Best Preparation Books for SAT [2024]13 min read

We have selected some of the best prep books for the SAT exam in this guide. There are a lot of prepping books you’ll find on the market for the SAT. However, most of those are technical and difficult to understand for beginners. We’ve made it easier for you by listing the best SAT study books of this year.

While few of them try their best to shed equal light on all areas. As the market contains a variety of books that makes it is difficult to choose one among them. We have tried to make it simple for you to pick one according to your needs.

Contents

What to Look for in SAT Prep Books?

A book must briefly teach the techniques to solve the type of questions asked in the SAT exam.

  • The book must have step-by-step guidance to solve problems.
  • It should be based on student experiences.
  • The questions asked must be realistic and resemble the official problems given in the previous tests.
  • A good SAT book provides equal weightage to all the portions including verbal and non-verbal.
  • Above all, it must have enough sample tests.

Breakdown of SAT Test

SAT contains three parts.

  • Writing

This portion basically analyzes how well a student can deal with the key ideas of English grammar. It contains two parts, an optional essay and a bunch of grammar multiple-choice questions.

  • Critical reading section

In this section, the examiner evaluates how well you can read between the lines. It tests the critical thinking of a student. The section also comprises multiple-choice questions.

  • Math Section

This portion has two levels Math 1 and Math 2. For the first section, the use of a calculator is allowed, whereas it is prohibited while solving the second one.

Math 1 tests the student’s aptitude in algebra, functions, geometry, probability, and statistics.

Review of the Best Prep Books for Taking SAT Exam

Here are the most reliable options to consider:

1. Kaplan’s Book – The Overall Best SAT Prep Book

Prep books for SAT

If you are aiming to achieve high scores in the SAT exam, then this book is your best friend. The author of this book is trusted by thousands of readers across the globe.

Kaplan offers inclusive prep courses with a comprehensive study plan. One of the significant features that differentiate them from others is their provision of online counselling on demand.

Their team of experts enables the students to ace the exam fetching high scores.

Students around the world have been using this brand to gear themselves up for standardized tests to make their way to their dream institutes.  It guarantees you a 1500-plus score on your maiden attempt.

Features

  • Expert strategies have been used to design the questions as per the standard of Sat.
  • The guide includes ample practice tests to realize the actual nature of the exam.
  • A student-oriented style is used to help the student to understand the solution to the problem easily.
  • It comes with a package of 5 full-length practice tests including two in the book and three online.
  • Pre-analysis section allows you to analyze the areas that either come naturally to you and need little practice or are harder and require more time to improve.
  • It also includes mixed multiple-choice questions from all sections for the assessment of all parts in one go.
  • Equal importance is given to each section such as critical reading and writing, maths, and verbal part.
  • 1500 plus questions have been provided in this book which is more than enough to prepare for the exam.

Pros

  • The top recommended book with a guarantee of achieving high scores.
  • Online tutoring and analysis of practice tests are individually provided by SAT experts.
  • The questions asked in the book are simple to advance and are realistic.
  • The book is worth its price and you need not consult any other book.  
  • It can be used by beginners as well as advanced-level students.

Cons

  • On-demand, tutoring is a bit expensive.
  • Online teaching focuses more on group learning.

2. College Board Official SAT Study – The Best SAT Preparation Book for High Scorers

good book for SAT preparation

It is the only source published by the SAT authorities themselves makes it more trustworthy to choose from. The questions asked in this guide are closer to those asked in the official Sat exam. The book covers all the sections of the test holistically giving equal weightage to all three portions.

The breakdown of the questions and their answering technique is what makes it the most popular among the students. A step-by-step guide is provided to choose the right answer among the given options.

Features

  • The book offers 8 full lengths past SAT exams. The straightforward technique used by their team of experts lets the students directly dive into the nature of the questions they have to prepare.
  • Instead of teaching tips and tricks, their methodology focuses more on making people skilled enough so they can attempt questions of any nature.
  • It includes detailed chapters and at the end assessment exercise is given to self-analyze your level of comprehension.
  • The questions are designed as per the structure of the actual Sat exam.
  • Unlike others, it gives enough importance to the grammar section, reading, and writing sections.
  • Simple strategies have been used to teach basic concepts of mathematics.
  • It gives you up-to-date material straight from the exam writers.
  • Above all, there is a particular section named optional essays. Sample essays have been included to make an overview of students to attempt this part.

Pros

  • It is the most viable option as it comes straight from the hands of exam makers.
  • It updates the material almost in every new edition it brings.
  • Some of the sections of the book are available online.

Cons

  • The book is easy to comprehend for advanced-level students.
  • In-depth rules of grammar portion are ignored by the writers.

3. SAT Prep Black Book 2nd Edition – Best Practice Book for SAT Exam

SAT black book prep for beginners

The book is written by Mike Barrett, a renowned name in the field of teaching SAT. The author’s well-earned name in the field of SAT builds the trust of the students to follow this book. He has smartly viewed the tricks needed to crack the questions asked in the exam.  

The book is designed in such a systematic way that it lets you master the SAT exam in no time. Not only does it cover the math section, but has also given equal weightage to the English essay and grammar part. Students around the globe have been following this book for years.   

Features

  • The nature of questions in this book resembles those asked by the College Board in the SAT exam.
  •  Hence the student is made capable of solving the problems in the minimum possible time.
  • The book contains around 600 plus MCQs previously asked in the SAT official exam.
  • The author has used special techniques to understand the real nature of the questions.
  • It applies the law of breakdown to every question to choose the right option from the multiple choices.
  • It applies all the possible alternative approaches to solve a single problem.
  • Continuous repetition of certain strategies in this book is an indirect way of making them second nature to the students.

Pros

  • Being well-designed, this single book is enough to go through all areas.
  • Unlike others, the author has omitted unnecessary details to keep students engaged.
  • It has given equal importance to all the sections of the SAT.
  • The product is frequently followed and recommended around the globe.

Cons

  • The book is a bit expensive.

4. Barron’s Book – Top-Rated SAT Prep Book

Barron SAT book

Well, Barron if said a leader in the field of test preparation would not be wrong. Its name is the most taken when it comes to the authenticity of sources needed for the student who is self-studying for standardized tests like the SAT or PSAT.

A wide series of books is offered by Barron’s publishers. It includes a holistic book which is excellent for general preparation. A set of other books targeting the specific areas only are also available, which are helpful to focus more on a harder area only.

Features

  • They update the material every year according to the questions asked in the exam.
  • A general book covers the syllabus entirely.
  • The general version of this book includes seven tests including four full-length preparation tests on the book, two tests online, and one diagnostic test.
  • These tests enable the students to develop a basic idea of the questions asked in the exam.
  • Practice tests also help the students to recognize the area that requires improvement.
  • The nature of the questions asked in these books is rational.
  • These books provide a clear explanation of answers at the end of each problem.
  • A step-by-step guide is provided to clarify the concepts easily.
  • These books are designed as per the mindset of the student.
  • They offer unlimited online access for practice tests.

Pros

  • A student who is weak in a certain area can opt among the set of their series.
  • Using a specific subject book aids the student to concentrate on the area that needs more improvement,
  • The strategies used in these books consume less time to comprehend the nature of a problem.
  • The book is cost-effective as compared to others available in the market.
  • By buying the SAT premium study guide one can access their online platform where they can improve their vocabulary.

Cons

  • The general version of the book focuses more on the math section only.
  • It lacks a strong grip over the verbal section.
  • Barron’s book is not for beginners.

5. Princeton Review SAT Premium Prep

Princeton SAT book

It is another budget-friendly package the students are consulting to boost their scores. The book offers a smart course that covers the entire syllabus in a single binding.

Princeton has designed its course in a variety of ways such as self­­-study, online tutoring (they call it Essentials), and high-score guarantee-based courses.

The most popular among the students is the package that guarantees a 1400 plus score with two months of preparation.

Although the brand is known as the one charging heavy fares for their courses, however almost throughout the year they come up with different discount deals to compensate the students.

Features

  • Their course is built upon two main components customized study plan and study units.
  • The study unit consists of two main parts the learning part and the practicing part.
  • The learning part teaches you in-depth knowledge of the material included in the syllabus. Whereas in the practicing part, the questions are given in a way that assigns you similar questions that come in real SAT.
  • In online classes, they analyze your strengths and weaknesses via a diagnostic test and provide you with a track to follow.
  • For better comprehension of the concepts, they provide short video lessons to engage the students.
  • They offer one-year online access.

Pros

  • The courses are designed with different budget packages.
  • They offer detailed procedures to understand the answers.
  • It can be reached via Kindle.

Cons

  • Some of the practice questions are more difficult than real Sat questions.
  • Students lose focus as the live sessions are of more than three hours.
  • Classes less than two hours are an ideal time limit to engage the students.

6. McGraw-Hill Education SAT 2023

McGraw

They offer a detailed strategy to help students improve their Sat scores. Their updated material is as per changing trend of the SAT exam.

Each coming version is designed according to the nature of questions that come in the SAT exam. Such a book helps the students to develop the confidence to sit in the exam.

Features

  • As the guide offers a comprehensive course, a single book is enough to complete the entire course.  It also allows you to access their material from any digital device supporting the format. Online studying also allows students to get immediate feedback on their practice tests.
  • The book comes with a detailed concept-based explanation of the answers.  
  • Practice questions are similar to those of the official Sat exam.  It helps the students to pinpoint their weak areas.
  • There are around seven hundred exercises with targeted material.
  • It contains eight full-length Sat practice tests. Among them, five are available in a book and three can be accessed online.
  • Easy-to-understand key answers are available for each practice problem.
  • A step-by-step guide for the answers helps the students to have a conceptual base grip to choose the right option.
  • A versatile way of teaching is adopted including flashcards, games, etc. to make problem comprehension even easier.
  • The content of the guide is continuously updated.
  • It pays significant attention to help beginners understand the key concepts required to ace the exam.

Pros

  • The book is best for learning a pool of words.
  • It is best to polish the mathematics-based skills of the students.

Cons

  • The reading and writing-based portion seems to be a bit compromised.
  • Break down of the book specifically in the English section is limited.

Breakdown of SAT Test

SAT contains three parts.

  • Writing

This portion analyzes how well a student can deal with the key ideas of English grammar. It contains two parts, an optional essay and a bunch of grammar multiple-choice questions.

  • Critical reading section

In this section, the examiner evaluates how well you can read between the lines. It tests the critical thinking of a student. The section also comprises multiple-choice questions.

  • Math Section

This portion has two levels Math 1 and Math 2. For the first section, the use of a calculator is allowed, whereas it is prohibited while solving the second one.

Math 1 tests the student’s aptitude in algebra, functions, geometry, probability, and statistics.

The Verdict

Above mentioned sat books are the most recommended ones by the test qualifiers.  They are the best sources for self-paced targeted studies. All of them have been proven as the best sources to enhance the scores of the students.

However, they all contain some strengths and weaknesses. Collectively they provide enough material to gear the students up for Sat exam. But some of them highlight a particular section more than others.

Hence if you are looking forward to focusing more on a certain area only you can pick the one according to your need.

At last, the quality of the material is important but what’s more important is consistency. The more you practice the more marks you will acquire.