Preparing students for the SAT with Khan Academy
This blog post is authored by TXOC Leader Fellow Holly Moore. Apply for the next session of the TXOC Leader Fellowship by Apr 1.
When bluebonnets carpet Texas roadsides, it's time for many juniors to make plans to take the SAT. Given the impact an SAT score can have on admission decisions and scholarships, we want to ensure that students are as ready as possible when test day comes.
Test-prep options can be overwhelming. Should I buy a test-prep book, take a class, or hire a tutor? Can I afford a prep class?
Luckily, students now have another option. And it’s totally free! I realize I sound like an advertisement, but that’s because I really enjoy using this tool with my own students.
Khan Academy and the College Board have partnered to create SAT prep that students can access on a laptop or phone, any time, any place. SAT prep with Khan Academy is also personalized for each student by linking their PSAT scores with Khan Academy. The personalized online practice complements instruction students receive in the classroom.
Khan Academy recently announced that students who spent 20 hours using their free Official SAT Practice gained an average of 115 points. A score increase like that can make a difference when applying to college.
Even students who put off preparing and don’t have 20 hours to dedicate can exhale. Khan has found that students who studied for just 6 hours have seen score increases of 90 points.
How can a student make good use of that 6–20 hours of test prep using Khan Academy?
Start by linking your College Board account to Khan Academy.
Khan will recommend, based on your practice schedule, how often you should practice and how many full-length tests to take based on how much time you have until you test.
Take at least two full-length practice tests: one before you start your study plan and another after you’ve put in 6–20 hours of study to see your progress.
Take at least one practice test on paper (you can print it from Khan Academy). That’s how the actual SAT is administered, so you want to become comfortable with the format.
Become familiar with the instructions for each test section. The sequence of sections and the directions are the same for every SAT test. This does not mean that each test booklet on test day will be the same.
Make the night before the SAT a prep-free night. A fun, relaxing evening and a good night’s sleep are just as important as test prep.
I like to remind my students that they wouldn’t show up at the DMV to take their driving test without getting a learner license and practicing parallel parking a few times. The same concept applies to the SAT, and Khan Academy is a great free resource to help students prepare for test day. For more information, visit Khan Academy’s Frequently Asked Questions about the Official SAT® Practice page.