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The Best SQL Practice Challenges for Beginners

Want to get better at SQL? Dive into SQL practice challenges! They're a great way to learn and improve. In this article, we'll explore why these challenges are important and where you can find the best ones.

Are you a student, a business owner, or an employee? If data is part of your work and you want to learn SQL to manage it, you’ll need to practice. And interactive SQL challenges are ideal for beginners to get comfortable with the language.

In this article, I will demonstrate why practicing SQL regularly is essential, and I will introduce,  an online platform for learning and practicing SQL. Then, I will show you some practice courses tailored for beginners. Are you ready?

Are you just starting out with SQL? Then, our SQL Basics course is perfect for you: it will give you the solid foundations you need for your SQL journey.

The Importance of Practicing SQL

Practicing SQL should be a habit. Here’s why.

You may believe you know the most important things about SQL – and you may be wrong! Practicing SQL, you will find new statements, clauses, or more optimized ways to perform queries. Regular SQL practice will give you a deep knowledge of the language and the ability to use the right keyword at the right moment. It will significantly improve your skills, sharpen your abilities, and lead you to mastery.

By the way, how many hours of practice are needed to become an expert? To find out, I recommend you read the article How Much SQL Practice Do You Need to Become a Pro? by Timothy Edison.

Practicing SQL can also be a game-changer for your career. Regular practice can lead to becoming an SQL expert and moving from being a student to teaching others. Improved skills often translate to better job opportunities and career growth.

I have led multiple job interviews with live coding challenges during my career; believe me, candidates with consistent practice stand out from the crowd. You will not only be judged on whether you solved the problem but the way you did it: Did you hesitate about the syntax? Did you search on Google? The more you practice, the smoother you will solve a live SQL challenge – and the better your chances of being hired.

Learning and practicing SQL can have a great impact on your professional career. For Crystal Frazier, practicing SQL has been a game-changer. I invite you to read her story in How I Used SQL to Advance in My Career.

Being an SQL expert is not just about skills: you need other qualities that only practice can enhance! First of all, you need discipline. Let’s be honest: it’s much easier to watch TV or chill out with a smartphone than to work on a personal project. Discipline is an expert characteristic; practicing will give you good habits that will improve discipline. But don’t be too strict with yourself – practicing SQL for half an hour every day can be enough.

Best SQL Practice Challenges for Beginners

Then, you need patience. How many times do we feel frustrated because of an impossible query involving multiple tables and conditions? Innumerable times! Patience is key for an SQL expert; beginners often lack it. An SQL expert has to face huge and stressful challenges that they could not solve without patience. Practicing SQL will help you overcome frustration and focus on the final goal. It will teach you patience.

Finally, confidence: Have you ever seen an SQL expert being confused or hesitant? An SQL expert can be wrong and have the honesty to admit it, but they’re confident. They know their SQL knowledge and skills are strong, and they aren’t afraid to demonstrate it. Confidence is related to your knowledge and expertise, which can only be acquired through practice. The Best Online Platform For Practicing SQL

As I’ve demonstrated, practicing SQL is necessary. However, there are so many ways to practice online! If you are a beginner, you may want to practice SQL without having to set anything up on your local environment. Plus, you will need some kind of guidance in order for your practice to be effective. Otherwise, it can lead to boredom and frustration.

Let me introduce you to, an online platform for learning and practicing SQL. It offers plenty of beginner-friendly SQL exercises and challenges in its easy-to-use, 100% online interface. Engaging in such SQL practice will expose you to real-world scenarios, making you more adept at handling database tasks.

Best of all, you don’t need to install anything on your machine! You just need an internet connection and your favorite browser. Once you have created an account, you can easily connect from home, from university, or wherever you are; your progress will be saved.

Look at this screenshot:

Best SQL Practice Challenges for Beginners

On the left part of the screen, there’s the exercise. On the right part, there’s the code editor and different tabs showing the results of your query, the database content, and the answer. You can try absolutely whatever you want in the code editor; there are no limitations. Your code is executed, and the platform validates your solution and provides real-time feedback. This helps you identify and rectify your mistakes instantly.

You may wonder about the difficulty of SQL: Is its learning curve steep? Will you struggle? All the answers are in the article Is SQL Hard to Learn? by Jill Thornhill.

Don’t worry about feeling lost in your early lessons on you won’t be given hard exercises at the beginning. All our courses have a structured progression and their difficulty gradually increases. Also, the platform’s progress-tracking features allow beginners to see their growth and the areas that need more focus.

If this is the first time you’ve seen SQL code and you have zero coding experience, don’t be afraid! Kamila Ostrowska explains why SQL is not only for programmers in How to Learn SQL Without Any Programming Knowledge.

SQL Practice Challenges for Beginners’s challenges are interactive: Each one includes hints, solutions, and explanations. This ensures that beginners not only solve the problems but also understand the underlying concepts.’s challenges are not a simple set of theoretical exercises; they are practical and mimic real-life cases. Tackling real-world challenges can solidify theoretical knowledge and boost confidence.

In this section, I will provide an overview of the main practice courses on

The Monthly SQL Practice Track

The Monthly SQL Practice track is one of my favorites. It's a set of 16 interactive SQL courses that will elevate your SQL skills.

Each month, you are given a new challenge within a specific context. This month, you will help Emily, the owner of a local bike rental shop. She has hired you to help her gather data and grow her business. Each monthly challenge contains up to 15 exercises that will allow you to practice your SQL skills.

Best SQL Practice Challenges for Beginners

SQL Practice: University

The SQL Practice: University course is a perfect match for students and beginners. This course is based on a real-life example: the school system. You are given a database of a fictional university and asked to perform operations on it. This course is a great set of 156 interactive SQL exercises that gradually increase in difficulty: The first exercises are about building simple SELECT queries; the last ones will ask you to build advanced SQL queries using your knowledge of SELECT, WHERE, JOINs, GROUP BY, HAVING, ORDER BY, set operators, and subqueries.

Just a side comment: If you’re curious to know which databases to focus on, read Kamila Ostrowska’s article The Most Popular Databases in 2023.

Basic SQL Practice: A Store

The Basic SQL Practice: A Store course is a perfect fit if you run a shop or online store and you want to learn how to master the data you collect. If you run a white-label application for shop owners, like an ERP, this course is also perfect for you!

Best SQL Practice Challenges for Beginners

Nowadays, data has become a strategic asset for almost all companies. Read Jill Thornhill’s article Why Is Data a Valuable Resource for Your Business? to learn more.

Basic SQL Practice: Run Track Through Queries!

The Basic SQL Practice: Run Track Through Queries! course is different from the others on this list. This time, the database contains data from the 2016 Summer Olympics, the 2019 IAAF World Championships, and the 2017 IAAF World Championships. You will find the winners of sprints, marathons, and long distance races. You’ll also rank countries, calculate average speed and distances, etc. If you are interested in sports, athletics, or track, this course is perfect for you!

Basic SQL Practice: Blog & Traffic Data

In the Basic SQL Practice: Blog & Traffic Data course, you’re managing a blog with high traffic. You will be asked to use your SQL skills to analyze the blog’s data and discover the popularity of the articles, the quality of work by the authors, and the effectiveness of article-driven product promotions. If you own a blog or have been hired to manage one, this course is a great fit.

Window Functions Practice Set

The Window Functions Practice Set course is a more advanced course; it’s best for those who have moved beyond the beginner stage and want to practice advanced SQL. The challenges center on window functions, a powerful modern addition to SQL. Window functions allow you to prepare complex reports featuring rankings, differences between two rows, running totals, moving averages, time series analysis, and more.

Do you want more advanced SQL exercises? Check the article Advanced SQL Practice: 10 SQL Practice Exercises with Solutions by Martyna Sławińska. You can also read those articles:

The Best SQL Challenges for Beginners Are On!

I hope I’ve convinced you about the importance of hands-on practice when learning SQL, especially for beginners!

At the start of this article, I mentioned the course SQL Basics. This course is part of the SQL from A to Z track, where you can find the necessary resources to learn and practice SQL effectively. From understanding simple queries to mastering modern SQL features, this track equips you with the tools to work confidently with databases and data analysis.

On, you will find the best SQL challenges you need to enhance your SQL skills. The practice you’ll get in our courses will prepare you to solve real-life problems and potentially advance your career.

Happy learning!