore it! This prevents you from identifying and attacking your weaknesses. As a result, you’ll find yourself repeating the same mistakes, lowering your overall score.
In other words, prioritize the quality of your research over the quantity. I’d rather you take three practice tests with extensive feedback than six practice tests with no feedback.
4: Take at least four practice tests before the actual test.
I’ve found that taking this many tests gets you incredibly familiar with the SAT in all aspects—timing, endurance, stress, and so on—based on my experience with thousands of kids. You can certainly take more tests if you want to, but make sure to balance this with focused preparation for your deficiencies so that you can develop more quickly.
5: Is There No Way to Improve Your Score? Obtain Additional Preparation Assistance
Some students can learn flawlessly on their own by taking practice tests—they’ll notice a mistake they made and immediately understand why they made it, allowing them to avoid it in the future. Most students, on the other hand, require further assistance in identifying their deficiencies and learning the necessary skills and methods to succeed on the SAT.
Tutors, prep programs, and classes are all good options for extra help. To do well on the SAT, you’ll need to figure out what kind of help suits your learning style best (as well as your budget).
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