If you’ve been browsing the world wide web for SAT prep courses and have wondered: is Khan Academy good for SAT prep? — look no further. We supply the answers here, detailing everything you need to know about the company’s SAT prep options.
Without further ado, let’s get into it.
- Totally FREE
- Partnered with The College Board, who creates & administers the SAT
- Can be linked with the College Board for personalized study based on your PSAT performance
- The instructional videos are glossy and well-produced
- Minimal test strategy
- No physical books
- No score guarantees
Is Khan Academy Good for SAT Prep?
In a short word, yes – Khan Academy is useful for SAT prep, and I would recommend including it in your arsenal without hesitation. But that affirmative answer comes with important caveats. Most importantly, as we enumerated in the “cons” section above, strategy is non-existent in the Khan Academy prep course. On its own, the “all-content, no-strategy” approach is simply a losing formula.
My Thoughts on Khan Academy’s SAT Course
Khan Academy gained notoriety in the prep game primarily for its trademark, bread-and-butter short video lessons, which many users found to be effective learning tools. In my view, those are still its standout features.
Its user base now approaches 100 million, with a large proportion of those using Khan Academy’s free services to prep for the SAT. With so many participants, it must be doing something right.
Let’s find out what.
The Khan Academy SAT prep platform is notably minimalist and the interface is intuitive. There aren’t any frills or elaborate graphics that you might expect to find on other prep sites like Princeton Review or PrepScholar.
You can navigate by course topic by scrolling through the list on the left-hand side of the screen. When you click on any topic, the browser takes you to that section, where you can select from a list of individual lessons.
The Khan Academy curriculum is broken up into the following topics:
- About the SAT
- About Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy
- General SAT strategies
- About the SAT Reading Test
- About the SAT Writing and Language Test
- About the SAT Math Test
- About the SAT Essay
- SAT coach and teacher tools
- SAT Tips & Strategies index
- SAT strategy archive: Math
- SAT strategy archive: Reading and Writing
- Resources for full-length SATs
Each main topic has several sub-topics contained within it. In turn, each sub-topic has several lessons. The lessons typically come with a series of videos and text-heavy “quick guides.”
I really like the basic layout, which makes for easy navigating.
Khan Academy offers users multiple free online or downloadable full-length practice tests.
Khan Academy offers two ways to customize your practice test material:
- If you already took the PSAT through the College Board, the Khan Academy platform will prompt you to log in to the CB site through its plan, import your PSAT performance stats, and customize a practice test approach based on that information
- If you haven’t yet taken the PSAT, Khan Academy will offer a diagnostic test to assess your prep needs and design a personalized testing protocol accordingly
In addition to the available full-length online practice tests, you can also download and print paper tests through the platform to get an idea of what the testing experience is like with the real “look and feel” of the actual test.
Khan Academy SAT Reviews from REAL Students
Before enrolling in any program, it’s a solid idea to seek feedback from actual former students who can offer an array of unbiased accounts of their experiences. Ideally, you should seek multiple opinions from multiple sources to ensure you’re getting an accurate, reality-based reflection.
Here are a few Khan Academy SAT reviews from real students.
Margaret Alexander said she used Khan Academy for 70 hours (about the recommended time commitment) and improved her score by 90 points.
Many users report the Khan Academy practice material to be more difficult than the actual test content, which many find helpful as they got a pleasant surprise on test day.
For example, Reddit user alexjw116:
While most students agree that Khan Academy is indeed helpful, and the majority endorse it as a useful tool (including me), the consensus opinion seems to be that it works best in conjunction with another prep method.
For example, Reddit user Alikhan_12345:
Who Needs the Khan Academy SAT Course
Khan Academy is great for students who want to maximize their prep resources but who might be operating on a tight budget – as Khan Academy adds precisely zero to the cost of SAT prep. Which begs the question, in a sea full of pricey competitors: why not use Khan Academy, at least as a supplement to another paid course?
Also, Khan Academy’s course is great for the visually-oriented, as its videos are intuitive, easy to follow, and notably well-produced.
Lastly, even if you don’t use any of Khan’s prep materials, you can always use it solely for the free full-length practice tests supplied through the organization’s partnership with the College Board (find more FREE official SAT practice tests here).
Affordable Khan Academy Course Alternatives
While you’re perusing SAT courses online, here are some other prep options to consider.
PrepScholar vs Khan Academy
PrepScholar is one of the most recognizable names in the test prep industry. Among the many tests they prepare students for is the SAT/ACT. Here are a few of the key differences between PrepScholar and Khan Academy:
- Khan Academy is free; PrepScholar’s cost ranges from $400-$600 depending on the course type
- PrepScholar offers a money-back guarantee for a 160+ point increase on the SAT
- Khan Academy has an app for both Apple and Android; PrepScholar does not
- PrepScholar comes with the option (at a higher cost, of course) of enlisting the aid of an experienced one-on-one tutor who either got a perfect or a 99th-percentile score on the test themselves
- PrepScholar, in addition to a plethora of practice tests and questions and rich graphic and video instruction, also includes plenty of test prep strategy; Khan Academy’s content-heavy prep approach is lacking in the strategy department
If you want the highest-quality graphics and videos in the SAT prep game, consider PrepScholar. For a thorough review of PrepScholar for both the ACT and SAT, check out my PrepScholar Review.
This is an ideal course for visual learners who need to improve their test-taking strategies.
Magoosh vs Khan Academy
Magoosh is another big name in SAT prep – not as popular as PrepScholar, but quite high-profile nonetheless. Here’s how Magoosh stacks up against Khan Academy:
- Magoosh’s basic SAT prep option costs $129; Khan Academy’s is free
- Magoosh only has 3 SAT practice tests; Khan Academy has dozens
- Magoosh has a 1,750+ question bank; Khan Academy has 2,800 practice questions (but, in my experience, they come with more helpful explanations, so they’re high-quality)
- Magoosh offers a 100-point+ score increase money-back guarantee
If you’re looking for a very reasonably-priced SAT prep program with a robust score guarantee, consider Magoosh.
- Legit mobile app
- Few practice tests and questions
UWorld vs Khan Academy
Finally, we have UWorld SAT prep to compare to Khan Academy. Here are the key points to consider:
- UWorld has a nifty performance-tracking feature that provides critical feedback on your weaknesses to develop a better-optimized study strategy
- UWorld has 2,100+ practice questions; Khan Academy has 2,800
- Khan Academy is free; UWorld costs $49 for 30-day access, $69 for 90-day access, and $129 for a year (but you can also get a free trial without a credit card)
If you’re searching for a remarkably affordable SAT prep course that offers more in the way of strategy than Khan Academy, consider UWorld.
A robust Qbank for working through SAT practice questions and explanations.
Check out more popular options with our list of the 8 Best SAT Prep Courses for 2023.
Khan Academy SAT FAQs
Let’s briefly run down some of the more commonly asked questions regarding Khan Academy’s SAT prep.
Does Khan Academy SAT prep work?
Yes. The prep course is light on strategy, but the test content covered is highly helpful.
Are SAT prep courses worth it?
SAT prep courses are definitely worth it, as statistical analysis shows that they markedly improve the scores of those who take them.
How many hours should I study for the SAT?
The answer depends on how well-prepared you already are and what score range you’re looking for, but in general, an 80-hour investment will produce a 200-point boost from your baseline score.
The Bottom Line on Khan Academy SAT Prep
To recap this comprehensive review, here are some of the key takeaways that should inform your ultimate yay-or-nay decision:
- Khan Academy is a thoroughly respectable, very decent free SAT prep course that you should definitely consider advantage of
- KA offers multiple free, official full-length tests that are made available through the authoritative College Board
- It’s not an exhaustive prep program (due to its lack of strategy training) and, therefore, ideally shouldn’t be used as your sole SAT prep tool
- Khan Academy’s SAT prep course works best as a supplemental course to complement another program
Free official SAT practice tests that can be added to any SAT study plan, but is not exhaustive as a standalone prep tool.