Few SAT prep books can deliver such a detailed and thorough explanation of what the SAT is all about. This makes the Official SAT Study Guide stand out for all the right reasons while also explaining why it enjoys such tremendous popularity. While it contains no less than 8 official SAT practice tests for you to take at your own pace, the real benefit is that of a guidance program intended to help you navigate the SAT while following well-designed logical patterns. Seeing how it offers detailed descriptions for the math and evidenced-based reading questions, it is bound to provide you with the know-how you need to get the best score you possibly can.
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What To Look For In An SAT Prep Book
You should have figured out by now that in order to get a good SAT score, you will need all the help you can get. Unless you are unusually gifted, chances are that you need a bit of guidance when it comes to the subject matter and the questions you are likely to encounter when taking the exam. This is precisely why you should be looking for a prep book that helps improve your critical thinking as well as presenting you with the information you require for the actual test. Even so, you cannot expect any such book to contain infinite wisdom or a sure way to get you through the exam. All things considered, you should aim to get a prep book that offers plenty of exercises, useful questions, and similar problems at the very least.
Improving Your Score
Many of those who choose to use prep books do so because they want to improve their scores considerably. If you are among those who wish to improve your score by 100 points or more, you should know that tips and tricks alone aren’t going to help you. What you want instead is a good understanding of the actual content tested, which fortunately enough, is also contained within the pages of decent SAT prep books. What you need to do is to keep an open mind about how you approach the test rather than relying on tricks or habit to get you through. For this to happen you will above all need a decent study strategy.
Regardless of what prep book you choose to get, you will need to pair it with a study strategy to match. Many are those who think that just by focusing on the actual problems contained in the featured tests that they will somehow gain the knowledge to successfully navigate through what an SAT has to offer. As such, you should focus on finding out what your weaknesses are and how to use the material available to improve your knowledge according to your skillset. Bear in mind that you can only miss one or two questions in reading, a single question at most in writing, an almost none in Math. So if you’re relying on an SAT prep book alone to help with that, then good luck!
Types of SAT Prep Books
Although many if not most SAT prep books contain the basics of the SAT and what the test implies, some go in much greater detail on certain subjects. What you want before everything else is to figure out what subject most concerns you and whether not you need to focus on that alone. If not, then a more all-round, generic prep book should do the trick, as long as you make sure that it’s not too shallow in its description. In principle, SAT prep books come in four categories, each with their own particularities:
- Standard SAT Prep Books – These books usually contain excerpts from previous exams, blended together to showcase what the SAT is all about. Should you need to freshen up your mental library, this is the perfect way to go without going into too much detail. If, however, you are looking for a more detailed view on any of the subjects of the exam, then you should perhaps aim to get a subject-specific prep book.
- Subject-specific Prep Books – As the title suggests, these prep books focus on a specific subject of the SAT. For many students, the go-to prep book of choice is a math prep book. This is because at least four in ten students who take the SAT complain about their approach to math problems. In fact, the most popular subject-specific prep books are almost entirely about math and the application of mathematical concepts in regards to the SAT.
- Top Scorers Prep Books – These books are aimed toward the already top performers and achievers who take the SAT. For them, it isn’t just about passing the test with a decent score but acing by all accounts. This means that you will run into prep books that focus on gaining top scorers extra points, usually above the 100-point margin. So the main purpose is to help students get the best score they are capable of achieving.
- Low Scorers Prep Books – On the flipside, you have low-scoring, poorly motivated students who for whatever reason, have yet to achieve their full potential. The thing about these books is that they are designed for people with a poor attention span, and thus contain simpler methods. This makes them good for studying for short periods at a time in short bursts. As you would imagine, the books are more about familiarizing people with the SAT rather than helping them ace the test itself.