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Last Updated: July 20, 2021

Top SAT Prep Books

SAT is a test most students in the United States and those seeking admission in the US must take. As a standardized test indicating the readiness of students' success at the university level, SAT (sometimes in conjunction with the subject-specific competitor the ACT) is a required focus of entry to most universities. The acronym which originally stood for Scholastic Aptitude Test, and later Scholastic Assessment Test, has since lost its meaning. During this nearly four-hour exam, students are tested on questions in three sections: Mathematics, Reading, and Writing and Language. Each of the books listed below offers a comprehensive and strategic plan for preparing for SAT.

Preparing for SAT

The Official SAT Study Guide-2020 Edition

This prep book offers overwhelming content for SAT prep and is a direct source for practice questions. It provides candidates with all the information necessary for the test. It allows them to choose to learn the concepts and then face the problems or do the practice tests and then go back to learning concepts they are weak in.

The book contains detailed descriptions in the Mathematics section accompanied by Evidence-Based Reading and Writing sections. It also offers guidance based on the optional essay category and includes both practice essays and sample responses. The questions are specifically targeted at each question type in the SAT exam thereby making it the perfect choice for tutoring oneself for the exam.

It includes 8 real SAT tests and contains full-text explanations for each answer. Six of these eight tests are available online from the College Board websites but accessing these would require a minimum payment and hence buying the book will provide access to the material that is available online and more.

Reviewers state that the best way to use the book is to use the sections from the test for practice. These sections can initially be taken in an untimed manner so that one can focus on learning and then be timed when thorough with the concepts. Trying to analyze one’s mistake without seeing the correct answer develops perception and eventually helps stimulate critical thinking that helps in increasing the general SAT score.

The Princeton Review SAT Premium Prep-2021 Edition

This book is for candidates who have been dealing with enough content-based books and require practice papers since it focuses more on questions than reiterating basic high school content. The book claims to contain 8 full-length practice tests (4 in print and 4 online), content review, techniques and strategies for the test, and a premium availability of online extras from their site. Candidates that require extensive review on key concepts will find this book extremely useful. The 886 pages are full of subject reviews that require detailed study.

The comprehensive reviews dedicated to each section of the exam also include a hands-on experience with all question types. They provide multi-step problems, passage-based grammar quizzes, and writing exercises that prepare one for the essay. There are techniques and strategies provided in detail in the book that helps maximize the time allotted with examples of how each strategy can be used to one’s advantage.

The online content that comes along with this book includes videos that teach about test-taking strategies and commonly tested topics. Along with this, candidates will get access to college and university rankings which will help them in calculating the target score necessary, college admissions advice, and financial aid tips.

SAT Prep Black Book: The Most Effective SAT Strategies Ever Published-2nd Edition

Candidates who want to do the entire preparation process by themselves will find this book immensely helpful. Containing both subject sections and practice tests, it is the walkthroughs that help one understand SAT and SAT preparation better. The book will leave candidates confident to attend the examination even if they have used this book to prepare on short notice.

This book has been made not in a way that focuses on high school core content but with ideas and tricks that can help one crack the SAT brilliantly with less effort. It contains 600+ questions that have been taken from the questions framed by the College Board and have synced detailed explanations along with them. Candidates can go through the original questions by downloading them from their website and reading the book and the official questions simultaneously.

The book contains walkthroughs if candidates are trying to prep for the exam on short notice and do not have the time to study concept by concept. They help one deal with problems in multiple ways where there will be ways that can be way shorter thereby buying them a lot of time during the exam.

Reviewers claim that this book is the ultimate go-to if candidates are self-disciplined and independent learners willing to put in the hours required for the preparation. The approaches in the book trace out ways in which they are getting the wrong answer and how the correct answer can be figured out from the SAT perspective. The former point is found to be lacking in most of the prep books available in the market making this a go-to book for beginners and pros alike.

Barron's SAT Premium Study Guide

This book is majorly sought out by tutors and parents who help students crack SAT. The book is said to be very organized and even includes a vocabulary section that will aid candidates in acing the Reading, Writing, and Language part of the paper.

The book contains four full-length practice tests along with access to two full-length online practice tests. The vocabulary section is in the format of flashcards which will help one memorize the words along with their meaning.

It also contains detailed explanations regarding SAT and its scoring methods along with advice from teachers who are well versed in the subject. The book then contains subject reviews divided into separate sections along with strategies for the test as a whole and for individual sections. This book, according to reviewers is enough if one cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars on a tutor.

The Princeton Review: 10 Practice Tests for the SAT-2021

The book contains tests that are highly similar to that of the official SAT. The book excels in its approach towards Mathematics and has realistic test questions. The reading comprehension passages and language sections are different from ones that can generally be found online and in a way seems to be of a higher difficulty level than the official test.

The motto that the publishers keep repeating is that "practice makes perfect" which is true when it comes to competitive assessment tests. The ten full-length practice tests are accompanied by detailed explanations of answers discussing how that particular option was chosen. This cultivates a taste for a diagnostic approach that is generally used by tutors and other online agencies offering guidance.

Self-scoring reports at the end of papers help one assess their own test performance even in the absence of a mentor. The review techniques and strategies that are discussed through answers to specific questions help one tackle similar problems that can be repeated even during the official test. The book then is one of those assets that candidates can purchase when they are well versed with the content for the test and requires only additional practice before attending the examination.

This book has a 2022 edition published in the year 2021 but has reviewers claiming that the book is eerily similar to the 2018 edition making the older version a better investment.

Last Updates: 4 Feb 2021

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