Best SAT Prep Books for 2021

Best SAT Prep Books for 2021

By Steve Bailey

Published on December 1, 2020

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Doing well on the SAT typically requires considerable dedication, studying, and practice. By using some of the best SAT prep books, students can develop effective test-taking strategies and become familiar with the common types of questions they will encounter on the exam.

Below, you can peruse a list of top SAT prep books. Keep in mind that no single book is a magic bullet. These books can certainly help you prepare for the test, but you still need to spend time studying. If you can't afford a prep book of your own, check with your school or local library — many libraries have resources to help students get ready for the SAT.

Why Use an SAT Prep Book?

Many students who want to perform their best across all sections of the SAT turn to exam prep books to help them study and learn the strategies they need to maximize their scores. These books feature tips, questions, and practice tests aimed at students who plan to spend large amounts of time studying to increase their scores.

To find the right SAT prep book for you, think about the areas you'd like to improve in — some books focus on specific sections of the exam.

Top SAT Prep Books


Price Legend

$ = Under $10 | $$ = $10-$25 | $$$ = $26-$50 | $$$$ = Over $50


Barron's SAT Premium Study Guide


This SAT prep book features a step-by-step process that helps students gradually master each content area. The book works well for students who learn best by repetition and examining the same concepts from different angles. The book also includes several full-length practice exams.

$$ on Amazon

Kallis' SAT Pattern Strategy, 3rd Edition


Developed for individuals who learn by doing, this prep book prepares students to take multiple practice exams and learn from their mistakes in the process. The book analyzes common types of questions on the SAT, covering more than 100 subject areas. The book also includes six full-length practice exams.

$$$ on Amazon

Kaplan's SAT Prep Plus 2021


With two in-book and three online practice exams, "SAT Prep Plus 2021" features clear explanations of question areas, sound practice techniques, and effective strategies to use on exam day. The book includes more than 1,400 practice questions.

$$ on Amazon

McGraw-Hill Education's SAT Elite 2021


This book tackles the most challenging types of questions on the SAT and provides math and reading comprehension tips not found in other resources. Students who need to improve in specific subject areas and gain familiarity with how the SAT presents questions will appreciate this book. Students can take eight practice tests.

$$ on Amazon

SAT Prep Black Book, 2nd Edition


Based on the expertise of world-renowned SAT tutor Mike Barrett, the "Black Book" gives students practical advice on how to approach each section of the exam. Readers master the approach the College Board takes when creating questions, giving them a leg up when preparing for the exam.

$$$ on Amazon

The College Board's Official SAT Study Guide, 2020 Edition


This study guide features eight practice tests — all available within the actual book rather than online. The book works well for students who need more practice in math, writing, and evidence-based reading. Students who plan on completing the SAT's optional essay can also find tailored guidance in this book.

$$ on Amazon

The Princeton Review's Cracking the SAT Premium, 2020 Edition


This guide offers a great introduction to the SAT for students who are not yet familiar with the test. The book features common strategies for approaching the various types of questions on the exam, alongside eight practice tests. This guide works best for students taking the SAT for the first time.

$$$ on Amazon

The Princeton Review's 10 Practice Tests for the SAT, 2021 Edition


The 10 practice exams in this book allow students to gain familiarity with the types of questions and concepts appearing on the SAT. The book includes a self-scoring mechanism to give students an idea of how well they can expect to do on the exam. Students who have already studied and simply need to practice can benefit from this resource.

$$ on Amazon

SAT Books By Section

Math Section

Dr. Jang's SAT* 800 Math Workbook, 2020 Edition


This workbook helps students understand all the questions and concepts they will find on the SAT Math test, including algebra and problem-solving questions. This book also contains 10 practice exams.

$$ on Amazon

500 SAT Math Problems


Dr. Steve Warner — a university professor and math tutor — helps students understand solutions to a wide variety of math problems commonly found on the SAT. This guide also provides different ways to solve the same problems, allowing students to take the approach that best suits their preference and learning method.

$$$ on Amazon

PWN the SAT: Math Guide, 4th Edition


This guide is a great resource for students committed to maximizing their SAT Math score. The author makes clear that the strategies in the book require hard work and persistence. As such, this guide works best for students willing to dedicate considerable time and effort to studying for this portion of the exam.

$$$ on Amazon

Barron's SAT Math Workbook, 7th Edition


"Barron's SAT Math Workbook" outlines strategies students can use to solve a variety of problems on the exam. The book includes answers to questions and explanations as to why those answers are correct.

$$ on Amazon

Reading Section

The Critical Reader: The Complete Guide to SAT Reading, 3rd Edition


Designed for students committed to raising their Reading scores, this guide offers strategies for quickly understanding complex writing and finding the information needed to answer the questions that follow. The guide covers supporting evidence questions and chart-based data analysis concepts, both of which students will find on the SAT.

$$$ on Amazon

2018 SAT Reading: World Literature Practice Book


This guidebook helps students understand the key concepts of the main idea, character development, plot, and theme, which they need to understand to master the SAT Reading section. The book includes the same American and international authors students will encounter on the actual SAT.

$$ on Amazon

Writing Section

The College Panda's SAT Writing: Advanced Guide and Workbook, 2nd Edition


This book details the SAT's grammar rules, including some of the more obscure guidelines that many students miss. The guide offers clear examples and hundreds of practice questions to help students gradually master the concepts that will lead to success on this portion of the SAT. The book also outlines common mistakes students make and how to avoid them.

$$$ on Amazon

The Critical Reader: The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar, 5th Edition


Through this guide, readers become familiar with the various grammar, data analysis, and rhetorical concepts that drive the SAT Writing and Language test. Students learn these concepts and then apply them through a variety of practice tests that mimic the actual exam.

$$$ on Amazon

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Feature Image: JGI / Jamie Grill / Getty Images

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