Khan Academy SAT Prep Review

Thinking about how to maximize your SAT score with effective prep? 

At PrepMaven, we’ve got over two decades of experience guiding students to top scores on the SAT and ACT.

We’re using that experience to take a deep dive into Khan Academy’s SAT Prep offerings. Read on to learn what Khan Academy offers, where it excels, and where it falls short. 

Jump to section:
Khan Academy SAT Prep Review: Fast Facts
Khan Academy SAT Prep Overview: Services
Khan Academy SAT Prep Review: Price 
Khan Academy SAT Prep Review: Digital SAT Practice
Khan Academy SAT Prep Review: SAT Boot Camp
Khan Academy SAT Prep Review: AI-tutoring
Khan Academy SAT Prep Review: Final Verdict


  • Khan Academy is a free SAT prep resource that partners with College Board. 
  • Khan Academy primarily offers self-guided resources, like practice question sets and video explanations. 
  • While the questions and resources are high quality, the interface can be frustrating, preventing you from choosing what skills you practice. 
  • Khan Academy’s greatest drawback is that it doesn’t really provide one-on-one help.
  • Khan Academy’s SAT resources are also much less helpful for advanced students (scoring above 700 in each section). 
  • Overall, Khan Academy’s SAT resources are a great supplement to personalized, one-on-one SAT prep from a tutor. 

Khan Academy offers three main services for SAT Prep, each of which we review in detail below. 

The first and main offering is a library of asynchronous, self-guided lessons, practice problems, and quizzes. All of these are modeled closely after real College Board digital SAT questions.

The second service is technically offered through Khan Academy’s partner, Schoolhouse, but is linked directly on the Khan Academy home page: a 4-week virtual SAT Boot Camp. This involves two 75-minute sessions per week in small groups of 10 students run by a peer tutor. 

The third SAT prep service is new: Khan Academy is experimenting with “AI-tutoring” with the disastrously named “Khanmigo.”

Is Khan Academy the best SAT prep service? Is it worth spending $4 a month on an AI chatbot, or joining the free bootcamp? Read on to find out. 


Here, Khan Academy is a sure winner: their resources are totally free for students! Indeed, Khan Academy’s SAT prep resources can practically be thought of as an extension of College Board itself. 

There are no memberships, no fees, no ads: it really is just a collection of free questions, lessons, and practice materials for the new SAT. 

In fact, Khan Academy’s partner site, Schoolhouse, even offers free virtual SAT Bootcamps–though these aren’t the best fit for all students (read on below).

There is one exception: the AI-tutor service does cost money. It’s only available to students who pay a $4/month fee. We think this is pretty affordable, especially considering how much free material Khan Academy offers. Read on to see how good each of these offerings actually is!

Rating: 10/10


Khan Academy mostly offers asynchronous, self-guided lessons and practice quizzes. For all the College Board question categories, Khan Academy offers a basic lesson, a couple example walkthroughs at different difficulty levels, and then a set of practice questions or a quiz. 

We’ll start with the positive aspects of these resources first: 

  • The questions themselves are high quality! These are very similar to real SAT questions, which is something you don’t typically get with third-party resources. 
  • The lessons, which include short videos and written-out explanations, are also clear, concise, and generally helpful when it comes to understanding basic concepts. 

These are important positives that make Khan Academy a powerful test prep resource for the digital SAT!

However, the negatives mean that it shouldn’t be your only resource: 

  • The interface itself is clunky, annoying, and can even prevent you from practicing what you need. If you want to practice a specific concept or question type, you’ll only get 4 questions. Once you complete those, you’ll be moved to the next “lesson,” which may not be what you want or need. 
  • Because of that design, as well as the difficulty level of the questions, Khan Academy isn’t a great resource for advanced test-takers. If you’re scoring around 700 or higher on a section, Khan Academy practice isn’t what you need: you’ll find it slow, easy, and inconvenient. 

When it comes to Khan Academy’s Digital SAT practice resources, then, they’re best suited for students who are really new to the SAT or struggling with fundamental concepts. They’re not great for more advanced students. 

Khan Academy’s online SAT Prep portal also isn’t the right choice for students who need things explained in multiple ways, or students who like personalized instruction. Because it’s all prerecorded, Khan Academy material can be frustrating for students who don’t immediately get it. 

We’re not against these resources, but it’s really the kind of material that works much better when you have a real human being to help you make use of it.

Indeed, many of our best tutors have used Khan Academy resources to help increase their students scores–but they never rely exclusively on these materials, and they always make sure to use them as part of a personalized, targeted SAT prep strategy. 

Rating: 6/10


While most of Khan Academy’s resources are those lessons and mini-quizzes we describe above, they also partner with Schoolhouse to provide free virtual 4-week SAT Boot Camps for students. 

We love the idea of a free SAT class, especially one that’s virtual and so immediately accessible for students. 

Unfortunately, there are three big problems with the Khan Academy/Schoolhouse free SAT bootcamp. 

First problem: the bootcamp is explicitly not for advanced students. Their website reads, “If you’re scoring in the 400-690 SAT score range in either Math or R&W, you can join these virtual bootcamps to develop your SAT skills with a certified peer tutor.” The Khan Academy boot camps are explicitly not for students targeting a top score. 

Second problem: the SAT class appears to rely heavily on “peer tutors.” Peer tutoring can be a great resource, usually for academic coursework in high school. But it isn’t a good resource for SAT prep. When the stakes are this high, you want someone who’s a real expert at the digital SAT. 

Your peer tutor might have scored well, but they can’t be an expert: they simply haven’t had enough time to become one. 

The third and most serious problem: According to the Schoolhouse website, students in the bootcamp see “a 40-55 point increase” on their overall score. While this might sound nice, it isn’t: even a 60 point increase over 4 weeks of lessons is considerably less than what you should expect to see with consistent tutoring.

 If you were to simply self-study for a month and take practice tests, you’d likely see that same “40-55” point increase. Working with a qualified tutor, like one of PrepMaven’s digital SAT experts, you’d likely see considerably greater improvement. 

Rating: 3/10


Khan Academy, like most everyone else, appears to have jumped on the AI-craze and developed an AI tutor, called Khanmigo, accessible for $4/month. 

Khanmigo promises to be more than just an explainer: it’s meant to guide you towards right answers, explain difficult concepts clearly, and–though they don’t phrase it this way–become something like an on-demand teacher. 

It’s a bold promise, one that we’re not sure it’s really ready to deliver on. 

Interestingly, reviews on Khanmigo are radically divided online. Many parents mention that Khanmigo is great at explaining lower level math and English concepts to elementary schoolers, saving the parents the effort of walking their kids through simple problems. 

Others, however, complain of reliability, including instances of Khanmigo just  giving wrong answers to simple questions. 

In an article for EducationNext.org, Daphne, an 8th grader, writes about her experience with Khanmigo. She notes that it was marginally more helpful than regular Khan Academy problem sets, but also less enjoyable to interact with. 

Most importantly, however: we’ve seen nothing to suggest that Khanmigo is effective for SAT prep. All the positive reviews we’ve seen tend to focus on Khanmigo’s usefulness for basic math and verbal skills. 

Preparing for the digital SAT is completely different from learning elementary-school concepts. The concerns about reliability are especially worrying here: if you can’t trust Khanmigo to give you the right answer and explanation for an SAT problem, you risk jeopardizing your score. 

For that reason, we generally don’t recommend using Khanmigo for SAT prep. Of course, preferences differ: given the low up-front cost, it may be worth playing around with it for 1 month to see if it works for you. 

Still, we wouldn’t rely on it exclusively. 

Rating: 5/10


Khan Academy’s SAT resources are effective when used alongside a real, human SAT tutor. The resources are free and high quality, but they are not enough to maximize your score without personalized, one-on-one help. 

The AI assistant Khanmigo is simply not reliable enough yet to be that one-on-one help. It’s just not worth the risk to your score–and your chances of college admission! 

Instead, we recommend working with someone who not only has a top score themselves, but who’s also been trained in the most effective ways to help you reach your score goals. Contact us today and get paired with an SAT prep tutor, and see why our tutors have gotten perfect 5-star reviews since we started working with students over 20 years ago!

As for the Khan Academy SAT Boot Camp: the score increase of 40-55 points is so low that we strongly recommend staying away. You’d be better off dedicating that time to practicing one-on-one with a tutor, or signing up for our SAT MasterClass, which features live instruction from test prep experts. 

Rating: 6/10


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Mike

Mike

Mike is a PhD candidate studying English literature at Duke University. Mike is an expert test prep tutor (SAT/ACT/LSAT) and college essay consultant. Nearly all of Mike’s SAT/ACT students score in the top 5% of test takers; many even score above 1500 on the SAT. His college essay students routinely earn admission into their top-choice schools, including Harvard, Brown, and Dartmouth. And his LSAT students have been accepted In into the top law schools in the country, including Harvard, Yale, and Columbia Law.