SAT and ACT Reading Prep Resources

If you’re studying for the SAT or ACT and are looking for resources to help you prepare for the reading portions, the following list is intended to reflect the types of authors and works tested on these exams.
Newspapers and Magazines

The Atlantic

Harvard Business Review (limited free articles)


MIT Technology Review

National Geographic

The New Yorker (limited free articles)


Scientific American

Smithsonian Magazine



Non-Fiction Authors: Adam Grant, Brian Greene, Daniel Kahneman, Alan Lightman, Leonard Mlodinow, Lisa Randall, Oliver Sacks

You can also browse Arts & Letters Daily for links to a wide range of publications in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

In addition, I recommend university alumni magazines, many of which are accessible online to the general public. (I’m including those of top schools below since they reliably contain a lot of SAT/ACT-level content but you can also google any university name + magazine and see what’s available for a given school.)

In addition to having a variety of interesting, well-written articles on many topics likely to crop up on various standardized tests, these publications help you get a sense of different schools’ cultures as well as what sort of paths their graduates take.

Consider it double duty: you can do test prep and conduct your college search simultaneously. You might even be able to discuss something you read about in your “why this college” essay.

Harvard Magazine

Yale Magazine

Columbia Magazine

The Penn Gazette

Stanford Magazine

Johns Hopkins Magazine

University of Chicago



Classic Authors: Jane Austen, Ann Brontë, Willa Cather, Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, E.M. Forster

Contemporary Authors: Isabel Allende, Julia Alvarez, Rudolfo Anaya, Michael Chabon, Louise Erdrich, Oscar Hijuelos, Jamaica Kincaid, Jhumpa Lahiri, Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, Amy Tan

SAT Historical Documents

50 Core Documents: Teaching American History

Important Documents of the Revolutionary Era

Federalist Papers

Civil War: Key Documents

Andrew Carnegie

Frederick Douglass

WEB DuBois

Ralph Waldo Emerson

William Lloyd Garrison

Martin Luther King

Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln-Douglas Debates

Lucretia Mott

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

Henry David Thoreau

Booker T. Washington

Mary Wollstonecraft