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11 SAT Prep Courses that are Completely Free of Cost

While not all universities rely on standardized test scores for admissions (read more about test-optional and test-blind admissions here), the SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test) continues to be a prerequisite for many colleges. This 3-hour pencil-and-paper exam is going to go all-digital in 2024, taking just about 2 hours and 14 minutes. However, it will still test the math, reading, and writing skills of candidates to determine their college readiness. So, if you are planning to take the SAT soon, starting your preparation for the standardized test with a structured course can help. 

Here is how SAT prep courses can help:

Regular practice: A SAT prep course typically offers practice tests to help you understand the structure of the exam. During the course, you will end up taking multiple practice tests, thereby familiarizing yourself with the concepts, timing, and strategies to complete the actual test.

Improved scores: A well-structured SAT prep course can help you identify your areas of weakness. Then, the instructors or tutors can help you work on the problem areas to score better. 

Test-taking strategy: With a dedicated prep course, you can come up with a strategy to complete the test within the allotted time while getting the highest possible score. As you go over the questions, mock tests, and discussions with the instructors repeatedly, you will be able to figure out how to make the most of your strengths on the SAT.

What’s more? You can access SAT prep courses for free! Here are 10 free options we have curated for you:

Location: University of Pennsylvania campus, Philadelphia, PA

Eligibility: High school freshmen and sophomores in Philadelphia can apply. Students from under-represented backgrounds and soon-to-be first-generation college students in their respective families are encouraged to apply.

Application deadline: April, based on previous years; applications open on February 1, 2024

Duration/dates: July 8, 2024–August 2, 2024

Offered by UPenn, the Summer Mentorship Program is a free 4-week college preparatory program designed to encourage high school students from under-represented communities to explore career opportunities. SMP focuses on providing hands-on learning to high schoolers with an emphasis on improving their digital literacy, professional development, SAT preparation, financial literacy, life skills, and post-secondary educational access. So, students will be better equipped to take standardized tests and apply to the college of their choice. Additionally, participants are paired with one of UPenn's five professional schools (nursing, engineering, medicine, dental medicine, and law) and they get to explore career opportunities in these fields. They even get a stipend at the end of the program. 

Location: Online 

Eligibility: High school sophomores and juniors in New York can apply granted they meet the eligibility criteria listed here

Application deadline: January 15, 2024

Duration/dates: February 2, 2024—May 18, 2024. Sessions are held only on Saturdays.

This free SAT prep course is offered under the State Pre-College Enrichment Program (S-PREP) hosted by Columbia University, Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. Held over the summer, the program offers college preparation and career development workshops, college and academic counseling services, field trips, and college tours to enhance college readiness in disadvantaged and underrepresented high-school students in New York. S-PREP is intended for students who are interested in pursuing a career in medicine or STEM fields, so if applying for the program’s SAT Prep course, you should have a minimum average of 80% overall in math and science. You should also demonstrate a strong interest in medicine, research, or STEM careers.

Cost: Free trial available

Format: Virtual

Acely offers an AI-powered prep plan with over 4000 SAT prep questions for the SAT, a feature you can consider while charting out your SAT prep schedule. You can practice with Acely's prep questions for as little as 10 minutes a day, or participate in longer, more extensive modules customized to your preferred level of difficulty. If you're unsure about starting your SAT prep, you may want to consider Acely's bite-sized prep resources to get starter. It also boasts an unlimited number of prep questions, AI-powered performance analytics, and detailed practice tests. This may be a solid option for those looking to stick to a comprehensive practice resource for the SAT, instead of referring to multiple sources on the Internet/prep books.

Location: In-person classes | Applicants can choose from two sites: Dunbar High School, Baltimore, MD and Western High School, Baltimore, MD

Eligibility: High school students enrolled in Baltimore City public schools can apply.

Application deadline: End of May (tentatively, based on previous years)

Duration/dates: The course typically runs from mid-July to mid-August.

Yleana Leadership Foundation offers this 5-week summer prep course to high school students in Baltimore public schools to help them understand SAT content and test-taking strategies. The course will also cover the college application process, with guidance for choosing a suitable college and evaluating financial aid eligibility while applying. During the course, students will take 3 full-length practice tests. The classes will take place on Monday–Thursday from 9 am–2 pm in small groups.

Location: Heim Center, Parkway Central Library, Philadelphia, PA

Eligibility: Anyone in the age group 12–18 can attend the workshops

Application deadline: None. Registration is open via call or email.

Duration/dates: 5 free workshops: SAT Pre-Proctored Exam on January 13, 2024 | SAT Reading on February 10, 2024 | SAT Writing on March 2, 2024 | SAT Mathematics on April 13, 2024 | SAT Post-Proctored Exam on May 11, 2024

Students in Philadelphia are in luck. The Field Teen Center (at Free Library of Philadelphia’s Parkway Central branch) and the Alexander Advantage (a college preparatory business) offer in-person college prep workshops at no cost to teens. The 2024 Spring workshops consist of 5 sessions, starting with a full-length practice exam, followed by advice and strategies on reading, writing, and math sections of the SAT, and concluding with another practice exam to help students compare scores before and after the instruction sessions. Not only are the sessions free, but if you attend all 5 sessions, you get a $10 gift card! You can check out the event pamphlet here and register for the SAT workshops ASAP as they do come with limited seats.

Location: Online

Eligibility: High school students from Connecticut and Westchester County, New York

Application deadline: Registration typically closes mid-July (based on previous years)

Duration/dates: The summer program typically runs for 3 weeks in August.

AMBYESE is a nonprofit that aims to help culturally diverse high school students be better equipped for their educational and career prospects. It does that through mentoring, annual conferences, and the Y.E.S I Can summer program—a college preparatory experience. The 3-week virtual program focuses heavily on SAT prep and career exploration. So, it is designed for high-achieving students interested in science, technology, engineering, math, law, business, mass media/communications, and healthcare careers.

The program is entirely free and is open to 25 students each summer. A week in the program would consist of classes on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and field trips/site visits on Wednesday. The classes cover intensive SAT preparatory instruction, focusing on SAT math and SAT English/language arts.

The program also offers a college transition program, which is designed to improve college readiness by preparing students for the application and acceptance process. As for the weekly field trips, in the past, participants have visited reputed establishments like the Connecticut Science Museum, Pfizer Research Laboratories, the New York Stock Exchange, and ABC 7 studios.

Location: Online

Eligibility: All high school students can apply.

Application deadline: None

Duration/dates: 1-and-a-half hour sessions are scheduled as and when available. The next session is scheduled for January 22, 2024.

Path to College Fellowship is a nonprofit initiative with the goal of improving SAT scores and increasing applications to colleges and scholarships to higher education. To achieve this, it offers a free SAT preparation series, with multiple online sessions scheduled throughout the year. Whether you attend individual classes or the entire series, you will learn tips and tricks from SAT tutors, review actual test questions, and get guidance on how to improve your score. All you have to do is choose from the available workshop dates here, register for the session, and on the day of click on the Zoom link and be prepared with your calculator, pencil, and paper to take notes. 

Location: Online

Eligibility: Anyone can enroll in SAT prep sessions and the SAT Bootcamp.

Application deadline: Rolling basis. Prep sessions and SAT Bootcamps are organized throughout the year. Registration for the next Bootcamp begins on January 29, 2024.

Duration/dates: The next available SAT session is scheduled for January 17, 2024. Bootcamp dates are not yet announced.

Khan Academy’s sister non-profit offers students free SAT prep through peer tutoring. So, students who have taken the SAT and completed tutor training on the site can become tutors and host sessions to help other students with their math and science schoolwork as well as SAT preparation. This is a free online tutoring platform open to all students. You can explore upcoming sessions on the website and choose a 1-hour session on math, reading, or writing scheduled by peer tutors. You can also sign up for a free 4-week SAT Bootcamp to prep right before the actual test. SAT Bootcamp allows a maximum of 10 learners in each series, where an online peer tutor teaches students in 75-minute sessions twice a week, covering SAT Math and/or Reading. You can join the Bootcamp mailing list here to get updates regarding the next session.

Location: Online

Eligibility: Anyone can access the free resources on the UnionTestPrep website.

Application deadline: None

Duration/dates: Self-paced

UnionTestPrep is a free site offering study materials for a variety of examinations, including the SAT. You can access free SAT practice tests, practice lessons, flashcards, and study guides to prepare for the actual exam. The lessons comprise 10 questions each to get an in-depth knowledge of each SAT section. You can also try answering a total of 280 practice questions across all sections. The flashcards give you a quick overview of important concepts with a question and answer on each card. Finally, the study guides can help you make the most of the preparation and understand the structure of the test. While many SAT resources on the site are absolutely free, you can upgrade to the Premium version for just $14. This gets you offline access to all the resources, bonus lessons, and an ad-free study experience.

Location: Colgate University campus, Hamilton, New York

Eligibility: Students from central New York

Application deadline: None

Duration/dates: None, but will conclude before the May 4, 2024 administration of the SAT.

Colgate University’s Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education, or COVE, offers a free SAT preparation course for high school students in central New York. Here, Colgate University’s student coaches or tutors meet high schoolers in small groups at the campus and help them practice for the reading, writing, and math sections of the SAT. The classes also cover college preparation activities and application advice. Overall, the free SAT prep course offers a combination of tailored SAT instruction, practice question solving, time management strategies, preparation for the optional essay, and 2 full-length practice tests along with their results.

Location: Online

Eligibility: This course is open to everyone!

Application deadline: None

Duration/dates: Self-paced.

Khan Academy is a non-profit that partnered with College Board (the maker of Digital SAT) to offer a free SAT prep course.

Through a combination of practice questions, videos, lessons, quizzes, and hints, this course helps participants acquire key skills required to take the test. Additionally, you will pick up test-taking tips and strategies along the way. The course mimics the official Digital SAT exam by dividing lessons into two sections: Math and Reading and Writing. The math units cover algebra, problem-solving and analysis, advanced math, geometry, and trigonometry across easy, medium, and hard levels. For the second section, Khan Academy offers units covering foundational, medium, and advanced reading and writing know-how along with grammar practice. You can apply the skills you acquire in the SAT prep course on the full-length practice test available on College Board’s Bluebook app. For more information on SAT practice, you can check out this guide offered by College Board.

A few more free SAT prep resources for you:

If you’d like to recommend a rigorous research program open to high schoolers, you may want to consider the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded by researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here. You can also reach out to us at to know more, or to have a chat about possible collaborations!

Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a Ph.D. student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.

Image Source: Khan Academy logo



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