Khan Academy has partnered with College Board to offer free SAT preparation material through Khan Academy’s online platform. The objective is to make college admission fairer and less stressful for students thanks to high-quality, personalized practice material that will be available to any student with Internet access.
Together, the Khan Academy and the College Board ― the nonprofit organization that creates and administers the SAT — have developed a comprehensive library of free, online preparation materials and interactive quizzes. According to Wired.com’s Jason Tanz, this development constitutes:
“[A] radically democratic reboot of the test-prep industry, which up until now reserved its advantages for the relatively well-heeled who could afford their pricey tutorials.”
Students preparing for the SAT first complete diagnostic tests and are then ranked on a scale of 1 to 4 on their skills and knowledge. Currently, there are eight diagnostic tests students can take to identify their weakest spots. Then they are able to watch videos and practice subjects they need to improve upon.
Offering free SAT prep materials aims to make college admissions fairer by ensuring that every student with Internet access has the same learning and practice opportunity as everybody else. Khan Academy offers college applicants the opportunity to watch videos on how to approach various SAT questions, receive SAT practice tips and get instant feedback on their practice. Khan Academy also offers hundreds of test questions to prepare students as well as four complete full-length practice tests.
This is a warmly-welcomed development, especially for students who cannot afford to take a commercial test-prep service or for learners that don’t have the family support to complete a self-paced practice. David Coleman, College Board president and CEO, said in a statement highlighting the SAT prep material’s free status that:
“We are equally committed to enhancing instruction and providing resources for students who are behind. We can ensure that now and forever, these tools shall be freely available for all.”
Khan Academy offers math and reading quizzes. The comprehensive full-length practice tests are developed by the College Board itself. Both will help students prepare for the revamped SAT debuting March 2016.
The ‘college readiness partnership’ of Khan Academy and the College Board aims to familiarize college applicants with the changes in the revised Scholastic Assessment Test and to better align school curricula with test content, and make test prep less stressful:
“Everything we are doing is to make it easier for students to navigate this territory we know has typically been filled with anxiety,” David Coleman said.
Nonprofit organization founder Nicole Hurd of College Advising Corps considers the Khan Academy materials a “real paradigm shift”. She said it turns SAT prep into an educational opportunity for all:
“If a young person takes the SAT math section, and they don’t do well, instead of saying, ‘Well, you don’t do well,’ it will push them back into the Khan curriculum so they can get the math skills they need so they are SAT-ready.”
Wired.com’s Jason Tanz highlights that “[i]f everyone has access to free prep tools, there will still be plenty of parents eager to pay for an extra leg up.”