SAT® Exam Prep
This is what we've been training for.
What do you get from Shmoop's SAT Exam Prep?
Shmoop is a labor of love from folks who are really, really into learning. Our Test Prep resources will help you prepare for exams with comprehensive and engaging hilarious materials that bring the test to life. No, not like that—put down those torches. Here, you’ll find the following:
- 21st century online SAT prep
- Diagnostic exam
- Reports and statistics
- Five (5!) full-length practice tests
- Fun and engaging review
- 1,000+ vocabulary words
- 1,000+ SAT practice problems
- Test-specific strategies
- Math Shack
In the meantime, check out 25 SAT® vocabulary words for free!
It's everything you always wanted to know about the SAT exam!
...but were too afraid to ask.
About the SAT
SAT and College
SAT Dates and Tips
SAT Critical Reading
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We know what's racing through your mind, beside a lot of caffeine and images of that one celebrity you like. You know the one. For years, you've felt the SAT slowly, stealthily approaching, a fierce sense of foreboding enveloping you as it creeps ever nearer like a bloodthirsty panther. A panther that, for an unspecified reason, also plays a role in where you will attend college. Ugh. Dean of Admissions Panthers are the worst.
We are here to assure you that this impression is totally false. Despite the ominous acronym that has been striking fear into the hearts of high school students for decades, the SAT is actually a friendly test, and you can prepare for it without interruption by, or fear of, any lurking jungle cats whatsoever. Now, isn't that nice to know?
Yes, it's true that your performance on this exam will determine a meaningful chunk of your academic future. To that, we say pish posh! You have two secret weapons on your side: practice and preparation. Wait, make that three secret weapons: practice, preparation, and Shmoop! Fine, four: practice, preparation, Shmoop, and the best theme song ever.
The SAT is a standardized test that is designed to level the playing field for college applicants. It helps those well-loved institutions of higher learning compare a home-schooled high school senior from San Francisco and a private school attendee from Omaha. Yes, life would be easier if colleges could simply trust that two students from two different schools in two different cities with the exact same grades learned the same things, but that's not how it works. Some high schools are guilty of a little grade inflation here and there (say it isn't so!), while others make you work for them like Hercules and his 12 tasks. Unfortunately, this will probably continue to be the case until these schools are visited by Hercules himself. We're not holding our breath…
Because the SAT is offered several times a year—and because only your best score sticks—high school students often take it more than once. No, we're serious. People choose to do this to themselves more than once. However, if you study hard and work your tail off, you can get by with only one round of this sucker. Then you should have plenty of time to grow your tail back in time for graduation. You don't want to look back at pictures in 10 years and be embarrassed by your scut.
If you do decide to take the SAT twice, it is common to sign up for an exam in the spring of your junior year and then again in the fall of your senior year. Don't hesitate to retake the exam if you didn't get the score you know you are capable of. If you feel like you could do better, taking the exam multiple times won't put you at a disadvantage. You won't be punished for a do-over or two. Your backside might take issue with you after you've forced it to do that much sitting, but it'll get over it in the end.
Some colleges have even started rewarding those who retake the test by calculating their super scores, meaning they take and combine the best individual subscores for each section even if the taker's highest scores were on different exams. Your super score can help you get into a super college, then graduate and move onto a super job, a super family, and a super home. Still no superpowers, though. That's a shame, because having X-ray vision would have been…super.
Why Are You Here?
Yeah, what gives? There you are, staring at a computer screen when you could be hurling a tight spiral into your friend's gut (we're referring to football, for those of you who were thinking we're condoning some type of violence), shopping for cell phone covers at the mall, or playing Farmville. Okay, that last one would still entail staring at a computer screen, but it's totally different. Your horses desperately need more hay.
You are here because you want to upgrade your life and get into the best college that your talents can buy. Yes, it's scary, and yes, it's all right to panic. You're under a lot of pressure with school, parents, significant others, and your judgmental, hard-to-please Pomeranian, Baxter. Like you ever had to take the SAT, Baxter.
Add a test that has major implications for your future, and even Thor himself would be sweating bullets. Bring on the Axe body spray. Rest assured that this isn't the only twist in your story. Grades, extracurricular activities, and your admissions essays all carry heavy weight in the admissions officers' eyes. The SAT is only another piece of the puzzle. If even one piece of that puzzle is missing, however, those in charge of determining your future will look at that very critically. Not to mention the fact that it's only like a four-piece puzzle.
If you've already taken the PSAT, as about 70% of SAT-takers have done, you have a general sense of the dance you are about to boogie. If you killed it during the practice round, exhale; odds are good you will murder the SAT as well. If you sucked eggs and want a big upgrade, on the other hand, you can do it. It is a lot of work, but it's worth it. This is a test you do want to smash like Thor with that big hammer thing. Sometimes, if you want to make an omelet, you must be willing to suck a few eggs. Or however the saying goes.
We like to think of the SAT as some kind of oversized video game villain. The first time it rumbles onto the screen, you might go down in button-mashing flames if you don't know what to expect. If you understand the nuances of the exam, however, you can go all Konami on its derriere and up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-start your way to ultimate SAT domination.