Does Practice Make Better for the SAT?

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Practice Makes Better?”  The results are in, and official SAT practice pays off.  A study of 250,000 students, from the class of 2017, showed that a little practice goes a long way—regardless of gender, race, income, or high school GPA. In fact, 20 hours on Khan Academy® was associated with an average 115-point increase from the PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT.

Students answer the call.
Click the slide to see an enlarged view.
  • Studying for the SAT for 20 hours on free Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy is associated with an average score gain of 115 points, nearly double the average score gain compared to students who don’t use Khan Academy.
  • When students practiced for shorter periods of time, there were still meaningful score gains. For example, 6-8 hours of practice was associated with an average 90-point increase from the PSAT/NMSQT to the SAT.
  • Many students are seeing extraordinary results. Out of nearly 250,000 test takers studied, more than 16,000 gained 200 points or more between the PSAT/NMSQT and SAT.

What’s even more exciting is that usage is consistent across demographics.

Usage is consistent across demographics.
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 Why link accounts?

  • Personalize student practice: practice recommendations on Khan Academy will be based on student’s SAT, PSAT/NMSQT®, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9 results.
  • When students scan and score practice tests in the Daily Practice App, Khan Academy can use practice test scores to further personalize student practice.
  • Customize practice and recommendations: Khan Academy will use all future scores from the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT®, PSAT 10, and PSAT 8/9 to design individualized practice.
  • Jump right into practice and get personalized recommendations: no additional diagnostic quizzes are needed.

Joshua Sims increased his SAT score by 300 points.  He was on NBC news sharing his story which was also featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Score Improvements with and without Offical SAT Practice
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Want more information?

On December 11, Rusty Anderson, Math Consultant at Kent ISD and Dan Holden, Assistant Principal at Byron Center High School will be presenting a session called “Using College Board Data for Continuous Improvement.” In this session you would learn what to do with all of your College Board data.  College Board provides a lot of data to schools/districts for grade 8 through 11. When we have access to large data sets, productive action steps can be very overwhelming for school leaders. This session will provide Byron Center’s journey in utilizing College Board data as a gauge for continuous improvement. Members of this session will leave with actionable steps to productively utilize College Board data.

Click here to register today for West Michigan Education Leadership Conference on December 11th. 

Another resource is Kari Anama, Director of Michigan State and District Partnerships with CollegeBoard. She will be able to answer all of your CollegeBoard related questions. To reach Kari, send an email to

This blog post was written in conjunction by Kari Anama, Director of Michigan State and District Partnerships with CollegeBoard and Amanda Walma, Professional Learning Coordinator at Kent ISD.

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