Preparing for the SATs can sometimes come with a lot of added costs. Solely paying for the SAT exam can be expensive and the extra costs of buying SAT exam prep books can simply start piling up extra bills. There are also great SAT prep programs and classes, yet they usually run for upwards of hundreds of dollars. Being able to afford SAT prep resources can mean a huge difference for some prospective college students and their SAT score success.

But, do not let that hold you back from creating a successful SAT study program.  With the help of online tools and special SAT school resources, you can find most of your SAT study materials for free. It might mean a bit of extra time to consolidate all your materials, but the extra work will allow you to create a Rolodex of study materials that will set you up for a great score free of all the extra charges.

From free online flashcards, practice tests, and eBooks to SAT exam fee waivers, we got just the right tools to help you ace the SATs without financial hardship.

SAT Fee Waivers

If the cost of registering for the SAT causes some financial difficulty, then you might be eligible for a full exam registration waiver with or without the optional essay. SAT exam fee waivers can relief some of the stress that can come from the financial responsibility of preparing for the college entrance exam.

There are a few ways to be eligible for an SAT waiver. The College Board waives registration fees when students are enrolled in a Federal Lunch Program, within an eligible income bracket, and a few other criteria.

But even if these few reasons aren’t your specific case talking to your school counselor about SAT registration options can also grant you a registration waiver. Each school district has a few waiver codes granted from the official SAT organizer, Th College Board, every year that is distributed to students that meet specific criteria or enrolled in certain programs/clubs.

Yet, if you didn’t receive a waiver there are other free resources that will allow you to be fully prepared for SAT test day.

Study Guides and eBooks

Most of the top SAT test prep courses and tutoring programs have their own SAT prep textbooks that you purchase to study for the exam. But, some of these SAT preparation programs also offer a lot of free SAT study resources on their websites so that you do not get a low SAT score.

SAT preparing
Free eBook resources are available online that can help with not just reading speed, but also mathematics. (Photo by Cesar Abner Martinez Aguilaron Unsplash)

Diagnostic and Practice Tests can also be found online through the SAT official website, College Board, or through other SAT test-prep organizations. Another way to access official SAT practice and diagnostic tests are by checking out SAT prep books from your high school library or at your local city libraries. When checking out SAT exam prep books from your local library just be mindful to not write on them as it is a community resource. Try to make photocopies of practice exams so that you can take them yourself without ruining them for other future students taking the test.

Free Study Guides & eBooks are also available for free online. SAT prep organizations like Magoosh offer a free study guide and downloadable eBook that is complete with study strategies, question structures for each section, and a full SAT exam breakdown and formats to form your tailored study program. These free downloadable eBooks though do come with their deficiencies as they are short on the practice questions and are not as detailed as a full SAT preparation textbook. Local libraries might be your best bet when securing the best free study materials.

Study Schedules can be the best first step when preparing yourself for the SAT. You can find a full list of study schedules and plans with a simple google search. These schedules are usually free and easy to download and offer a day-by-day outline of what days to study specific topics, when to take practice tests, and other great study prep guidelines. Most schedules are guided by a designated length of preparation time from 2-month schedules to 6-month schedules. You will gain the most from these schedules if you tailor them to your specific needs and study environment.

SAT study schedule
Making a study schedule that fits your time, strengths and weaknesses is a great first step with preparing to study for the SAT. (Photo by Felipe Furtado on Unsplash)

Evidence-Based Reading & Writing Resources

Online resources will be your best bet when seeking free study resources. Yet, there are a few other strategies that do not require a computer when studying for the verbal section of the SAT.

Newspapers & Editorial Articles are great sources for strengthening reading comprehension. The key to reading passages, articles, essays, and excerpts is to run exercises in your head after you have finish reading. Try to find the main point of the piece; what the author’s tone, attitude, writing style, and complexity were trying to convey; and try to read between the lines when complex vocabulary words appear. Another rule of thumb when trying to study for the reading section is to read articles from a variety of topics, this will allow you to seek new words and also in different contexts from science-based journals to historical passages.

Vocabulary Flashcards are an easy tool to find online and can gear you up to strengthen your verbal section score, increase your word complexity knowledge, and have a better ability to distinguish word nuances in passages. A few great online practice vocabulary flashcards can be found at Quizlet, Study Stack, and through free phone applications. Vocabulary worksheets can also be found on with interactive word games to strengthen your long-term word memory.

Printable Passage Worksheets are easily downloadable and can be printed for extra reading comprehension revision. These worksheets will hone your reading speed, strengthen your skills on passage perception, allow you to identify key facets of the excerpt, and retain the context of complex vocabulary words. Online resources like Major Tests have a variety of free online SAT resources including about 15 reading comprehension passages and drills.

Math Resources & Worksheets

Mental math drills and basic math formula memorization are a few major tips and tricks when preparing for the math section of the exam. Since the test is proctored and each section time there is no time to be wasted. So, prepping your memory on basic math can really make a difference in making your mind sharp come test day. The great thing is that there are a number of free resources that can get you mentally sharp in no time.

Math Drills and Worksheets come in handy when trying to memorize math strategies. Free math worksheets can be accessed online, but also from your local library and math professors. Working on mental percentages, multiplications, fractions, addition and subtractions, geometry formulas, and other basic math principles will allow you to gain momentum.

Free Study Videos have also come into popularity in the last 15 years and have allowed test-takers to learn new complex strategies from others. There is a whole array of SAT prep channels and videos from online video communities like YouTube that make it easy to learn tricky math concepts and allow you to gain knowledge from others. SAT prep channels like Study Café and SupertutorTV have video tutorials that teach you how to solve anything from simple math practice questions to much more complex math problems.

If after reviewing and using all the top free SAT resources you still feel like you need an extra push, there are also many other budget-friendly resources, prep programs, and private tutoring that you can access. Online communities like Superprof not just make it easy to find a tutor near you, but also offers fairly low rates for tutoring sessions along with a no-commitment policy and a pay-as-you-go system.

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A California desert-native who has a passion for baking from scratch, reading 1950-era novels, listening to soul/jazz, and global trotting.