© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

SAT* Crash Course

SAT Prep by gurus who won't make you snooze, now in course form.

If time is of the essence and you need an SAT Test Prep Course that gives you all the review you need by your test date, then this is the course for you. Our SAT Crash Course throws you into the passenger seat and then goes fast and furious through everything you need to know so you can succeed on the SAT.

Here's what you get in your low-cost, low-stress, high-scoring SAT Crash Course: 

  • a step-by-step plan that shows you how to master every section: Reading, Writing, and Math
  • SAT essay prompts, examples, and tips for getting a perfect score
  • test-taking tricks and secrets to score on each section
  • hundreds of sample practice questions
  • video explanations of important concepts and sample problems
  • two complete, timed practice exams
  • an interactive virtual classroom interface where teachers or parents can see students' work and grades, communicate with students, and have their class discuss material and exchange tips through the discussion board.

Teacher Benefits

Are you an instructor looking to create a class that makes it easy to view students' progress and grade their practice drills, problems, and essays? Our SAT Test Prep course comes with a virtual classroom interface that helps you monitor their journey toward total SAT domination—er, preparation.

*SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and do not endorse, this product.

Course Breakdown

Unit 1. Reading

Get the best SAT reading strategies to improve your sentence completion, passage comprehension, and critical reading skills.

Unit 2. Writing

Identify your sentence errors, improve your sentences and paragraphs, and write the best possible SAT essay with our dozens of drills and examples.

Unit 3. Math

Master math with more practice problems than you’d ever thought possible for both multiple choice and student-produced responses.

Sample Lesson - Introduction

Lesson 1: Sentence Completion

"You Complete Me"

Oh, yeah, this? A cherry pie. Gotcha to read this caption, though, didn't it—vocabulary! See that? Sneaked it in there.


Sentence Completion, otherwise known as the neediest of all the reading sections, is always the first to appear, and it's a tough cookie to crumble. Armed with some sweet-talk and maybe a pie (mmm, cherry), you'll defeat it in no time. Along with the basic ingredients we discussed in the Introduction, the main cranial prowess you need to have at the ready is vocabulary, vocabulary, vocabulary. Miss that? Vocabulary. We cannot stress this enough: Making and memorizing flashcards with vocabulary words on the front and definitions on the back will help you dramatically in this section. It's one of the only parts of the SAT that you can truly prepare for in advance, so be sure to take advantage. Vocabulary. (Just for good measure.)

A Quick Note About Vocabulary

There are two main ways to cram vocabulary:

Learn whole words.

Learn roots and prefixes.

Name That Word

The first step in learning words is to study your vocabulary list and make your own flash cards, or, hey, use ours. When you're writing your hundred or so flash cards, keep in mind that you should make your definitions as specific and simple as possible so they will be easy to remember. Often, just writing down a couple of synonyms for the word will be sufficient.

If the word on the card is "supercilious" (which means "behaving or looking as if you feel you are superior to others"), you should just write "stuck-up" on your card. This way, you won't get bogged down in a long-winded definition and will be able to quickly recall the meaning of the word. Feel free to make songs about your words, like we do, or to record them and listen to them in the car, like a motivational speaker, but for vocabulary words instead of whatever this guy talks about.

Get Back To Your Roots (and Prefixes)

Knowing word roots is like getting the free airline upgrade. It usually doesn't take much effort, but the chairs and service are way better. What is a root, anyway? Well, if a word is a hamburger, the root is the meat: It is what gives a word its substance and meaning. For instance, the root "rrh" means "to flow." Think of "hemorrhoid" or "diarrhea." (It's gross, but you'll never forget this root now.)

Sometimes big words have two roots in them which, together, make up the meaning. The root "hemo/a" means "blood" (as in "hematoma" or "hemophiliac"), so "hemo" + "rrh" means "flowing blood," which is exactly what a hemorrhage is. Similarly, the root "auto" means "self," the root "bio" means "life," and the root "graph" means "writing." Graphbioauto! Wait. No. Autobiography, we mean!

If a root is the meat, then the prefix is the sesame seed bun. Prefixes usually do one or more of these three things: indicate place or location, specify whether a word is positive or negative, or modify the root to be more specific. The prefix "a-" means "not," so "atypical" means "not typical," "atheist" means someone who doesn't believe in God ("not a theist"), and so on.

Remember the word "supercilious" that we mentioned a minute ago? Of course you do. "Super-" is a prefix meaning "above," and "cilia" means "eyebrow," so the word literally means raising your eyebrows at someone in disdain. If you're really ambitious, making some flashcards of roots and prefixes can help bump your score up into the 700s and beyond.

Start your free trial now

To get access to this product and hundreds more, start your free trial with Shmoop.
  • Course Length: 3 weeks
  • Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12
  • Category:
    • Test Prep
    • College Prep

Just what the heck is a Shmoop Online Course?

Courses Tutorial