While preparing for an upcoming tutor training seminar, I was researching apps created to help high school students. There were a handful of truly amazing apps designed to help students in the main content areas: math, science, social studies, and English. But I was blown away by how many remarkable apps were on the market to help students prepare for the ACT and the SAT. Below are what I consider to be The best ACT and SAT test prep apps.
These apps are engaging, addicting, fun, and most importantly educational. I found myself playing with some of them for hours on end, despite having taken the SAT over a decade ago.
1. SAT Up!, free
I wrote a blog a while ago about my love of “SAT Up!” When I originally came across it, there was nothing else like it on the market. It brought out my inner competitive spirit, as I spent countless evenings trying to remember SAT strategies and tricks to boost my overall score.
While “SAT Up” is engaging, the real advantage of the app is the analysis it provides you with. You can take small quizzes of any SAT section and it tells you what type of question you’re really struggling with and the areas where you are excelling. This data is key to any customized test prep program allowing students and their tutors to hone in on specific weaknesses.
2. SAT Vocab by MindSnacks, free
Regardless of what type of SAT prep program your child is doing, he or she will need to practice vocabulary independently. SAT Vocab by MindSnacks, takes what has always been a dreaded SAT study task and makes it fun. Students are able to practice vocabulary sets (to get more than the basic pack, users are required to make an in-app purchase), then play various games that allow them to test their memory of those words. At the end of each game, students are given a report on how close they are to mastering each vocabulary word.
3. The Official SAT Question of the Day, free
One thing to be careful of when searching for the apps to prepare for the SAT or ACT is the accuracy of the content. The Official SAT Question of the Day app is created by The College Board, the company that creates the SAT, meaning you know that you are getting legitimate data and content. What I like about this app, is the simplicity of it. It doesn’t require more than 2 minutes per day, but it helps any student do a little bit of practice. Each day the student will be given one question, which can be from any section of the test. Once they answer it they’re able to read an explanation and also get stats on the questions (how many people answered it correctly).
4. ACT Up, free
Since my initial discovery of SAT Up, ScoreBeyond, the company that created the app, has added ACT Up. It’s essentially a similar app targeted towards the ACT. Students begin by taking a 12 question diagnostic test. ACT UP’s software then creates targeted, daily “workouts” based on the student’s diagnostic and study habits.
Similarly to SAT UP, the great part of ACT Up is the comparative feature. It gives you a lot of data about your individual progress and allows you to compare your stats with others.
There are hundreds of other SAT and ACT prep apps on the marketplace, some are better than others. But the four listed above are my top four choices! One thing I would advise any student or parent considering hitting up the app store for SAT or ACT prep, is to remember that these apps are meant to be supplemental. They’re great to incorporate into your SAT or ACT study plan, but they shouldn’t take the place of a traditional SAT or ACT test prep program such as one-on-one tutoring or group classes. To see the best results, students should pair sessions with an expert tutor and constant practice using homework assignments and applications!