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Scale Your SAT Score With The Best SAT Preps
Last updated: 20 Jul 2021
Every year, high school students sit for the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) to test their readiness for college. Passing SAT requires thorough preparation. Whether you are sitting for the general SAT or a subject-specific SAT, you need to understand how the exam works and the best way to tackle the questions. Therefore, SAT prep books are one of the most important things a student planning to write SAT needs. Nothing can be worse than entering uncharted territory without adequate preparation. Usually, an SAT prep arms students with tips on how SAT questions are set.; they also contain past questions and answers with varying levels of thoroughness. All these features are aimed at helping students score high marks in their SAT exams. With the high number of SAT prep books around, you may find it hard to pick out the best one for you. Our expert reviewers sifted through them all to bring you the best SAT preps in 2021. The selected texts include general prep books and subject-specific ones.
Access to Kaplan’s online SAT resources comes with the book
The book comes in paperback only
The Kaplan SAT prep is a well-detailed book that takes you through every step of your SAT preparation journey. The book contains over 2,000 practice questions and answers with detailed explanations. Students also get access to three online practice tests in addition to the two practice tests in the book. The book includes sections where students test themselves to assess their level of preparation.
The book gives students access to an expanded question bank
The College Board SAT Prep caters to your SAT preparation needs without breaking the bank. The book includes guidance and tips tailored to help students score high grades in the essay section. It also contains practice tests to help students assess their level of preparedness.
The book is prepared by SAT examiners
The book is affordable
This edition doubles the number of practice tests from previous editions
You can only score practice tests on College Board’s website
For students looking to score higher grades in the Critical Reading aspect of SAT, the Critical Reader is the ideal SAT prep material for them. The book builds on the gains of previous editions to build proven strategies that help students ease through SAT’s Critical Reading. In addition, it examines each question type and provides in-depth explanations.
The book contains a detailed explanation of each answer
The book contains more than 500 practice questions
It weighs 1.7 lbs
Once you have The College Panda’s Math SAT Prep, SAT math will no longer terrorize you. The book contains practice questions on each topic to ensure that students master them well. Also, mathematical concepts that often give students a hard time are demystified in the book.
The book’s content is concise and descriptive – no fluffs
You can cross-reference the book with College Panda’s regularly updated website
The Princeton Review SAT Prep is a comprehensive book that covers various aspects of SAT. The book contains a detailed explanation of different topics and various practice tests. Some of the tests in the book can be taken offline, while others are taken online on Princeton’s website. It also exposes students to proven techniques that help them
The Barron’s Sat Prep is prepared by a team of seasoned authors with years of SAT tutoring experience. The book discusses all the aspects of SAT in detail. It also contains general SAT answering strategies and specific ones for each section. Online flashcards for on-the-go access to information are available. Students get access to four offline tests, two online tests, and a diagnostic test to identify areas of strength and weakness.
The Black Book is an SAT preparatory text that simplifies SAT for students by helping them leverage their existing knowledge. The book gives students a clearer understanding of the idea behind SAT and how it differs from high school tests. It enables students to learn the format and structure of SAT to ultimately help them to manage their time during the test.
Students can access the book in different formats
The book provides detailed explanations of SAT practice questions
The importance of SAT preps to a high school student cannot be underestimated. They arm students with strategies, past questions, and answers to help them excel in their exams. Whether you are taking the test for the first time or retaking for a better grade, an SAT prep book will do you and your ambitions a world of good. Our review of the best SAT preps is littered with quality books that may leave you wondering how to pick the one for you. This buying guide will take you through the buying process through tips on how to make the best choice. The final section of the guide answers frequently asked questions about SAT preps.
What are some things to consider before buying SAT prep?
Before buying an SAT prep, there are certain factors that have to be considered thoroughly. These factors will ensure that you get premium value for money spent.
General Prep Material vs. Specific Prep Material
The choice between a general SAT pep material and a specific one should be informed by the student’s specific needs. General SAT preps are bigger materials that usually condense content from all the aspects of SAT into one book while specific ones focus on a particular part of the SAT. If you are looking to have an improved SAT score overall, the general SAT prep should be on your radar. On the other hand, if you identify a specific aspect of SAT as your Achilles heel, you should be looking at a specific SAT prep material.
However, there are instances where you may want to buy both categories of prep materials. There is no harm in this. In fact, it gives you a better chance of getting higher grades.
You should also look at the writer of an SAT prep before buying one. This factor is important because the author’s wealth of knowledge greatly determines the depth of the content of the book and its accuracy. You should be looking to get preps written by proven authors with a track record of excellence in SAT tutoring. Thus, you shouldn’t just buy a book authored by a random author.
Most times, your SAT prep will contain past questions and answers as well as detailed explanations of these answers. Apart from this, one of the best ways to test your preparedness is by regularly taking tests. The test allows you to understand your areas of strength and weakness. Thus, you should choose an SAT prep that has practice tests. The number of practice tests differs from one book to the next. Some books even give you access to an inexhaustive question bank.
Note that the number of practice tests and the modalities varies among these prep materials. For example, some are divided into offline and online tests.
SAT preps are readily available in print format. However, many students may be more attuned to reading from their mobile phones or laptops. Therefore, if you belong to this category, you may want to look at books that have other formats apart from the traditional print format.
Books are constantly revised to reflect the latest information. It implies that older versions of a book may not contain up-to-date information. This factor also applies to SAT preps. The latest editions of SAT preps usually contain the most recent information and questions. Buying the previous edition of a book means you are depriving yourself of access to the latest information.
Diction and Tone
The turn of phrase of an SAT study material greatly influences how well students are able to assimilate the content. Generally, prep books written concisely are easier to understand. However, certain grey areas may need more extensive explanations.
Depending on the author of the material, the content may sound like a typical textbook or conversational. Usually, a conversational SAT material often feels like there is an invisible teacher putting you through your paces.
Some publishers grant you access to their pool of online resources once you buy a copy of their SAT prep. These online resources usually prove to be a trove of information for students. They are particularly useful when you are trying to study on the go.
How much does SAT prep cost?
The format often influences the price of SAT prep. For example, print versions are usually more expensive than Kindle versions. Generally, print versions range between $11 to $40. Kindle versions, if available, range between $10 and $15.
Final thoughts on SAT preps
SAT preps are your first steps towards a great SAT score. They are replete with past questions and answers, explanations of concepts, and tips and strategies to help students familiarise themselves with the actual exam. Note that there is no harm in having more than one SAT prep material. Sometimes, you may find out that different materials have what you need for your preparation.
SAT Prep Book FAQ
Do SAT prep books help?
Yes, they do. SAT prep books, especially those that focus on your weakness, can help you to score high in your SAT exams.
Can I use the old SAT book to study for the new SAT?
Yes, you can. Old SAT books are not totally useless as they help you to expand your pool of practice questions. However, they are best used with the latest SAT books to ensure you do not miss out on practicing new questions.
How long should I study for SAT?
You could put in between 8 to 20 hours per week to prepare for SAT. Your study time depends on a couple of things. The score you are aiming at, and your base score from practice tests will determine this.
What can I do with my old SAT prep books?
You can donate them to charity or give them to your siblings or neighbors that may need them. Alternatively, you can resell them online if they are still in good condition.
Nicole is a first grade teacher who entered the field of education for one simple reason: she loves helping people. True satisfaction for Nicole comes when her students demonstrate improvements due to her teaching, and she hopes her input will help educators around the world enhance their classrooms.