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Five Top Test Prep Tools to Get College Ready This Summer

Studying during the summer can be a tough sell; test prep does not seem nearly as urgent as work or which beach to go to this weekend. What’s even harder to commit to is signing up for test prep classes or tutoring sessions with rigid schedules that leave students staring out  the window at the sunny day that they’re missing out on. Luckily, there are an array of online test prep tools that not only help students study for upcoming standardized tests, but that also assist in motivating and keeping track of progress.

Here are just a few of the most popular test prep tools for high school students.


Grades: 6–12

Price: Free–$59.99 (in-app purchase)

Recommended for: Students who are looking to improve their math and science skills for SAT, AP, and JEE tests. The most robust section of the app is the SAT Math section is split up, which is split up  into four sections: Reasoning, Numbers and operations, Algebra and functions, Geometry and measurement. Users can chose between either “Concept Quizzes,” which are designed for learning something. All of the problems and solutions are written by Brilliant experts, as opposed to “Challenge Quizzes,” which are produced by the Brilliant community. These tests are generally harder and range from levels one to five. Each test is a digestible activity of about 10 questions, each one personalized to challenge students and keep them engaged. Don’t have time to sit down and take a quiz? Brilliant offers three of the best problems for users every day to keep test preppers on track.



Grades: All Ages

Price: Free–$14.99/year (for students); $24.99/year (for teachers)

Recommended for: The independent learner who likes to add to a study community. Quizlet has over 2 billion study sessions and 125 million user-generated flashcard sets. Quizlet connects students who are learning the same thing—everything from AP U.S. History to GRE tests. Unique features of Quizlet include voice memos, photos, and a variety of languages including Chemistry and Anglo-Saxon. The app allows you to study your sets on the go and interactively flip through flashcards instead of carrying around fraying index cards. You don’t get the custom lesson plans and tracking capabilities of other test prep apps, but the freedom to learn at a pace that you set can be appealing.



Grades: 9–12

Price: Free–$749/month

Recommended for:
Students who are looking to improve overall SAT/ACT scores through comprehensive mentorship. Testive offers all the benefits of one-on-one tutoring without having to coordinate schedules with a testing pro. Testive calls their tutors “coaches,” in the hopes of developing a fruitful relationship between students and coaches. This service includes weekly lessons with daily check-ins via email or text, whichever is most convenient for students. They make sure each student stays on track to meet the goals that they established at the beginning of the program. Testive takes the progress pressure off of parents, too, by clearly tracking the 20-minute practice sessions and generating results that compare students to their initial results.


Scorebeyond: SAT Up & ACT Up

Grades: 9–12

Price: Free–$24.99 (in-app purchase)

Recommended for:
Students looking for 24/7 tutoring. The app matches students and tutors based on the area of weakness, as identified by the practice tests. From there, students engage in private Skype tutoring sessions that can take place anytime, anywhere. Similar to the Testive Coaches, Scorebeyond has an online community of mentors that are there to listen to students’ worries and help them stay on track towards their goals. Scorebeyond offers thousands of practice questions, personalized activities with feedback, and interactive vocabulary games. Every test result is compared to the results of 1 million other students to evaluate how they would perform on the test day. The individual performance data from the apps are passed on to students, tutors, and parents to track progress and establish lesson plans.


Varsity Tutors: GRE Prep

Grades: Post-Grad

Price: Free

Recommended for:
Students who are looking to take the first step towards pursuing an MBA. The four-hour GRE can be a daunting journey, but the Varsity Tutors GRE Prep app can help simplify the preparation process. The app helps organize information and provides practice tests and flashcard for you GRE’s Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing sections. The app aims to train students to analyze and summarize complicated texts, understand and interpret quantitative data, and apply advanced math concepts to real-world scenarios. Users can also receive feedback on general scores and mastery of concepts after completing each diagnostic test. These tests can help establish weak spots and provide options for how to go about improving those areas. The quick 20-minute sessions or the Question of the Day section are perfect for test preppers on-the-go or post-grads who are unsure about committing to taking the GRE.

Gretchen Kuhsel

Gretchen Kuhsel

Gretchen Kuhsel is a junior journalism student at Emerson College, where she is the assistant lifestyle editor at The Berkeley Beacon. Her work has also been published in various campus magazines and The Connecticut Post. When she’s not writing, she’s spending far too much time online shopping or balancing upside down on her yoga mat.