Preparing for college used to involve thick SAT prep books. Those who could afford to would take part in a prep class or even get a private tutor. Now, thanks to technology, there are more flexible (and cheaper) options available. Apps allow you to take learning on the go, and make it more fun. Whether you need to brush up on your math or expand your vocabulary, there are apps that allow you to focus on every aspect of the SAT. Consider the following options to study, practice and monitor your improvement from wherever you are.
Adapster ($9.99; iPhone, iPad)
This app focuses on improving your SAT math score. Start by taking a diagnostic test. Based on your results, Adapster will determine your weaknesses and put together a customized learning plan for you. You will receive a score report with a "Recommended Practice" section, which will focus on questions similar to the ones that you answered incorrectly. If you don't know how to solve a particular question, click on "Hint" and the app will help you out.
This app caters to students who plan to take the ACT or SAT using a Texas Instruments 83/84 calculator. (Certain calculators are allowed to be used during the test.) Completely in line with the ACT/SAT rules, this app will help you program your calculator to help you take the test. The app not only provides step-by-step instructions, including screenshots, but will teach you how to use the calculator on actual test questions. For example, you'll learn how to calculate the area and circumference of a circle, determine the greatest and least common factor, solve a quadratic equation, and more.
SAT Vocab Challenge ($4.99; iPhone, iPad)
The Princeton Review has long been known for its effective SAT prep courses. Now, the company has created a series of apps to help you out even more. SAT Vocab Challenge (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) is one of them. Each volume teaches you 250 of the most frequent vocabulary words encountered during the SAT. Start at the index; here, you'll find the definition, pronunciation and part of speech for each word. After that, head to the "challenge," where you'll be tested on each word's positive or negative connotation, synonyms, antonyms, and definition. The key is to select answers quickly - the "challenge" is timed, and the app will track your performance.
The SAT Score Quest is another app by the Princeton Review, but this one is specifically designed for the iPad. Instead of just focusing on vocabulary, this app will help out with all aspects of the SAT, including math, writing and critical reading. It comes with 45 SAT questions (15 for each of the three areas) and a score report that assesses your strengths and weaknesses. Once you've completed those questions, you'll get 45 more so you can continue practicing, as well as 15 SAT core concept lessons that will explain the logic behind the correct response and show you how to eliminate incorrect answers. To make things a little more interactive, you can record your work and play it back to friends, family and teachers.
SAT Word a Day (Free; Android)
If you only have a few free minutes -- or want a little extra help -- this is the app to consult. You'll get a new SAT vocabulary word delivered to your phone every day, complete with definition, pronunciation notes, as well as a sentence that exemplifies how to use it. You can add the widget to your home screen to make sure you don't miss one word. Should you have trouble remembering a particular word, you can mark it as a favorite and return to it later.