Best SAT Prep Books – 2019 Updatedadmin
Best SAT Prep Books
What are the best SAT prep books?
There are countless resources to choose from, and it can be difficult to pick the right one. Is there a one size fit for all, where a certain book would be great for all students or perhaps we need the right book for the right student?
We will start with the most important tool any student must have. It can be the difference between achieving a great score and completely floundering.
And the best part? It is free!
1. You need the Official SAT Practice Tests provided by College Board
Check them out here: SAT Practice Tests
If you like, you can also get a hard copy at Amazon or your local bookseller.
This tests are as close as you can get to a real SAT test. Many test prep companies provide their own tests, such as Princeton Review and Barrons, but these College Board tests are the real deal and made by the makers of the SAT.
They will provide countless examples of the type of questions you may face, their difficulties, and the layout of test.
Once you are done taking a test, you can then score yourself, and see how well you did.
These practice tests are great indicators for the real thing!
Students often get within 50 points on the practice exams, whether it is up or down, compared to test day. There is always a slight variation between the two scores due to test anxiety, luck, getting a good night’s rest, and other factors.
Next, we will move to grammar.
2. The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar by Erica L. Metzer
The grammar section can be difficult for some, but it is one of the easiest to improve with the right help.
Luckily, The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar provides that help.
In order to do well on the grammar section you must know the rules of grammar. English grammar is a broad subject with many rules, but the SAT only tests a handful. Once you know these rules, the grammar section becomes a breeze.
In The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar, each chapter covers a grammar rule or topic. The topic is covered in simple English, and there are many examples to illustrate the rules. Finally, there is a mini-test at the end of each section to test your knowledge.
It is best to go through the book and learn each rule and then test your knowledge by taking a SAT practice test. It is important to keep track of your progress on these practice to see how much you are approving, and if you need to work a specific topic.
For example, you might be having trouble with verbs. There is a simple fix though. Go back to the The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar, read the chapters on verbs, and do the practice problems. Wait a week or two or however long it takes for you to forget the answers, and try to redo the exercises and SAT practice to see if you improved.
This is an excellent approach. It is always good to redo old sections that you had done to test your knowledge.
You can apply this to any section of the SAT.
We covered a great grammar book, and we will now go over the math section.
3. The College Panda’s SAT Math by Nielson Phu
The SAT math section can be difficult for many students, but it can be conquered.
So don’t worry!
The SAT math section covers many topics: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and some parts of Precalculus.
Often, students are taking Algebra II or Precalc while studying for the SAT, and they forget the older topics. This is a common occurrence with Geometry. Luckily, the SAT has a strong focus on Algebra, and you do not need to worry about Geometry too much. You just need to know basic rules about circles, squares, triangles, and so forth.
The College Panda’s SAT Math book is excellent for relearning all the math rules.
Any student in or above Precaluclus should have learned all the math necessary to do well on the SAT, but these math topics are often forgotten.
It is just a matter of practice.
You need to cover all the topics, and make sure to do plenty of problems.
The book has detailed explanations and tons of problems to work on.
Learn this book from A and Z, and you will definitely do well!
4. The Complete Guide to SAT Reading by Erica L. Metzer
Here we meet Erica once again. Not only is she an expert on the Grammar section, but she also provides great techniques on the Reading section.
Reading for the SAT is a bit different for many students. On the Reading section, you are timed, which can be quite stressful, and you must answer detailed questions.
Often, students will read slowly and try to understand the text. Although understanding the text is important, your main goal is to get the right answer.
You have to adjust your reading style to the SAT.
You have understand the test-makers’ minds, and what kind of answers they want.
If you love to read, then you should have no problem with the Reading section. You might need some minor tweaks here and there, but no worries. On the other hand, if reading is not your strong suit, then Erica provides tons of strategies.
This book is dedicated to reading. General books that cover all sections of the SAT will often give unhelpful and basic advice. Erica helps with reading comprehension, reading faster, the different question types, tips and tricks, and anything else that might give you trouble.
Get this book!
You will not be disappointed.
4. Khan Academy
I am sure you have heard of Khan Academy. It a great resource. They have countless video on all kind of subjects. Recently, they teamed up College Board(the makers of the SAT) to offer a FREE SAT program.
The program offers a wide range of benefits:
- Interactive problems
- Video lessons
- Full-length practice tests
- Personalized study plan
- Instant SAT Essay feedback
Khan Academy is excellent for giving you structure. It covers the test from A to Z. You can also use the previous books mentioned if you have any trouble with a particular section.
In addition, there is a whole bunch of positive data.
Students saw an average of 115 points improvement when studying with Khan Academy for 20 hours.
Those 115 points can be the difference of getting a scholarship or getting into your dream college.
In addition, 16,000 Khan Academy students saw gains of 200 points or more!
Khan Academy is excellent, but you still need to put in the work.
UWorld is a relatively new site that offers a fun and fine-tuned SAT program. It is somewhat similar to Khan Academy, but there are some key differences.
First, Khan Academy is free.
On the other hand, UWorld offers a free trial, but it costs money afterwards.
The basic package costs $49, which comes with the entire test bank(1800+ questions) and 60-day access.
There are more expensive packages, but they are pretty much the same. The Standard package offers 180-day access and costs $79, while the Elite package offers 360-day access and costs $99.
Most students should be fine with the $49 package.
So now the question is why would you pay for UWorld when you could get the SAT Khan Academy program for FREE.
UWorld provides countless questions to work on. These are not official questions made by College Board, but they are pretty close.
There are a TON of prep tests offered by College Board, but sometimes students run out.
You can work on the UWorld questions to pinpoint your weaknesses, improve them, and go back to a official prep test.
This always you to save those precious SAT prep tests.
In addition, UWorld provides detailed explanations for those tough problems. Sometimes, prep books or services offers no explanations, and if there are any they might not be the best.
If you cannot learn from your mistakes, then you are just wasting your time.
Read the UWorld explanations carefully. They provide a wealth of knowledge. Learn why you made the mistake, and correct it. Maybe you are making a silly mistake, then take your time. Maybe you misunderstood a grammar rule. Learn that rule and memorize it.
Keep doing these practice problems, and you definitely see huge improvements!