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SAT Essay Prompts (10 Sample Questions)

What does it take to get a high SAT Essay score, if not perfect it? Practice, practice and more practice! Know the tricks and techniques of writing the perfect SAT Essay, so that you can score perfect as well. That’s not a far off idea, because there actually is a particular “formula” for perfecting the SAT Essay test. Consider that every prompt has a format, and what test-takers are required to do remain the same- even if the passage varies from test to test.

The SAT Essay test will ask you to read an argument that is intended to persuade a general audience. You’ll need to discuss how proficient the author is in arguing their point. Analyze the argument of the author and create an integrated and structured essay that explains your analysis.

On this page, we will feature 10 real SAT Essay prompts that have been recently released online by the College Board. You can utilize these Essay SAT prompts as 10 sample SAT Essay questions for easy practice. This set of SAT Essay prompts is the most comprehensive that you will find online today.

The predictability of the SAT Essay test necessitates students to perform an organized analytical method of writing instead of thinking up random ideas on their own. Consider that what you will see before and after the passage remains consistent. It is recommended that you initially read and apply the techniques suggested in writing the perfect SAT Essay (🡨link to SAT Essay —- SAT Essay Overview: How to Get a Perfect Score) before proceeding on using the following essay prompts for practice.

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10 Official SAT Essay Prompts For Practice

10 Official SAT Essay Prompts For Practice

Practice Test 1

“Write an essay in which you explain how Jimmy Carter builds an argument to persuade his audience that the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should not be developed for industry.”

Practice Test 2

“Write an essay in which you explain how Martin Luther King Jr. builds an argument to persuade his audience that American involvement in the Vietnam War is unjust.”

Practice Test 3

“Write an essay in which you explain how Eliana Dockterman builds an argument to persuade her audience that there are benefits to early exposure to technology.”

Practice Test 4

“Write an essay in which you explain how Paul Bogard builds an argument to persuade his audience that natural darkness should be preserved.”

Practice Test 5

“Write an essay in which you explain how Eric Klinenberg builds an argument to persuade his audience that Americans need to greatly reduce their reliance on air-conditioning.”

Practice Test 6

“Write an essay in which you explain how Christopher Hitchens builds an argument to persuade his audience that the original Parthenon sculptures should be returned to Greece.”

Practice Test 7

“Write an essay in which you explain how Zadie Smith builds an argument to persuade her audience that public libraries are important and should remain open”

Practice Test 8

“Write an essay in which you explain how Bobby Braun builds an argument to persuade his audience that the US government must continue to invest in NASA.”

Practice Test 9

“Write an essay in which you explain how Richard Schiffman builds an argument to persuade his audience that Americans need to work fewer hours.”

Practice Test 10

“Write an essay in which you explain how Todd Davidson builds an argument to persuade his audience that the US government must continue to fund national parks.”

Visit our SAT Writing Practice Tests

What Is An Example Of A SAT Essay That Obtained A Perfect Score?

Example Of A SAT Essay

Here is an example of Practice Test 4 above and how a perfect SAT Essay in response to it looks like. This has been published in the College Board website.

Answer Essay with Perfect Score:

In response to our world’s growing reliance on artificial light, writer Paul Bogard argues that natural darkness should be preserved in his article “Let There be dark”. He effectively builds his argument by using a personal anecdote, allusions to art and history, and rhetorical questions.

Bogard starts his article off by recounting a personal story – a summer spent on a Minnesota lake where there was “woods so dark that [his] hands disappeared before [his] eyes.” In telling this brief anecdote, Bogard challenges the audience to remember a time where they could fully amass themselves in natural darkness void of artificial light. By drawing in his readers with a personal encounter about night darkness, the author means to establish the potential for beauty, glamour, and awe-inspiring mystery that genuine darkness can possess. He builds his argument for the preservation of natural darkness by reminiscing for his readers a first-hand encounter that proves the “irreplaceable value of darkness.” This anecdote provides a baseline of sorts for readers to find credence with the author’s claims.

Bogard’s argument is also furthered by his use of allusion to art – Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” – and modern history – Paris’ reputation as “The City of Light”. By first referencing “Starry Night”, a painting generally considered to be undoubtedly beautiful, Bogard establishes that the natural magnificence of stars in a dark sky is definite. A world absent of excess artificial light could potentially hold the key to a grand, glorious night sky like Van Gogh’s according to the writer. This urges the readers to weigh the disadvantages of our world consumed by unnatural, vapid lighting. Furthermore, Bogard’s alludes to Paris as “the famed ‘city of light’”. He then goes on to state how Paris has taken steps to exercise more sustainable lighting practices. By doing this, Bogard creates a dichotomy between Paris’ traditionally alluded-to name and the reality of what Paris is becoming – no longer “the city of light”, but moreso “the city of light…before 2 AM”. This furthers his line of argumentation because it shows how steps can be and are being taken to preserve natural darkness. It shows that even a city that is literally famous for being constantly lit can practically address light pollution in a manner that preserves the beauty of both the city itself and the universe as a whole

Finally, Bogard makes subtle yet efficient use of rhetorical questioning to persuade his audience that natural darkness preservation is essential. He asks the readers to consider “what the vision of the night sky might inspire in each of us, in our children or grandchildren?” in a way that brutally plays to each of our emotions. By asking this question, Bogard draws out heartfelt ponderance from his readers about the affecting power of an untainted night sky. This rhetorical question tugs at the readers’ heartstrings; while the reader may have seen an unobscured night skyline before, the possibility that their child or grandchild will never get the chance sways them to see as Bogard sees. This strategy is definitively an appeal to pathos, forcing the audience to directly face an emotionally-charged inquiry that will surely spur some kind of response. By doing this, Bogard develops his argument, adding gutthral power to the idea that the issue of maintaining natural darkness is relevant and multifaceted.

Writing as a reaction to his disappointment that artificial light has largely permeated the prescence of natural darkness, Paul Bogard argues that we must preserve true, unaffected darkness. He builds this claim by making use of a personal anecdote, allusions, and rhetorical questioning.

Related Topic:  SAT Requirements

This response scored a 4/4/4.

Reading—4: This response demonstrates thorough comprehension of the source text through skillful use of paraphrases and direct quotations. The writer briefly summarizes the central idea of Bogard’s piece ( natural darkness should be preserved ;  we must preserve true, unaffected darkness ), and presents many details from the text, such as referring to the personal anecdote that opens the passage and citing Bogard’s use of  Paris’ reputation as “The City of Light.” There are few long direct quotations from the source text; instead, the response succinctly and accurately captures the entirety of Bogard’s argument in the writer’s own words, and the writer is able to articulate how details in the source text interrelate with Bogard’s central claim. The response is also free of errors of fact or interpretation. Overall, the response demonstrates advanced reading comprehension.

Analysis—4:  This response offers an insightful analysis of the source text and demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of the analytical task. In analyzing Bogard’s use of personal anecdote, allusions to art and history, and rhetorical questions , the writer is able to explain carefully and thoroughly how Bogard builds his argument over the course of the passage. For example, the writer offers a possible reason for why Bogard chose to open his argument with a personal anecdote, and is also able to describe the overall effect of that choice on his audience ( In telling this brief anecdote, Bogard challenges the audience to remember a time where they could fully amass themselves in natural darkness void of artificial light. By drawing in his readers with a personal encounter…the author means to establish the potential for beauty, glamour, and awe-inspiring mystery that genuine darkness can possess…. This anecdote provides a baseline of sorts for readers to find credence with the author’s claims ). The cogent chain of reasoning indicates an understanding of the overall effect of Bogard’s personal narrative both in terms of its function in the passage and how it affects his audience. This type of insightful analysis is evident throughout the response and indicates advanced analytical skill.

Writing—4: The response is cohesive and demonstrates highly effective use and command of language. The response contains a precise central claim ( He effectively builds his argument by using personal anecdote, allusions to art and history, and rhetorical questions ), and the body paragraphs are tightly focused on those three elements of Bogard’s text. There is a clear, deliberate progression of ideas within paragraphs and throughout the response. The writer’s brief introduction and conclusion are skillfully written and encapsulate the main ideas of Bogard’s piece as well as the overall structure of the writer’s analysis. There is a consistent use of both precise word choice and well-chosen turns of phrase ( the natural magnificence of stars in a dark sky is definite ,  our world consumed by unnatural, vapid lighting ,  the affecting power of an untainted night sky ). Moreover, the response features a wide variety in sentence structure and many examples of sophisticated sentences ( By doing this, Bogard creates a dichotomy between Paris’ traditionally alluded-to name and the reality of what Paris is becoming – no longer “the city of light”, but moreso “the city of light…before 2AM” ). The response demonstrates a strong command of the conventions of written English. Overall, the response exemplifies advanced writing proficiency.

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SAT Writing and Language Practice Test

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The SAT Writing and Language Exam tests you on skills that you use virtually every day as you proofread and edit your work for classes. These skills are essential to your success within a college environment and should enable you to read the passages presented on the exam, find any mistakes or weaknesses in the content, and fix them.

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Want a preview of some of the question types on the redesigned SAT ? Try the SAT sample questions below. Challenge yourself with some reading, writing, and language practice. Try our SAT math practice questions to see if your math skills are up to par or if you still need some SAT math review . Need more practice questions? Check out our guide SAT Premium Prep , which contains all the techniques, drills, and review you need to maximize your score on the redesigned test. Or, sign up for a free SAT practice test .

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You can use a calculator for questions 1–2. Learn more about the SAT Math Test . 

1. A gas station sells regular gasoline for $2.39 per gallon and premium gasoline for $2.79 per gallon. If the gas station sold a total of 550 gallons of both types of gasoline in one day for a total of $1,344.50, how many gallons of premium gasoline were sold?

Answer: (B) 75 When asked for a specific value, try Plugging In the Answers. Label them as gallons of premium and start with the value in (B). If 75 gallons of premium were sold, the station would make 75($2.79) = $209.25 for those sales. A total of 550 gallons were sold, so the station would have sold 550 - 75 = 475 gallons of regular gasoline. The sales for the regular gasoline would be 475($2.39) = $1,135.25. The total sales for both types of gasoline would be $209.25 + $1,135.25 = $1,344.50. That matches the information in the question, so (B) is correct.

2. If f(x) = 2x 2 + 4 for all real numbers x , which of the following is equal to f(3) + f(5) ?

Answer: (B) f (6) To find the value of f(3) + f(5), find the values of f (3) and f (5) separately: f(3) = 2(3) 2 + 4 = 22 and f(5) = 2(5) 2 + 4 = 54 . So f(3) + 5(5) = 76. You can tell that f (4) will be between 22 and 54, so you can cross out (A). If you ballpark (C) and (D), putting 10 or 15 in the function will give you a number bigger than 100, and you're looking for 76, so (C) and (D) are too big. That means the answer is (B) by process of elimination.

Don't use a calculator for question 3.

3. In the figure below, circle O has a radius of 8, and angle XOY measures 5 ⁄ 16 π radians. What is the measure of minor arc XY ?

New SAT geometry practice question

Answer: (B) 5 ⁄ 2 π Because the question wants arc length and gives you the measure of the central angle in radians, you can use the formula s = rθ to find the arc length: s = (8)( 5 ⁄ 16 π) = 40 ⁄ 16 π , which reduces to 5 ⁄ 2 π , which is (B).

Questions 1-3 are based on the following passage. Stumped? Check out these SAT reading tips.

This passage is excerpted from the 1854 book Walden by Henry David Thoreau, which details Thoreau's experience living in a cabin alone for two years.

I think that I love society as much as most, and am ready enough to fasten myself like a bloodsucker for the time to any full-blooded man that comes in my way. I am naturally no hermit, (5) but might possibly sit out the sturdiest frequenter for the bar-room, if my business called me thither. I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society. When visitors come in larger and unexpected (10) numbers there was but the third chair for them all, but they generally economized the room by standing up. It is surprising how many great men and women a small house will contain. I have had twenty-five or thirty souls, with their bodies, (15) at once under my roof, and yet we often parted without being aware that we had come very near to one another. One inconvenience I sometimes experienced in so small a house, the difficulty of getting to a (20) sufficient distance from my guest when we began to utter the big thoughts in big words. You want room for your thoughts to get into sailing trim and run a course or two before they make their port. The bullet of your thought must have (25) overcome its lateral and ricochet motion and fallen into its last and steady course before it reaches the ear of the hearer, else it may plow out again through the side of his head. Also our sentences wanted room to unfold and form (30) their columns in the interval. Individuals, like nations, must have suitable broad and natural boundaries, even a considerable neutral ground, between them. I have found it a singular luxury to talk across the pond to a companion on the (35) opposite side. In my house we were so near that we could not begin to hear—we could not speak low enough to be heard; as when you throw two stones into calm water so near that they break each other's undulations. As the conversation (40) began to assume a loftier and grander tone, we gradually shoved our chairs farther apart till they touched the wall in opposite corners and then commonly there was not room enough. My "best" room, however, my withdrawing (45) room, always ready for company, on whose carpet the sun rarely fell, was the pine wood behind my house. Thither in summer days, when distinguished guests came, I took them, and a priceless domestic swept the floor and dusted the (50) furniture and kept the things in order. If one guest came he sometimes partook of my frugal meal, and it was no interruption to conversation to be stirring a hasty-pudding or watching the rising and maturing of a loaf of (55) bread in the ashes, in the meanwhile. But if twenty came and sat in my house there was nothing said about dinner, though there might be bread enough for two, more than if eating were a forsaken habit; but we naturally practised (60) abstinence; and this was never felt to be an offence against hospitality, but the most proper and considerate course. The waste and decay of physical life, which so often needs repair, seemed miraculously retarded in such a case, and the vital (65) vigor stood its ground. I could entertain thus a thousand as well as twenty; and if any ever went away disappointed or hungry from my house when they found me at home, they may depend upon it that I sympathized with them at least. So (70) easy it is, though many housekeepers doubt it, to establish new and better customs in the place of the old. You need not rest your reputation on the dinners you give. As for men, they will hardly fail one (75) anywhere. I had more visitors while I lived in the woods than at any other period in my life; I mean that I had some. I met several there under more favorable circumstances than I could anywhere else. But fewer came to see me on trivial business. (80) In this respect, my company was winnowed by my mere distance from town. I had withdrawn so far within the great ocean of solitude, into which the rivers of society empty, that for the most part, so far as my needs were concerned, only the finest (85) sediment was deposited around me.

1. The main narrative point of view in the passage is of

Answer: (B) The main narrative point of view in this passage is from a man who is living in a house near a pond (as evidenced by his statement "I have found it a singular luxury to talk across the pond"), which is near the woods (as noted when he says..."the pine wood behind my house"). Choice (A) is incorrect because the narrator is not in the city. Choice (C) is incorrect because there is no evidence that the author was a sailor. Choice (D) is incorrect because, while the author does discuss thoughts in the third paragraph, it is not the main subject discussed by the man in the passage. Therefore, (B) is the correct answer.

2. In the context of the passage, the phrase "as when you throw two stones into calm water so near they break each other's undulations," (lines 37–39) is best described as

Answer: (D) The author says that big thoughts must have room to move around before being heard. He says that he enjoys talking across the pond because there is enough room for thoughts to be heard . There is no evidence in the passage that the big thoughts need to be violent, so eliminate (A). Eliminate (B) because the author does not state that big thoughts need to break out of the receiver's head, only that they could if they are not given enough time to develop. Choice (C) is incorrect because it is too far from the text. The author is not literally saying that thoughts need more time to reach the hearer. Since (D) most closely matches the text, it is correct.

3. As used in line 27, "plow" most nearly means

Answer: (A) The author notes that the ideas need to bounce around and settle, or they will plow and push their way out of the listener's head. Therefore, (A) is the correct answer because it matches the prediction from the text, and the other answers do not.

Questions 1–3 are based on the following passage. Learn how to tackle the SAT Writing & Language Section.

After reading the passage below, choose the answer to each question that most effectively improves the quality of writing in the passage or that makes the passage conform to the conventions of standard written English. Many questions include a "NO CHANGE" option. Choose that option if you think the best choice is to leave the relevant portions of the passage as it is.

The speakers of what has come to be known as (1) Appalachian English has used a form of English that few can explain. Many scholars believe Appalachian pronunciation comes from Scots-Irish immigration, but (2) some theorizes that this dialect of English may be closer to what Londoners spoke in Elizabethan times. Trying to understand these changes (3) demonstrate that although we all technically speak English, we speak very different languages indeed.

1. (A) NO CHANGE (B) Appalachian English uses (C) Appalachian English use (D) Appalachian English using

Answer: (C) Appalachian English use First check what's changing in the answer choices. When you see verbs changing in the answer choices, the first thing to check is the subject of the sentence. Is the verb consistent with the subject? In this case, it's not. The subject of this sentence is speakers , which is plural. Therefore, only (A) and (B) have to be eliminated, and (D) creates an incomplete idea. Only (C) can work in the context.

[+] See the Answer

2. (A) NO CHANGE (B) some theorized (C) some have theorized (D) some theorize

Answer: (D) some theorize Check what's changing in the answer choices. The word some remains consistent, but the verbs are changing. Remember from the first question that whenever you see verbs changing, make sure the verb is consistent with the subject. Because the subject of this sentence is some , you can eliminate (A) which isn't consistent. Then because all the others are consistent with the subject, make sure they are consistent with the other verbs. It looks like all the other verbs in this sentence— believe, comes, may be, —are in the present tense, so the underlined verb should be as well, as it is in (D). Choices (B) and (C) could work in some contexts, but not this one.

3. (A) NO CHANGE (B) demonstrate that although we all technically spoke English, we speak (C) demonstrates that although we all technically speak English, we might have been speaking (D) demonstrates that although we all technically speak English, we speak

Answer: (D) demonstrates that although we all technically speak English, we speak First check what's changing in the answer choices. It looks like lots of verbs! Let's start with the first. See which one, demonstrate or demonstrates , is consistent with the subject. That subject is Trying , which is singular, thus eliminating (A) and (B). Then, we have to choose between speak and might have been speaking . Since both of these are consistent with the subject we , let's try to the pick the one that is most consistent with other verbs. The only other verbs are demonstrates and speak , both of which are in the present tense and don't use the odd might have been form. Therefore, if we have to choose between (C) and (D), (D) is definitely better.

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FREE New SAT Writing and Language Practice Tests

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  • Digital SAT Reading and Writing Practice Test 11: Text Structure and Purpose
  • Digital SAT Reading and Writing Practice Test 12: Text Structure and Purpose
  • Digital SAT Reading and Writing Practice Test 13: Cross-Text Connections
  • Digital SAT Reading and Writing Practice Test 14: Cross-Text Connections
  • Digital SAT Reading and Writing Practice Test 15: Transitions
  • Digital SAT Reading and Writing Practice Test 16: Transitions
  • Digital SAT Reading and Writing Practice Test 17: Rhetorical synthesis
  • Digital SAT Reading and Writing Practice Test 18: Rhetorical synthesis
  • Digital SAT Reading and Writing Practice Test 19: Form, Structure, and Sense
  • Digital SAT Reading and Writing Practice Test 20: Form, Structure, and Sense
  • Digital SAT Reading and Writing Practice Test 21: Form, Structure, and Sense
  • Digital SAT Reading and Writing Practice Test 22: Boundaries
  • Digital SAT Reading and Writing Practice Test 23: Boundaries

SAT Practice Tests

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Congrats on taking our SAT Sample Quiz. Take one of our full-length SAT practice tests or one of our study sets. Everything is 100% free!

1 . Question

What percentage does 90 represent in relation to 360?

2 . Question

7 added to 4 times a quantity y is equal to 62. Which equation represents this condition?

  • a. 7(4y) = 62
  • b. 7 – 4y = 62
  • c. 7 + 4y = 62
  • d. 4y – 7 = 62

3 . Question

For a cost of $57, how many pounds of avocados were bought at a rate of $19 per pound?

4 . Question

The table displays three sets of values for x and their corresponding f(x) values for a linear function f. What equation accurately represents the definition of f(x)?

  • a. f(x) = 6x + 65
  • b. f(x) = 8x + 65
  • c. f(x) = 65x + 73
  • d. f(x) = 73x + 81

5 . Question

If \frac{x}{15}=20 , what is the value of \frac{15}{x} ?

6 . Question

What is the equation that defines line p in the xy-plane, given that it passes through the point (-4, 6) and has a slope of 6?

  • a. y = 6x + 30
  • b. y = 6x – 30
  • c. y = 6 + 30x
  • d. y = 6x – 30x

7 . Question

2.5b + 5r = 80

The provided equation expresses the connection between the quantity of biscuits (b) and raisins (r) that a reviewer business can handle in a single day. If the business is tending to 16 raisins on a specific day, what is the capacity for biscuits that it can manage on the same day?

8 . Question

In a specific rectangular area, the length-to-width ratio is 45 : 15. If the width of the region grows by 8 units, how should the length be adjusted to uphold this ratio?

  • a. It must decrease by 24.5 units.
  • b. It must increase by 24.5 units.
  • c. It must decrease by 24 units.
  • d. It must increase by 24 units.

9 . Question

In a circle with center O, the arc XY measures 105°. What is the degree measure of the angle XOY that corresponds to this arc?

10 . Question

In a right triangle, the side lengths are 3\sqrt3 , 2\sqrt3 ,and \sqrt{70} units. What is the area of the triangle in square units?

*Enter in just the number for your answer.

All SAT Practice Tests

If you want some more in-depth prep, use a free SAT practice test listed below.

  • Practice Exams = Timed and Full-Length
  • Practice Sets = Not Timed and Smaller Sets of Questions

SAT Practice Exam #1

SAT Practice Exam #2

SAT Practice Exam #3

SAT Practice Exam #4

SAT Math Practice Sets

SAT Reading & Writing Practice Sets

If you want some additional help with prepping for the SAT, consider using  SAT prep courses .

Official SAT PDF Practice Exams

If you want to study using PDFs, use the links below. These are full-length practice exams provided by the CollegeBoard.

Overview of the SAT

The SAT is an entrance exam used by colleges and universities to help make decisions about admissions.

The SAT is administered by the CollegeBoard and is given 7 times per year. The exam is a timed, mainly multiple-choice exam, taken by students in high school.

Beginning in the spring of 2024, the SAT will be going fully digital. The digital SAT (DSAT) will have some formatting and content changes to it, along with some other changes. You can review those changes below.

New SAT (Digital SAT)

This exam will be given to students starting in spring of 2024.

Old SAT (Written Exam)

This exam will be given to students up until spring of 2024.

The biggest difference between the old SAT and the digital SAT is that the digital SAT is taken completely online and has combined some sections to streamline the exam.

An overview of the digital SAT exam and what is included on the exam.

Scoring of the SAT

You will receive a score for math and a score for reading/writing. Each of those scores will be between 200 and 800 .

Your total score will be the sum of those two scores. You can receive a total score between 400 and 1600 on the SAT.

The average SAT score is 1060. Learn more about good SAT scores .

Registering for the SAT and Test Dates

You can register for the SAT online via the CollegeBoard site .

You will need to do the following when registering for the SAT:

  • Have a Valid Photo ID
  • Upload a Photo of Yourself When Registering Online
  • Pay Registration Fees
  • Print Your Admission Ticket

It will cost your $60 to take the SAT. There may be some additional fees like canceling, changing test center, etc..

The SAT is typically given 7 times per year. The exam is given on Saturdays. You can expect the exam to be given in these months:

  • Early March
  • Late August
  • Early October
  • Early November
  • Early December

You can find exact dates on the official website .

Steps for Using SAT Practice

When using our free SAT practice tests, we recommend the following steps to get the most out of your time:

  • Take 1 practice exam from each subject.
  • Determine which subject you struggled the most with.
  • Focus on that 1 subject moving forward. Take additional practice exams in that subject, study important concepts, and invest in a SAT prep course if need be.
  • Take a practice exam on that subject again and see where you stand. Continue to focus on that subject if you need more help or move on to another subject if you did well on this practice exam.
  • Repeat steps 3 and 4 for other subjects.

Benefits of Using SAT Practice Questions

There are many benefits to using SAT questions during your prep process. Some of those benefits include:

Help With Timing

The SAT exam is a timed test. Keeping a steady pace is critical to achieving a high score.

You can improve your decision making and your time by taking practice exams.

Test Familiarity

All standardized tests, including the SAT, have their own unique way of presenting questions and answer choices.

You will gain more familiarity and comfort with the SAT question style as you take more practice quizzes. On the real exam day, there will be no surprises.

Efficient Studying

When you take many practice exams, you will get a sense of your test strengths and weaknesses.

Many students mistakenly spend time working on their strengths while ignoring their weaknesses.

Knowing which subjects you struggle with will help you focus your study time.

Work On Problem Solving

Tests like the SAT measure your ability to solve problems, not just memorize information. It is critical to have strong problem-solving abilities.

The answer explanations provided in our score reports can help you understand how to solve problems that you may be struggling with.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the sat going to the digital format.

The SAT will be switching to the digital format in the spring of 2024.

How many questions are on the SAT?

There are 154 questions on the old SAT (written version).

There are 98 questions on the new SAT (digital version).

How much time do you have to take the SAT?

You will have 3 hours and 15 minutes to take the old SAT (written version).

You will have 2 hours and 14 minutes to take the new SAT (digital version).

Can I use a calculator on the math section of the SAT?

There will be 1 math section in which you can use a calculator and 1 math section in which you cannot use a calculator on the old SAT (written version).

You will be permitted to use a calculator on all math modules on the new SAT (digital version).

What is a good way to practice for the SAT?

We recommend taking 1 practice exam for each subject. You can then determine which subject gave you the most trouble and focus your studies on that subject.

practice sat writing prompt

  • Authored By: Adam Groden
  • Last Updated: January 19, 2024

SAT Writing and Language: Practice tests and explanations

The SAT writing and language test consists of 44 multiple-choice questions that you'll have 35 minutes to complete. The questions are designed to test your knowledge of grammatical and stylistic topics.

The SAT Writing and Language questions ask about a variety of grammatical and stylistic topics. If you like to read and/or write, the SAT may frustrate you a bit because it may seem to boil writing down to a couple of dull rules.

  • 30 SAT Grammar Practice Tests

SAT Writing and Language Practice Tests

  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 1
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  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: In Defense of Don Quixote
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  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Working from Home: Too Good to Be True?
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  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Unforeseen Consequences: The Dark Side of the Industrial Revolution
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Remembering Freud
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  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Interpreter at America's Immigrant Gateway
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  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: The UN: Promoting World Peace
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  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Coffee: The Buzz on Beans
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Predicting Nature's Light Show
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  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Physician Assistants
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  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Platonic Forms
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: The Eureka Effect
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: The Carrot or the Stick?
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: The Promise of Bio-Informatics
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: What is Art?
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: The Little Tramp
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Who Really Owns American Media?
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: The Dangers of Superstition
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Skepticism and the Scientific Method
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: The Magic of Bohemia
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Careers in Engineeringd
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: An American Duty
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: Idol Worship in Sports
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test: The Secret Life of Photons
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 32: The Romani People
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 33: Into the Abyss
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 34: The Doctor Is In
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 35: Maslow's Hierarchy and Violence
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 36: Folklore
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 37: Age of the Drone
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 38: Policing Our Planet
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 39: The Bullroarer
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 40: Astrochemistry
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 41: Blood Ties
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 42: Out with the Old and the New
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 43: Extra, Extra
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 44: Parthenon
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 45: Where Have all the Cavemen Gone?
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 46: Chiroptera
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 47: The Tyrannical and the Taciturn
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 48
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  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 50: The Giants of Theater
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 51: Gravity, It's Everywhere
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 52: Do the Numbers Lie?
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 53: Draw Your Home
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 54: The Online Job Hunt
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 55: The Glass Menagerie
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 56: For Richer or For Poorer
  • SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 57: Hypocrisy of Hippocratic Humorism

New SAT SAT Writing & Language Practice Tests Pdf Download

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More Information

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Big changes are coming to the SAT, and not everyone is happy. What students should know.

practice sat writing prompt

Last fall, a junior named Mia approached Candice Mackey with an unusual request: She wanted to take the SAT – typically administered at her school in the spring – a few months early. Mia was one of several juniors to broach the idea with Mackey.

Mackey coordinates testing at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES) and is also the public magnet school’s only college counselor. Normally, she’d discourage her students from taking the standardized exam prematurely. She’d want them to fulfill their maximum potential, to pack in as much test prep as possible before they take the high-pressure ( if now largely optional ) assessment. 

But this time, she understood the students' concerns: Starting in March, the SAT will be digital . The traditional paper-and-pencil format is no longer available, with rare exceptions for students with visual impairments, severe reading disabilities or other documented challenges. 

Mia, who asked to use her first name only to avoid harming her college prospects, said she has eye problems and gets headaches when she stares at a screen for an extended period. The materials she’s been using to train since middle school, including Preliminary SATs (PSAT) and practice SATs, were almost always in paper format. There are relatively few digital prep materials. 

Other students expressed similar concerns, Mackey said. 

“They felt an urgency ... to take the paper exam,” she said, knowing that they won’t have that option anymore. 

The new format comes amid fierce debates over whether colleges should consider students’ race in admissions , and after some colleges reinstated the test score requirement .

Some say the new SAT could make college admissions even messier. 

The College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, believes digitization is for the better – that societal changes demand the modern format and that students are ready and eager to enter a new electronic era. Educators, test-prep experts and youth advocates, however, are worried the digital rollout could make the admissions process more precarious. They say many students, especially those without the means or savvy to keep up with the latest developments, are ill-prepared for what's to come. 

“This past year, a lot of big changes have happened too quickly,” said Diane Barnett, a consultant with the online education provider Knovva Academy.

How is the SAT changing in 2024?

The digital SAT launched internationally last year, and the digital PSAT debuted in the U.S. last fall. This spring when students in the U.S. will take the SAT using their personal or school-provided laptops or tablets, via an app called Bluebook . 

While the College Board says the scores will be comparable , the new exam isn’t just an on-screen version of the paper-and-pencil test from years past. Test takers will experience something fundamentally different in several ways .

A key change is that the new test is what the College Board describes as “adaptive” in nature. Both the math and reading sections will be divided into two parts. A student’s performance in the first part of each section will determine the difficulty level of the second part that shows up on their screen. 

The second half of the test will either be harder or easier than the first half, depending on a student's performance. If a test taker breezes through the first half of the math questions, the second half of that person’s test be more difficult. For a test-taker who struggles during the first half, the second half will be easier. In both scenarios, a person’s scores will be calibrated based on the questions’ difficulty.

This system benefits students who have studied, are good at test-taking and are unintimidated by difficult questions. And psychologically, test-prep experts say, it could benefit students who are prone to botching their performance when faced with questions too hard for them because they'll perform better with a second set that’s more manageable. 

But the adaptive functionality could disadvantage others, educators say, like students who simply have bad luck with the first half and are forced into getting to a lower-than-expected score because they won’t get as many points with an easier second half. 

Adaptive testing allows the College Board to more quickly assess what an individual is capable of – it doesn’t waste time asking the student questions that are too easy or too hard for their performance level. 

That efficiency allows for the second major difference in the digital SAT: At a little more than two hours, it’s roughly an hour shorter than the last iteration, which was launched in 2016. With the digital SAT, students will get more time per question. Math questions will be explained more concisely than before, and reading passages will also be shorter. 

The format works better for testers, said Priscilla Rodriguez, the College Board’s senior vice president of college readiness assessments. The organization ran pilot programs, she said, and “what students are telling us is … they feel less tired, less rushed and less freaked out.” 

SAT is going digital: Exam will be online-only, shorter as colleges ditch standardized tests

SAT registration deadline is coming up, but lots of students unaware of changes

The deadline to register for the March SAT is in just a few weeks, on Feb. 23. 

“It’s not on everyone’s radar,” said Knovva Academy’s Barnett. “A lot of kids … are really going to be surprised by it and have not had time to practice that calculator in the app or to figure out how to get their own (device). And that will adversely affect them.”

The College Board first announced the move to digital two years ago. It has partnered with Khan Academy, which provides free online learning resources, to disseminate materials and help students prepare for the digital SAT. The College Board also provides four free full-length digital practice tests via its Bluebook app. 

Rodriguez feels confident that word has spread far and wide and assured that the exam will continue to improve to meet applicants’ needs.

“My hope is that students who are about to engage with this new SAT … know what to expect, they know what’s coming; they know it’s shorter, they know how to practice,” she said. “Given this is a test that can open up a lot of doors for them, it might as well be the best possible test.”

Still, counselors say news about the digital-only test likely hasn’t reached many students, especially those who live in rural or high-poverty communities and have less access to people in the know.

The rationale for changing an admissions exam

Mackey, at LACES, says the benefits of the new format are evident, at least for people like her who will administer it. 

The traditional exam necessitated piles of paper materials being shipped to schools or centers and locked up before test day, a cumbersome process that allowed would-be cheaters easier access to booklets beforehand. 

With the digital format, students will take the exam on their own devices, and each test taker will see a unique sequence of questions, making it more difficult to cheat. 

Many educators are optimistic because the new test takes into consideration accessibility issues and students’ well-being. The fact that it’s shorter and adaptive makes it less stressful for students, Rodriguez said. 

The shorter prompts make the 2024 test more manageable for students who are learning English. The app and the built-in calculator students can use on the math questions feel more intuitive to a digital-native generation, according to some educators and students.

Lujain Malash, 17, a high school senior in Egypt who has taken the digital SAT several times, disliked that her performance in the first half determined the difficulty level of the second: “The worst part is that depending on how you do in the first part ... if you don’t do well you don’t end up with a really good score.” 

But Malash said the shorter length makes it worth it. As someone who prefers math over reading, she felt the briefer passages are “more relaxed” than the longer, paper-format ones.

While the digital exam may be more convenient and secure, Mackey and other observers say those improvements could make success more uneven as it’s rolled out. 

Admissions tests have long been criticized as being a better measurement of students’ wealth than of their competence or potential. Since so much of the exam necessitates strategies such as intelligent guessing and time management, teens with the means to enroll in expensive test prep services are better equipped to score well than students who are just as smart but haven’t had the time or resources for practice. 

“Practice makes perfect – there is something to that,” said Charles Lang, senior executive director of the Digital Futures Institute at Columbia University’s Teachers College. “Getting a scenario that you can practice in that is as similar to the actual event is a very important factor” in achieving a high score. He said it’s problematic that the College Board is pitching this new test’s scoring system as essentially the same as the old one’s: “I don’t think it’s quite as straightforward as they’re painting it.”

Are SAT scores fair? New exam faces ongoing equity concerns

Some College Board skeptics, like Akil Bello of the advocacy group FairTest, say the digital SAT doesn’t do anything to address the exam’s inherent inequities and may make student performance more uneven.

“Theoretically, digital testing is better; theoretically, (the College Board has) prepared schools and provided guidance,” Bello said. “But I’m concerned about the practical realities and the differences between what your ideal school has and what the common school has.” 

On a basic level, people need technology to take the new test.

The exam requires that each student have a device and reliable broadband. Two-thirds of students take the SAT on campus during class time, and many students use devices provided by their schools, but huge gaps remain in terms of which districts have access to adequate infrastructure for administering the new SAT. 

What happens if, say, a rural school has faulty broadband service and there’s no IT person on staff on a day when troubleshooting is needed? What if a student doesn’t have consistent access to a device on which they can practice, that comes with the app downloaded on it? 

Judy Henriquez, the director for career and college counseling at the Bronx Center for Science & Mathematics (BXCSM) in New York City, said the Chromebooks provided by the school can be unreliable and students can have unstable internet access. Because of the issues, many teachers choose not to do computer-based testing in their own English language arts and history classes, for example.

Ama Oduro, a 17-year-old senior at Henriquez’s school, said she frequently struggles to sign in or access assignments on the Chromebooks. The malfunctions suck up a lot of class time. Even if the school manages to troubleshoot problems that arise on a test day, and the new format doesn't require a continuous connection to proceed, a flustered student might struggle to concentrate for the rest of the exam.

“Certain people who are not built for testing are, in a way, excluded,” she said. 

If students can’t get a testing device from their school, the College Board says it will send a loaner to the campus. But navigating an unfamiliar computer can be overwhelming and glitchy for anyone, educators noted, especially for someone taking a stressful test.

Others are concerned about the adaptive nature of the assessment. There’s little clarity about how the change-as-you-go tests will be scored or about the implications of the adaptive model for applicants. 

“My number one concern about going digital is that there’s not an option to have it on paper as well,” said Mackey, the educator in Los Angeles. “I just don't think that it is in the best interest of students to only have it in that format.” 

Is the SAT making a comeback in college admissions?

Since the pandemic, the vast majority of colleges no longer require applicants to submit standardized test scores. The trend toward de-emphasizing the SAT began before COVID-19 and it became the default policy when circumstances made access to in-person exams difficult. 

Fausto Rivera, a 17-year-old senior at BXCSM, is grateful colleges are less interested in test scores, which he sees as a misleading and unfair “way to analyze students’ potential and … control students’ future.” Last spring, Rivera took the paper SAT, having never practiced because of his work and family obligations. He was curious about how he’d fare. 

His score reinforced for him that the SAT was “not really measuring your capacity.” A student could be having a bad day. People who buckle under pressure or who can’t pay for expensive test prep seem fated to perform poorly on the exam, he said.

A few schools are returning to the test requirement. Dartmouth on Monday became the first Ivy League institution to reinstate it . The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Georgetown, which are Ivy-adjacent, already returned to requiring it for applicants. They’ve often cited research suggesting the scores are more predictive of college success than grades, which are sometimes inflated.

The College Board, meanwhile, is eager to remain relevant as it continues to compete with the ACT. The digital format is one lever for boosting its market share, according to Lisa Speransky, whose company, Ivy Tutors Network, works with students from a broad range of backgrounds. The ACT will offer a digital version beginning this year but it will continue administering the paper option as well. 

Henriquez has embraced the fact that many colleges are distancing themselves from admissions exams. She has intentionally de-emphasized test prep when counseling her predominantly low-income students at BXCSM.

She saw how fixated they’d become on getting a good score, on how quickly they lost sight of the parts of learning she thinks truly matter – the essays where they could describe their passions, the after-school activities where they could explore new hobbies, the community service where they could help families like their own. 

“They thought (the SAT) was the only way they could get into a ‘good’ school,” she said. “I hated what they were giving up.”

More changes to college admissions: What students can expect after Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action

Disrupting the fixation on the Ivy League, ‘elite’ colleges

Swaths of students still place immense weight on the exam even though it is largely optional at the most selective of institutions. Nearly 2 million high school seniors took the test during the last school year, the highest number since the start of the pandemic and just a hair short of the record rate – 2.2 million members of the Class of 2019. For comparison, roughly 2.5 million freshmen enrolled in a college or university in the fall of 2019 , while 2.3 million enrolled in the fall of 2022. 

Bello and others said the hullabaloo about the new SAT format distracts from a more pressing concern: students’ ongoing fixation on highly selective – or, as they put it “highly rejective” – schools.

“I worry about students who think that those top 10 or 15 schools are the only schools and that they won’t be successful if they don’t end up there,” Barnett said. “There is a school out there for everyone. It’s OK if you haven’t heard of it yet. It’s OK if it’s not what your parents want on their bumper sticker.”

Contact Alia Wong at (202) 507-2256 or [email protected]. Follow her on X at @aliaemily.

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Practicing LSAT Writing

The best way to practice LSAT Writing is through LSAC’s LawHub , which offers a single real prompt with the same interface you’ll use on test day. After you take that, you can pick an LSAT Writing prompt from a PrepTest or go through the prompts in this class (which come from PrepTests 79 through 86). I recommend that you paste the prompts into a word processor, set a timer for thirty-five minutes, and start writing. Try not to read the prompt as you copy them. When you’re done, you can take a look at how I answered the same prompt under test conditions.

Don’t Cheat and Don’t Start Over

If you’re taking a practice exam, you might be tempted to pause your timer, write past the thirty-five-minute mark, or otherwise cheat. Don’t do that! If you don’t follow the rules when you practice, you’re not really practicing! Cheating here means cheating yourself out of a valuable lesson.

One more thing: if you find yourself dismayed by your progress on the practice essay—if you realize that you took too long to outline, that you’re not going to finish, that your argument makes no sense— don’t start over. Recovering from a rocky start is one of the most important skills you can practice. You might flounder at the beginning of the real exam, so you should teach yourself how to push through.

Making a Practice Schedule

I recommend taking at least three LSAT Writing exams: one to see what happens, the next to try a new technique, and the third to cement your approach. (You can, of course, take more than three practice tests, and might well benefit from it.)

1. The See-What-Happens Test

Don’t overthink your first practice LSAT: just, you know, see what happens. The key to improving is reviewing your essay when the timer runs out.

Is your argument simple and strong? Did you incorporate most of the facts? Did you rush the ending? Did you have time for any revision? If not, is your essay full of typos? If so, did your revision improve the essay, or did you introduce new errors?

If you found yourself running out of time, you might try spending less time on your outline or simplifying your argument structure. If you finished with time to spare but didn’t incorporate most of the facts, you might try spending more time on the outline. Adjust your approach and try again.

2. The Try-a-New-Technique Test

Review the lessons of your first practice test right before you take your second one: you want them fresh in your mind.

Take another test. When you’re done, you should evaluate as before. Remember that taking a practice test does not itself lead to improvement. The reflection that follows is what lets you learn, adjust, and improve.

If you’re still not satisfied with your essay, you should adjust your technique and repeat this step.

3. The Cement-Your-Technique Test

After you’ve taken at least one writing exam with a satisfactory result, you should try to repeat your success. Writing an LSAT essay will never feel as procedural as solving a Logic Game, but it will begin to feel more routine, and you will get better at it.

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Sat / act prep online guides and tips, the best digital sat reading & writing practice tests.

SAT Reading

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When preparing for SAT Reading & Writing, it's crucial to use high-quality practice materials that accurately reflect the content of the real test. In this article, I will go through the best resources for SAT Reading & Writing practice materials, both online and in printed prep books.

Why Are High-Quality SAT Practice Materials So Important?

If you practice with low-quality materials, you'll end up with low-quality results no matter how long you spend studying. Many test-prep companies release their own versions of SAT questions that are supposedly comparable to questions on the real test. DO NOT use these questions exclusively for practice!

The SAT creates questions in a very specific standardized format, and if you're not used to it, you could be in for a rude awakening on the test. Additionally, using mostly unofficial practice materials will invariably give you a skewed sense of your expected SAT score . You don't want to think you're scoring at a certain level and then be faced with a nasty surprise when your scores on the real SAT are much lower.

For the Reading & Writing section, it's doubly important to find practice materials that are high quality because there are always two components: the questions and the passages . Even if the questions are in the same format as questions on the real SAT, if the passages aren't at the same difficulty level, you won't be getting great practice (and vice versa).

On top of using high-quality materials, you should also use realistic time constraints when you take practice tests. If you don't time yourself accurately, you will not be able to reliably predict your scores on the real test. Time is a huge factor on the SAT, and learning to manage it properly is key to earning a high score . 

In the next couple of sections, I'll list some of the best resources for SAT Reading practice materials.

Free Digital Official SAT Reading & Writing Practice Tests

The College Board has now made available four new digital SAT practice tests to help prepare you for the exam. These practice tests accurately reflect the material currently covered on the SAT. To take the practice tests, you will be instructed to download Bluebook, College Board's digital testing platform. You can do this from the College Board website . 

Once you've downloaded Bluebook, you can then take a full-length, adaptive practice test, meaning the questions you receive will be adapted to your knowledge and skill level. This is exactly how the digital SAT is formatted and scored, so your performance on the practice test will give you a solid idea of what to expect on the SAT. 

If you'd like additional practice, you can take paper and pencil tests from previous years. While this isn't ideal, it will give you practice on the concepts and content covered on the SAT. Do be aware that the format of the digital SAT has changed from the old paper and pencil version. Reading and Writing have now been combined into one subject area that is covered in two modules. 

( Note that the College Board stopped offering the SAT Essay in June 2021  so you can skip that section on practice tests!) Here are some traditional (paper and pencil) practice tests you can take a look at for additional practice. 

  • Practice Test 1: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations
  • Practice Test 3: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations
  • Practice Test 5: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations
  • Practice Test 6: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations
  • Practice Test 7: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations
  • Practice Test 8: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations
  • Practice Test 9: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations
  • Practice Test 10: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations

You probably noticed that Practice Test 2 and Practice Test 4 are missing from the list above. That's because they're no longer listed on the official SAT Practice Test website. However, these are still tests that were developed by the College Board, so you may find them useful if you've already worked your way through all the available practice tests.

  • Practice Test 2: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations
  • Practice Test 4: Questions | Answers | Answer Explanations

Note that Sentence Completion questions are no longer part of the Reading & Writing section, so you should skip over them if you're using older practice materials.

  • Official SAT Printable Practice Test 2013-14: Questions | Solutions
  • Official SAT Printable Practice Test 2012-13: Questions | Solutions
  • Official SAT Printable Practice Test 2007-08: Questions | Solutions
  • Official SAT Printable Practice Test 2004-05: Questions | Solutions

Online SAT Reading & Writing Practice

This section goes over the best SAT Reading & Writing practice you can find online. It includes both official and unofficial sources.

The College Board

Official College Board questions are the best way to practice for the SAT, so their online resources in terms of practice questions are the best ones you can find. The website gives you immediate feedback on whether you answered a question correctly as well as answer explanations (though these explanations are not always as thorough as they should be in terms of explaining why wrong answers are wrong).

Khan Academy

Khan Academy has partnered directly with the College Board, so they use official SAT questions to help you practice. That means the materials are some of the best you can find outside of the College Board website itself. You can sign up for a free account here .

One negative for this website is that the total number of practice questions is limited, so you will probably have to supplement it with other resources. It's especially sparse on Reading questions for the time being.

It also doesn't include test-taking strategies, and its lessons and answer explanations aren't quite as in-depth as they should be for students who don't understand the questions. However, it does include multiple videos, which some people find more helpful than written explanations.

You can read more about the pros and cons of the Khan Academy program in this article.

PrepScholar

Not to toot our own horn, but toot. We offer a free five-day trial of our test-prep program. The program will assess your strengths and weaknesses and give you practice questions to fit the specific areas where you need improvement. Basically, it does all the hard work of SAT studying (analyzing your problem areas and zeroing in on where you make the most mistakes) for you!

The downside of this is that the questions are technically unofficial, and you do have to pay to sign up for PrepScholar after the free trial. However, our test experts have worked very hard to make the questions as similar to material on the real SAT as possible, and you'll get your money back if you don't improve by 160 points or more.

Ready to go beyond just reading about the SAT? Then you'll love the free five-day trial for our SAT Complete Prep program . Designed and written by PrepScholar SAT experts , our SAT program customizes to your skill level in over 40 subskills so that you can focus your studying on what will get you the biggest score gains.

Click on the button below to try it out!

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SAT Reading & Writing Prep Books

You can find further practice tests and materials in SAT prep books, although they can also get expensive. Keep in mind that these will not give you practice on the latest, adaptive digital SAT, but they will provide general practice on reading skills that will strengthen your knowledge. 

The Official Digital SAT Study Guide ("Blue Book")

Unfortunately. the four official digital SAT practice tests in latest edition of this book are the same as those available on the Bluebook app for free. However, it also includes extra practice drills and detailed explanations of right and wrong answers that can be helpful. 

SAT Prep Black Book, Second Edition

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This book hasn't yet been updated for the digital SAT, but it's still full of great strategic advice. The Black Book doesn't include any practice questions, instead referencing questions in the first four official SAT practice tests. So if you buy this book you should also download those four official SAT practice tests (for free!) .

The Black Book is particularly helpful on the Reading & Writing section, with a list of particular meanings of words like "anticipate" or "counter" that you'll need to know to answer Reading passage questions. It will also give you in-depth answer explanations for all the sections and insightful tips on how to get around the tricky wording of the questions.

The Complete Guide to SAT Reading by Erica Meltzer

satreader

This book focuses entirely on reading and has not yet been updated to the new digital SAT format. But it does a great job of teaching you the skills you'll need and showing you how to consistently eliminate three out of four answers on every question.  

How to Get the Most From Your SAT Reading & Writing Practice Tests

Now you know where to get the best SAT Reading & Writing practice tests, but you also need to know how to use them properly. Below are three tips to help you get the most out of your SAT practice tests and quizzes.

Use Strict Timing

It's important to follow official SAT time limits on practice tests. If you give yourself even just two extra minutes on the SAT Reading & Writing section, it could raise your section score significantly. Because you have more time to answer questions, your practice SAT Reading & Writing score becomes inflated and doesn't give you an accurate indicator of your actual ability.

Review Your Mistakes

Practice tests aren't just good for learning the format of the SAT Reading & Writing section—they're also great for helping you learn from your mistakes .

For every practice SAT Reading & Writing test you take, spend time reviewing both questions you got wrong and questions you got right. If you don't know why you missed a question, don't just skip it and move on; doing so will keep you from learning what kind of mistake you made, raising your risk of making it over and over again. This habit can hamper your score pretty drastically. It's better to take three Reading & Writing sections with detailed review than 10 sections without review.

Don't Forget to Take a Complete SAT

Although this article is specifically for SAT Reading & Writing practice, you'll want to take at least two complete SATs (and ideally four) during your study program so you'll be prepared for every section and know how well you hold up after several hours of testing. Check out our guide for free and official SAT practice tests .

Summary: How to Use SAT Reading & Writing Practice Tests

In preparing for SAT Reading & Writing, it's so important to use the best possible practice materials available to you. This means materials that most closely resemble what you'll see on the real test.

The best way to do this is to use mainly official SAT questions that come directly from the College Board. You can access these through a number of free full-length tests, SAT practice websites such as Khan Academy, and official prep books. If you want even more practice, you can use unofficial Reading & Writing questions, as long as you understand that these will not be as accurate as official questions.

If you work on understanding your mistakes on questions that closely resemble the ones on the real test, you'll be on your way to a great SAT Reading & Writing score !

What's Next?

Now that you have all these practice resources, read this article to get some of our best tips for boosting your score on the SAT Reading section .

More of a science and math person who's worried about the reading section? Take a look at my article on how to do well on SAT Reading for science- and math-oriented students.

Also, read my article on the fundamental strategy of SAT Reading to learn about the #1 rule to keep in mind when answering each Reading question!

These recommendations are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links, PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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Our program is entirely online, and it customizes what you study to your strengths and weaknesses . If you liked this Reading lesson, you'll love our program. Along with more detailed lessons, you'll get thousands of practice problems organized by individual skills so you learn most effectively. We'll also give you a step-by-step program to follow so you'll never be confused about what to study next.

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Samantha is a blog content writer for PrepScholar. Her goal is to help students adopt a less stressful view of standardized testing and other academic challenges through her articles. Samantha is also passionate about art and graduated with honors from Dartmouth College as a Studio Art major in 2014. In high school, she earned a 2400 on the SAT, 5's on all seven of her AP tests, and was named a National Merit Scholar.

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