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Online SAT Prep Complete Guide 2017 (Updated for New SAT)

Looking for the best SAT prep guides or tips to help raise your score?  Be careful because some websites and companies are still promoting materials for the Old SAT. For online SAT prep recommendations, click here.


Probably the most important factor in test preparation is getting copies of the actual test, the copyrighted versions of past tests taken by real people. Secondly, finding books that specifically target weak areas in math and grammar and vocabulary. So what are the ones that I consistently use with my students and consider to be best SAT prep books?

This article is a new SAT guide that will go through the most relevant points for students, parents, and educators to understand about the new SAT test.

Updates in New SAT – Format Changes:

  • The SAT is now scored out of 1600.
  • The Reading and Writing sections of the current SAT have been combined into a single section in the new SAT, with a maximum score of 800. Writing is now known as “Writing and Language.”
  • The Math section is still scored out of 800.
  • The Essay is optional and has changed dramatically.
  • Instead of 5 answer choices for each question, there will be only 4. This doesn’t necessarily make the test easier since the SAT will just remove the most unlikely answer.

At this point, I can’t help mentioning that the new SAT looks a lot like the ACT. Whereas the PRE-2016 SAT had major differences from the ACT, the 2016 SAT will be quite similar. From here, we’ll break down each of the major sections of the SAT.

By reading this post, you’ll know the answers to the following questions:

  • What are the meaningful changes from the current SAT?
  • How will these changes affect how students should prepare for the SAT?

We’ll also be showing example questions that best illustrate these changes. You’ll see questions that are new to the SAT and questions that will never appear again. I recommend you read through the entire article to get a full grasp of how the new SAT works.

Overall Changes inNew SAT:


1. Best SAT Prep – Math Review

For students looking to score very well on the Math portion of the New SAT (700+), I recommend them to solve the

below-given sample questions (see below).

2. Best SAT Prep – English Review (Reading and Writing)

If you are looking specifically for help raising your SAT Essay score, these sample questions are very good. For lots of students (and tutors), the new SAT essay prompts are challenging, but this guide does a great job of breaking it down.

3. SAT Vocabulary

The good news (I guess) is that the New SAT does not directly test student’s vocabulary level anymore, having eliminated the sentence completion portion in 2016 (and the analogies in 2011). So no more specialized SAT vocabulary prep needed.

4. Consider Taking the ACT

Don’t forget that ALL colleges accept the ACT test scores as well. So if you are struggling with the SAT, consider taking the ACT test. The two main benefits of the ACT is that there is more (and better) test prep material since the test has not changed significantly in the last few years. Second, the ACT tends to be less “tricky” and closer to the subject matter in high school classes.



We’ve gone through all the tips for how the new SAT is different, and how that means the guide to studying for the new SAT will be different.  At this point, we can conclude that …

  • Overall, the College Board lives up to its promises.
  • Students will still benefit from test prep.
  • The nature of test prep, however, will be different. 
  • We must point out that the new SAT heavily resembles the ACT.
  • There’s a common conception that the College Board is enacting these changes because it is losing market share to the ACT. Because the new SAT resembles the ACT so closely, it may have the unintended effect of encouraging students to take both exams.
  • Unfortunately, we do predict that the correlation of SAT score with family income will not change.

NoteMany students and parents do not realize that the SAT is copyrighted material, so test prep materials from companies, cannot publish actual SAT tests in their test prep materials, just approximations of the real ones.

Thank you for reading this post!!! We’ll continue dissecting the 210-page SAT specifications into finer points, but these are the most relevant points for students, parents, and educators to understand currently.

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