Best apps to help begin your AP, ACT, & SAT studying

By Preston Fossee

The Tower (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)


With AP tests just around the corner and many students planning to take the ACT or SAT in the coming months, students would welcome almost any test preparation tool.  While books and flashcards are the more obvious routes, here are a few iOS and Android apps that might appeal to examinees.

AP: While just about any AP test has a dedicated app for it, here are a few that stood out as potentially very helpful for their respective test.

App: American History Test Prep


Cost: Free

While this application is only offered to iPad users, it is worth the effort if you can get your hands on it as it provided many reviews, flashcards, and tests for a topic that is  memorization-intensive.  This app helps strengthen memorization of important American history information, which is key to success on the AP test in May.

App: iElements


Cost: Free

This app will appeal to anyone with a passion for chemistry but can be of great use to AP chemistry students as well.  A handy guide to all the known elements in the universe makes a great companion when practicing AP problems.  Simply studying the information within this app may also help improve your competence.

App: AP Exam Prep

OS: Android

Cost: In-App purchases required ($8.99-$9.99)

This all-encompassing app allows the user to decide which test they would like to study for.  With a wide range of selections, it is a good investment if you are enrolled in many AP classes.  Twenty-five questions in each topic come free, but if you wish to further your studies with this app, then purchases are required.


ACT: The American College Test, or ACT, is a test widely taken by juniors across the country.  It places an emphasis on time management and include a science section unlike its counterpart, the SAT.  Here are a few beneficial apps to aid in studying for this important test.

App: ACTStudent


Cost: Free

This app is directly administered by the makers of the ACT.  Besides providing practice questions on par with those that will be seen on the actual test, it also allows users to manage their ACT account in the app and check previous scores.  You also will not be surprised with any in-app purchases.

App: ACT Up


Cost: In-App Purchases required

This app provides more than 1000 practice ACT questions with the ability to personalize tests to focus on where the user needs improvement.  it provides clear graphs and charts to convey progress made and any other relevant information.  Although this app has received excellent reviews, it does come with a cost.  A one month or three month subscription can be purchased for $9.99 or $19.99 respectively.  It might be best to buy the three month subscription, fully utilize the app, and then cancel the subscription at the end of the three months.

App: ACT Test

OS: Android

Cost: Free

Providing practice questions as well as flashcards, this app provides an immersive experience into ACT studying.  Although vocabulary is not stringently tested on the ACT, this app’s flashcard function might prove useful with the SAT.  If you plan on taking both tests, this is a strong app to consider.

App: ACT Test Prep for Dummies

OS: Android

Cost $9.99

Despite its name, one would be very smart to purchase this app.  It includes practice questions like most of the apps on this list, but what sets it apart is the two full-length timed practice tests included.  In addition, a count-down timer to the next test date will ensure you are not surprised when testing time comes.


SAT: The SAT will be the state-mandated test in Michigan next year, and it is also a required test by many colleges.  Gaining popularity, these apps would be an excellent idea to check out if your dream school requires this test.

App: IntelliVocab


Cost: $0.99

Developed by students at MIT based off the latest research, this app solely aims to improve your vocabulary.  However, this is often the biggest weak point for students taking the SAT.  This app can be downloaded for free with 292 words, but it is highly recommended that you unlock the 695 available words for $0.99.

App: SAT Up


Cost: In-App Purchases required

Developed by the same people that made ACT Up, this app provides the same in depth studying experience that ACT up does.  More than 1000 questions are available to study and the personal study plans seen in ACT Up can also be found here, modified for SAT studying.  In addition, score meters for each of the three tested SAT categories are shown, and this allows the user to monitor their daily improvement.

App: SAT Question of the Day

OS: iOS and Android

Cost: Free

Developed by the maker of the SAT, this app provides an easy and consistent way to study with real SAT questions every day.  It provides a detailed explanation of why the correct answer is correct and gives analytics of how many people got this question wrong and which answer they choose.  Questions cover each of the tested sections, varying each day what section is practiced.  Previous day’s questions can also be viewed.

App: SAT Vocabulary Flashcards

OS: Android

Cost: Free

Similar to intellivocab, this app tests one of the key skills required on the SAT – vocabulary.  Within the app are 350 vocabulary words hand-picked because of their prevalence in the SAT test.  Definitions, example sentences and difficulty levels are provided for all the vocabulary words that can be found in this app.  Developed by a professional SAT tutor with a smart algorithm to modify practice to fit the users needs, this app is surely a great addition to any arsenal.


Final Notes: While all of these apps are great study tools by themselves, using them in combination will provide the greatest improvement.  Also, there may be app counterparts for other operating systems, so if you see an app on this list for another OS, it may also be available on your OS.  Finally, these apps can’t replace physical test taking and should be used to supplement typical studying methods.


Photo Credit: The Tower Pulse

About Grace Masback

Grace Masback, 17, aspires to give voice to the voiceless and holds the modest ambition of becoming the voice of Gen Z. Frustrated by the dearth of impactful platforms for teen journalists, she founded WANT, a news, sports, and entertainment website that aggregates the best in high school journalism from school newspapers and teen bloggers around the world (

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