The College Board and Khan Academy Team Up for Better SAT Prep
The College Board partnered with Khan Academy® for a new and improved approach to SAT test preparation: Official SAT Practice.
This partnership was created with the mission of providing a world-class, personalized SAT practice experience to all students, regardless of income level or background. Gone are the days of test prep courses that run students and their families hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Now the best way to get ready for the SAT is free!
As a leader and innovator in online education, Khan Academy was the ideal partner for this work. Khan Academy’s mission is to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Their platform creates personalized study plans for students to help them focus on the areas where they need the most work. With Official SAT Practice, Khan Academy brings students free video lessons, thousands of practice questions, tests and quizzes, study tips, along with articles and homework. These are the only SAT practice tools built by the makers of the test, along with the online learning expertise of Khan Academy.
Let’s look at everything this partnership offers to the students taking our tests.
A Little Background Info on the College Board and Khan Academy Partnership
Khan Academy provides free online courses to learners worldwide. This website has long been helping students get a leg up when it comes to learning new things. What was initially started as a means for Sal Khan to tutor his cousin, Khan Academy began as a series of math videos that gained traction for their ability to provide users with approachable lessons regardless of their income or location.
What's amazing about Khan Academy is that it seeks to level the playing field. A student in a rural village in China can learn the same material as a high school kid from the inner city.
The College Board has been around for quite some time—developed in 1899 as a resource for the college bound. As the owners and administrators of the SAT test, we strive to help students get to the college of their dreams, and we share Khan Academy’s commitment to leveling the playing field.
With this shared vision of providing all students access to world-class resources to prepare for the new SAT and college-level courses, we partnered with Khan Academy in 2015 to create and launch Official SAT Practice.
We’d like to give students an idea of how they can benefit from this joining of educational forces.
Modernizing the SAT Prep Experience
Khan Academy is known by many as a great resource for students who wish to take their education into their own hands, as well as educators seeking high-quality support materials to enable further learning. There’s also the fact that online learning is booming—cited in The Journal as one of the key trends in test prep.
In the past, SAT prep has been characterized by paid courses and the ordering of thick books to help students master word-comparison exercises and memorize the so-called “SAT words.” Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy provides online resources that are tailored to each student to help them pinpoint which skills they need to improve. As they practice over time, their study plan will evolve with them and help them level up to more challenging skills.
The College Board recently made major changes to the SAT test. It tests students on what they are learning while they’re in high school—and Khan Academy has been with the College Board through this overhaul, so their Official SAT Practice will help you prepare in the most useful and relevant way. Khan Academy’s focus, overall, is helping students understand what they’re learning, as opposed to promoting the use of more traditional flashcards and rote-memory exercises.
Official SAT Practice is also 100% online and accessible to students anytime and anywhere they want to study. Full-length SAT practice tests on Khan Academy are timed and scored automatically through the online portal, so students can quickly see what they missed and focus their study hours on those topics. Gone are the days of manually scoring paper practice tests!
Finally, Official SAT Practice provides all students the opportunity to personalize their SAT practice experience by linking their College Board and Khan Academy accounts to import their results from a previous SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, or PSAT 8/9. If students have not taken one of those tests yet, they can still unlock a personalized practice plan by taking diagnostic quizzes.
The Best Practice for the SAT
The College Board unveiled an updated version of the SAT back in spring 2016. The SAT was redesigned to give students a test that more closely reflected what they’ve learned during their high school career and the skills they’ll need for college.
In addition to being an important factor for college admission, the SAT is also a way to secure scholarship funding and can be seen as a predictor for college success—especially for those students who feel their GPA does not reflect their college potential.
Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy was designed for the SAT, so it provides students a truly aligned and relevant way to prepare.
Get Started on Official SAT Practice
Ready to see the College Board/Khan Academy relationship in action? Here’s how to get started with Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy:
If you’ve never used Khan Academy before, you’ll need to sign up for an Khan Academy account.
From there, you’ll create a profile and set up an SAT practice schedule that works for you. Khan Academy will send you reminders to practice on the days you select.
You can create a personalized SAT study plan based on previous test results by linking your College Board and Khan Academy accounts. This video shows you how to link these accounts.
The purpose of linking your College Board and Khan Academy accounts is to import your previous SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9 results and see which areas you need to work on before taking the SAT. Khan Academy takes your results and analyzes them—which gives you personal recommendations on how to best spend your time practicing.
And, if you have not yet taken one of those tests, it’s no big deal—you can skip to the next section, diagnostic quizzes. There are eight of these short quizzes, four dedicated to reading and writing competencies, and four more for math.
Each quiz is only about 5 or 10 questions, and one of the choices on each is “I would be guessing.” The point of these tests is to reveal strengths and weaknesses to better prepare for the tasks ahead. On the actual SAT test, there is no penalty for guessing. When it comes to Khan Academy SAT prep, you’re better off being honest with the testing tools to determine areas for improvement.
Once you’ve completed the tests, you’ll receive a score based on your skill level, which ranges from 1–4, with 4 being the best possible score. That said, it’s unlikely you’ll receive a 1 or a 4. A 4 is given after you’ve shown improvement in a given area and are getting nearly all questions correct. This can’t happen until Khan Academy knows the baseline of your knowledge level.
Once you’ve been assigned a skill level, you can start studying. Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy uses the assigned skill levels to give you a starting point—assigning recommended practice questions and video tutorials designed to build your knowledge over time.
The Importance of Practice
Just like with sports or music, you have to practice early and often if you want to do your best on the SAT. The more you practice, the more familiar you’ll be with the test format and content on test day. Practice helps you build the skills you need and makes you feel more confident. You can try to cram in your SAT prep the night before the test, but you are more likely to perform better if you’ve dedicated time to practicing. Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy allows you to prepare at your own pace, in small manageable chunks, and track your progress.
We know that it can be intimidating getting ready for a test as important as the SAT. With Khan Academy by your side, we hope to make preparing for the SAT easier and more accessible than ever before, so you can show your best work on test day.