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Free Online College Test Prep

By Sarah Klein

Whether you comb the web for printable coupons, browse through used gadgets on eBay, or email Freecycle groups, we’ve all had to get creative about pinching pennies. In these tough times, we’re sacrificing certain luxuries while anxiously keeping an eye on expenses.

One particularly scary expense that you might be worried about is the cost of sending your child to college. Tuition fees alone are often astronomical, and then there is the cost of books, housing and food. All the more reason to save money on getting there in the first place!

One of the big pre-college expenses is preparation—tutors, applications, and, of course, entry exams. SATs, ACTs, and even AP exams weigh heavy on a child’s mind and a parent’s wallet. You may be planning to enroll your child in a prep class or schedule some time with a private tutor. Companies like Kaplan and The Princeton Review offer services like these and more, but those costs may now be looking out-of-reach amid pay cuts and pink slips.

Luckily, these days the web is full of helpful test prep resources that are conveniently at your fingertips and completely free-of-charge. It makes sense to get started with some of these:

  • CollegeBoard.com – Most high-schoolers will know about CollegeBoard already, as it has lots of helpful resources as well as being the gateway to the SAT. It only has one practice test but it has an extensive answer key, including sample essays.
  • ACT.org – While most often used by students in the South and Midwest, the ACT is nonetheless an important item on the college test menu. This site has four to five sets of sample questions in each area the test covers (English, math, reading, science), as well as six sample essays.
  • 4Tests.com – This site allows students to answer sample SAT and ACT questions right on the computer screen, no downloads required. In-depth explanations of answers accompany all questions.
  • Number2.com – Help your teen to personalize this site and it will become his or her own online tutor. The homepage will track progress, time spent studying, and test-taking strengths and weaknesses. Practice questions automatically adjust to the user’s skill level, and the site can even send study reminders via email with helpful hints and strategies.

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