Best SAT Books for 2014
When you're a self-motivated studier, or you just do not have time (or cash!) to hire an SAT tutor, then preparing with one of the best SAT books like one of these listed below is a fantastic option! Plus, when studying from a book, you'll have the benefit of studying on your own time, whether that's cramming in a study session prior to school or slipping in a late-night session when all of your friends are already in dreamland.
Each one of the best SAT books offers practice tests, strategies, tips and content questions to help guide you toward the top SAT score you can possibly earn, but since every book has a particular strength (ranging from readability to thoroughness), it wouldn't hurt to purchase a couple of these to get the most bang for your buck. They're all very competitively priced.
Here are a few of the best SAT books out there to help you get ready for this big test!
Why Buy? You need to work on your skills.
Yes, it might seem insane to buy three separate books for the SAT exam, but that's because you haven't taken a peek inside the SAT Bibles from PowerScore. If you have the time to work your way through these books, then you'll have every tool you need to succeed on this exam. The author, Victoria Wood, a test prep writer with nearly 20 years experience in education and test prep, focuses on the skills you need to score well on the exam. It does you little good to learn advanced test-taking strategies if you don't understand your parts of speech or can't compute the area of a triangle. These books start you off with the basic skills so you can master the details before plunging into the test strategy (and there's a ton of that, too!) As a teacher, these books are my top picks.
Cool Inclusions: A list of roots and affixes so you can learn five words at a time, and side by side comparisons between "Classroom questions" and "SAT questions."
Why Buy? You need something practical.
Shaan Patel, a student who has earned a perfect 2400 on the SAT (which is very difficult to do, by the way), has written a book describing the techniques he used to earn that perfect score. This book ranks highly on my list of best SAT books because it is practical. Patel's tone is likable and the steps he offers are easy to understand and easy to use. Plus, out of the rest of the books listed on this page, it's the smallest, which adds to the practicality! It would be easy to sling this book into your backpack or even carry it with you for practice on the bus on the way to school or before class.
Cool Inclusions: Specific literature references to use in your essay and a fill-in-the-blank essay template.
If you get overwhelmed by SAT books, and let's face it, that's easy to do, then the Princeton Review's Cracking the SAT may be right up your alley. This test prep company understands that students need to be able to comprehend what they're reading and they make sure that happens in a few ways like adding white space around the edges of pages, putting gaps in between paragraphs, and writing clear headings. The tone of the book keeps with the Princeton Review style; it's down-to-earth, friendly and clear. This test prep company understands that if students get overwhelmed the second they open their books, they're not going to use them.
Cool Inclusions: Eight SAT practice tests (Yes!), and Joe Bloggs, the "every kid" that makes all the mistakes on the SAT so you don't have to.
Why Buy? You need something all-inclusive.
With six practice tests printed right in the book, the Barron's SAT 26th edition book is certainly comprehensive. Not only does Barron's offer you all that practice, they include many strategies for every different type of question on the exam, along with vocab lists, root lists, and practice questions for each mini-lesson they teach you.
Cool Inclusions: Vocabulary cards you can tear right out of the back of the book and a testing tactics preview at the beginning of every section so you know what you're in for.