Spring is here, and with the nice weather comes testing season! As the days grow longer and the temperatures warm up, many high school juniors and seniors will begin to prepare for a plethora of state-mandated tests and the infamous SAT and ACT. Though this will be a challenging task, there are many ways to increase your odds of achieving high scores, including fun apps to study with. Apps alone won’t be enough preparation, so it’s important to continue to pay attention in class, take official College Board practice tests, and focus on your areas of improvement. But if you’re looking for a quick, convenient, supplemental study source, these are the apps you want on your phone.
1. Khan Academy
If there’s one app on this list that you choose to download, let it be this one. Khan Academy offers personalized SAT practice based on the results of your previous SAT, PSAT, and PSAT/NMSQT. Simply link your College Board account to your Khan Academy account and start practicing. As you complete modules, the app reconfigures your areas of improvement to ensure you’re being challenged. Overall, this app has a clean, organized look that makes SAT prep easy—and free!
- Official College Board practice tests
- Instructional videos to accompany practice problems and topics
- Advice, articles, and test-taking tips/strategies
- Optional essay portion: Write a practice essay and receive free feedback for when you have to write the real thing
- Study schedule: App asks you to create a practice schedule so you’re practicing enough leading up to your test date
Related: 5 Great Ways to Prepare for the SAT
Developed by the College Board, Ready4SAT provides students with custom practice questions based on a small diagnostic test prior to downloading the app. Similar to Khan Academy, Ready4SAT also provides video lessons, articles, and testing strategies to make studying more efficient and less stressful. However, some features are not available upon downloading due to necessary in-app purchases.
- Custom content review/explanations
- Virtual flashcards
- Official practice tests
- Question of the Day: Exposes you to SAT content on a daily basis without being overwhelming
3. SAT: Practice, Prep, Flashcards
Though it may seem redundant to explain the title, this app offers basic practice questions, (though not official College Board content) tests, and flashcards. But what’s especially helpful about the Practice, Prep, Flashcards app is that it offers timed sections so you can practice your pacing and figure out how much time you need to accurately respond to the questions. Tons of students find the timing of the SAT to be confining, but with a little practice, you’ll be comfortable when the timer begins on the official test.
- Roundup of results from tests and timed section averages
- Specific SAT concepts with levels from easiest to hardest
- Explanations for all answers with an option to learn the concept before practicing
- Question of the Day: Ensures you’ll practice each day, even if it’s for just five minutes
4. Math Brain Booster Games
Moving away from the all-encompassing apps, let's focus on numbers. Though I would give up my left kidney to avoid having to do math, Math Brain Booster Games makes concepts such as basic math and the heart of algebra approachable. I recommend this app primarily for quick daily practice, as more complex problems don’t have in-depth explanations with step-by-step instructions. Though many of the problems the app covers are simple arithmetic questions, honing these skills can save a lot of time on the real test when you have to tackle a difficult question that requires a little more brain power.
- Training modes and different levels of difficulty
- Timed practice
- In-app schedule for next session with reminders
- Compete with friends and share your progress and points earned
5. Edison Calendar
Though this isn’t really a test prep app, it’s a productivity one that will ensure you’re using your prep apps on a regular basis while juggling your other commitments. Personally, I find it very difficult to study for standardized tests on top of schoolwork and activities, so having a digital planner makes life easier. Edison Calendar helps break down your overall goals into smaller tasks so that you actually achieve them instead of getting overwhelmed and avoiding them. Goals can be set weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly. Based on which you choose each day, you’ll have to fulfill a mini-goal that contributes to your overall goal.
- Break down goals into subdivisions
- Place a time frame on when to complete tasks
- Color coding and customizable organization
- Clean and minimalistic layout
There you have it—five of the best apps to help you study for standardized tests. Though I focused on SAT prep, these apps are universal and great tools for general studying. Be sure to create a study regimen and stick to it; repetition and exposure are key to knowing the content and feeling comfortable on test day. Continue to put in the hard work both on your own and in class, and you’ll see the fruits of your labor when you receive your scores.
Looking for other ways to spice up your test prep? Check out our article on How to Make Studying for Standardized Tests Fun.