Our Latest Find: The Best SAT Prep Book
We have been rating and recommending the top SAT books for a long time, first, for our clients, and then, more recently, through this web site. In that time, we have personally reviewed and heard of many different kinds of SAT book. These range from the standard “big name books” like the ones by Kaplan, Princeton Review, and Barron’s, all the way down to independent books that are self published by SAT tutors and teachers themselves. Since Amazon came online with its wide and varied test preparation book listings, we’ve seen more and more of these “small” books appearing.
That is why we weren’t very enthusiastic when a client recently recommended a book called “The SAT Prep Black Book: The Most Effective SAT Strategies Ever Published,” by SAT tutor Mike Barrett. Barrett seemingly has an online presence working with college-bound students over the phone for hundreds of dollars per hour, and his “Black Book” is touted as the culmination of his years of experience. It supposably contains every strategy that he teaches to his personal clients.
We were a bit skeptical of the book’s claim to being, “the most effective SAT strategies ever made,” but when we reviewed it we actually found that it was extremely thorough and it contained a variety of techniques we had never heard of before.
There is only one other thing to mention, which is that you will also need a copy of the College Board’s Blue Book (seen below) to go with Barrett’s Black Book. But we always recommend that you get the Blue Book, regardless of what kind of other SAT preparation you decide to use. The Blue Book is the only source of official SAT questions. The Black Book does not contain its own official questions, but it does contain hundreds of explanations of questions from the Blue Book.
Here is a video from youtube with Barret explaining his book:
The SAT “Blue Book”: A Must-Have
It seems like every year brings more SAT books, software, articles and so on. And unfortunately, most of those materials just don’t seem to be very high quality, because when people use one SAT book they usually just turn right around and buy another one.
SAT books cover everything from the general design of the SAT to test-specific math formulas, vocabulary lists, essay-writing plans and more. Some books are only devoted to one of those topics, while other books might try to cover multiple areas of SAT preparation.
Most of these SAT books teach basically the same approach to the test, so how can you figure out which book teaches it best?
Well, that’s what we’re here for!
Here is a list of some of the must-have books for anybody getting ready to take this important test.
- The Official SAT Study Guide. Published by the College Board. This book, also called the “SAT blue book,” is the only published book that has real SAT questions in it. These kinds of real questions are pretty much essential if you want to make sure that your SAT strategies are actually effective.
- Here’s a list of some of the best books for the SAT according to the buyers on Amazon.
- This is a link to a question on yahoo with a few different opinions about the book you should use for the SAT.
We think that if you look at these links you’ll get a very solid idea of what the best SAT books to study from are.
You may also be interested in these two videos because they have some interesting takes on a couple of other SAT books: