What are the best SAT prep books?

Well, I was kind of confused when I first realized that last year the Sat changed adding to it a writing section, if Im not wrong…

So I was researching to purchase preparation books and didn’t know which would you guys recommend, since the new SAT has been ever tried.

I was looking for lots of practice because I have around 3 months to prepare it at a full time.

Therefore, I ruled out “The official guide for the new SAt” since it doesn’t give you any explanations…

I am very needed of your suggestions because I do not know which book might give me the best source of knowledge for the new SAT. There are many books for the "old " SAT , but I don’t know if I should buy those…
I think that what I would need are:

-many practice tests >> + explanations

  • vocabulary >> understanding(((think english parts might be hard since Im a foreigner))) >>> consider it as an important factor

  • scores/samples / ways to learn for the essays of the SAT

According to this, please also tell me a good combination of some preparation books in order to improve what I BELIEVE/ guess is important.

BTW, I do not know anything about SAT ,never taken the PSat or other things, which can determine some startups…So please I need your help to prepare for the SAT in a focused way.

Is it worthy these CD’s that prepare you in a computer?? Please HElp that’s all I need!

Guide me in the way you want, I will appreciate it a lot!


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www.smartdoodle.com - it’s free…lots of prep stuff on that site

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THANK YOU VERY MUCH!! I really appreciate it

carpediem, I would recommend the guide on guideparadise.com , helped me get a 2270.

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I paid $899 for a Kaplan course and I didn’t improve my score at all. I paid $10 for TutorFox’s SAT guide and I improved my score over 250 points…You do the math…I found the guide at http://www.tutorfox.com/satguide.html

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I agree, practice is key :slight_smile:

Here are two websites that I’m using daily, and they are fun, too:


Other than that, I suggest that you read the newspaper daily, as well as articles from various scientific-like magazines. I’m not talking super technical stuff, but magazines that have good, general interest articles, such as:


Magazine websites such as these are very good because the articles that you find on these websites are the type of reading passages that you should expect. Nothing too fancy, but not too simple, either :slight_smile:

Hi Carpediem (nice name btw),

Choosing the right SAT Prep book is often a matter of preference. If you find the material boring or too dense, it won’t matter how good it is because you’ll never read it. So my first recommendation would be to choose a book that’s written in a style appealing to you.

The second thing you should consider is what particular sections – Critical Reading, Writing, or Math – do you need the most help in. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any single source that is excellent in all three. However, there are a few books that are particularly good at one aspect or another of the test. The following books are known for being a good source in a specific area of SAT preparation:

  1. The Official CollegeBoard SAT Study Guide - You should know by now that this is the single best source for practice tests. This is because the practice tests in this book are developed by the CollegeBoard, the organization that makes the SAT test. All other companies just try to mimic their practice tests after the ones in this book.

  2. Princeton Review’s Cracking the SAT, 2008 ed. - Cracking the SAT is a classic SAT prep book that ranks among peoples’ favorites every year. This book is particularly good at teaching the concepts and test taking strategies.

  3. Barron’s SAT 2400 - The Barron’s SAT prep materials are particularly good for advanced math students. If you’re scoring within the 700+ range on the math sections, this is the best book for additional practice as the questions in this book tend to be more difficult that the actual test problems. I’m not a fan of the Critical Reading chapters in the book, and the Writing chapters are just OK.

  4. Sparknotes Guide to the New SAT and PSAT - This book does a good job with the Writing Sections and a pretty good job overall. I personally think this study guide is the most enjoyable to read as the writers regularly make reference to pop culture (with references to 50 cent and the likes) and infuse a little bit of humor to otherwise dull material. They deserve credit for the effort.

  5. Kaplan’s SAT 2008 Premiere Program - Kaplan is perhaps the best known company in the test prep industry. While this book is not spectacular in any particular aspect, it’s better than average in almost all aspects. As a bonus, this book also comes with a CD for those who prefer a more interactive learning experience.

  6. The RocketReview Revolution Guide to the SAT – Aside from the cheesy name, this is actually a very good book. The gimmicky title is actually a bit misleading as the author of this book, Adam Robinson, is one of the most respected people in the test prep industry. He’s actually the one who wrote the original Cracking the SAT book for Princeton Review. Only recently did he venture off to create his own test prep company. This book is very good for Critical Reading passages; if you have difficulty with the reading passages, definitely purchase this book.

There are tons more SAT prep material out there, but these are the best from what I’ve experienced (and I’ve used almost all the SAT test prep books on the market). But again, I need to stress that what’s more important is what fits your learning style. Good Luck in preparing for the test.

  • The SAT Ninja

Hi carpediem,
one thing I just came across that might help you is a SAT vocabulary learning module with 1400 words that also has AUDIO files for each word. :slight_smile:
It is done by Memorylifter (www.memorylifter.com) a flashcards freeware that I use a lot for other stuff as well. I haven’t downloaded that module but it might be worth checking out, because the software is good. It is only vocabs though… but maybe the’ll add something for math in the future as well.

Hopefully you got things all worked out! For any new students reading the thread, I can’t stress that daily practice is key, and sites like http://www.vocabularycoach.com will give you a chance to build your skills each day. For books that give you a lot of practice without a lot of fluff, I like http://www.my-sat.com/index.html (Ways of the SAT Winners). I think Barrons is very helpful too, but a bit pricier.

The website i used to prep for the sat is www.practicethesat.com
they have great questions and explanations and they don’t charge anything at all.

Steve, that is really good stuff. And you forgot to mention that they give out $20 for the top scorer each week. That will keep me a little bit extra motivated to keep taking the weekly scheduled tests.a++

Hello guys, I was looking all over for resources for the sat. Fortunately, I found this forum. Thanks for all the links and resources.

Cara, did you check out Steve’s link yet at www.practicethesat.com? If you sign up you can compete against me and others and you can get $20 as the top scorer. Oh yeah and they don’t charge to take it.

Thanks Robert; That is awesome; I just signed up and the top scorer gets $40; 2nd place $20; now that keeps me motivated…a+++ stuff at www.practicethesat.com

Yeah, no problem, glad i could help :slight_smile:

Yeah, I always had problem with my math, but now i just put a whole lot more effort into studying and practicing and i definitely see improvement

get the college boards official SAT study guide. It has 10 actual previous SAT tests to practice. Then get Answers and Explanations 2nd edition by Peter Tanguay. (green on cover not orange.) It has complete explanations on how to do all the questions. I did it and got a 2100 overall and 750 on math :slight_smile: good luck.

i would highly recommend the weekly scheduled practice tests at practicethesat.com, which is free to use and questions/explanations are awesome unlike some other sites that charge a bunch of money; there are lots of free resources on the web, you just gotta find the good ones.

Check out this SAT Math Formulas sheet. It’s short but comprehensive and concise. It has helped me organize my understanding of the overall structure of the math.


that’s a good link John, its good to know that there are so many resources available…