Tips from an Irvine SAT Tutor: “The Free SAT Study Guide: The Basics”

The College Board recently released a free SAT study guide that will be free to students who cannot afford a tutor or SAT class. The College Board has teamed up with Khan Academy, a website that offers an amalgam of free educational services. With this recent breaking news, students and their parents are wondering how this new free practice guide will help them, hurt them, or just affect them in general. All information is according to reports made by College Board and Khan Academy; parents are advised to confirm information with their educational consultant as it is updated (READ: “Eight SAT Essay Tips from an Irvine SAT Private Tutor”).


1. Content-based material

The recently released free study material is reportedly content-based, meaning that the student would learn about math and English instead of test-prep strategy. This is not a good or bad thing as each student is an individual learner and each one will have different experiences with standardized testing. However, the redesigned SAT is still a standardized test and students are highly encouraged (whether or not they work with a private Orange County SAT tutor) to take several practice tests to get a feel for how they perform as compared to the average student admitted to the universities they are applying to. Students who are on a tight budget can do this by purchasing the official College Board test prep book or by using the free material online.

2. Free Material

Free educational materials are always a good thing, whether provided by a tutor for their students or from an online educational partnership. Students who have no money at all to spend on SAT prep generally qualify to take the SAT for free or at a highly reduced rate (students and their parents will need to check with the College Board to see if their income bracket fits into the qualification). Additionally, if a student can get to their local library and use public computers, they could potentially study for and take the SAT entirely free of charge (READ: “Last Minute SAT Study Guide”).

3.  Mentoring

Although free and accurate material is wonderful, it won’t provide the mentoring that many students want or need from a classroom teacher or private tutor. Many high school students are overloaded with stress, multiple advanced-level classes (Honors and AP), are developing emotional maturity, time management skills, and struggling to stay motivated. This is why a real life educator plays such a key role. Students who can afford a private tutor certainly still have the option to work with one while students who cannot afford supplemental educational services are highly encouraged to inquire within their school and community to search for teachers and tutors who volunteer their free time to help students who are in need of extra help. Many educators are also using technology to reach out to students who can’t afford extra help.

4. Wait and See

Because the free material available to all students who will be taking the SAT has just been released, the educational community (including students and parents) will have to wait and see if this new material is right for them. The best way to determine if the College Board/Khan Academy material helps them on their college prep journey is to simply give it a try. Teachers and tutors are also excited to learn as much as they can about the redesigned SAT so that they can help their students prepare for the exam and, ultimately, reach for the stars (READ: “SAT and AP Exam Survival Guide”).

In Short

Students are encouraged to check in with their private tutor, volunteer tutor, or classroom teacher to get continuously updated information regarding the newly released material from the College Board and Khan Academy. Although the college application process is a long and arduous one, educators of all kinds are here to help their students reach their potential.

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