Best SAT Subject Test Prep Books for 2021

Best SAT Subject Test Prep Books for 2021

By Heather Mullinix

Published on January 4, 2021

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You likely know about the SAT exam — a comprehensive standardized test used as part of the college admissions process at many schools. But the maker of the SAT, the College Board, also offers 20 tests in specific subjects, like chemistry, literature, and world history.

Some schools require specific SAT Subject Tests to determine course placement. Other schools consider these scores, when available, in their admission decisions. Just like with any exam, study and preparation are important for success. The following SAT Subject Test prep books can help you boost your score and do your best on test day.

Why Use an SAT Subject Test Prep Book?

SAT Subject Tests each require an hour, and you can take up to three tests in one day; however, you can't take these exams on the same day you take the full SAT. Review the test calendar and plan your SAT Subject Test strategy.

Most students begin their SAT prep with a practice test. Practice tests allow you to pinpoint the skills and topics where you need to focus your efforts. The books below can build on the knowledge you gained in your high school courses. The drills, readings, and practice questions in these prep books allow you to focus on specific skills and content knowledge, like data analysis for the Mathematics exam or significant historical events for the U.S. History exam.

Price Legend

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

Best Overall Resource: The College Board

The College Board is the nonprofit organization that administers the SAT and SAT Subject Tests each year. The organization offers a suite of preparation materials, including free online practice questions and inexpensive subject-specific study guides.

You can learn about the topics covered in each test, the test format, and scoring information on the College Board website. Even if you don't get a test prep book, be sure to visit the official site. If you plan to take multiple exams, consider grabbing the organization's comprehensive study guide below.

The Official Study Guide for ALL SAT Subject Tests, 2nd Edition

This volume, published by the College Board, features previously administered SAT Subject Tests in all 20 subjects. The book includes answer explanations and the newest format for the exams. The foreign-language section includes audio CDs for all six listening tests. You'll also find detailed descriptions of each test, the topics covered, and recommended coursework.

$$ on Amazon

Best Subject Test Books for Math

Barron's SAT Subject Test: Math Level 1, 7th Edition

Review key principles and equations in algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and statistics with this updated SAT Subject Test book. Barron's book includes three full-length sample tests with an answer key and online access to two additional practice tests. The authors also provide test-taking strategies and study tips.

$$ on Amazon

The Princeton Review's Cracking the SAT Subject Test: Math 1, 2nd Edition

This SAT Subject Test prep book includes reviews of math topics, along with practice drills, detailed answer explanations, and chapter summaries of key points. The book contains three practice tests, test strategies, updated test information, and score conversion tables. The Princeton Review specializes in test prep, with books, online resources, and coaching programs for various tests.

$ on Amazon

Dr. Chung's SAT II Mathematics Level 2, 5th Edition

Dr. John Chung focuses on helping students develop a solid understanding of basic math concepts, which they can use to answer advanced math questions. Students can take multiple practice tests to pinpoint which topics they need to study. Now in its fifth edition, the book includes updated questions and test-taking strategies.

$$ on Amazon

Barron's SAT Subject Test: Math Level 2, 13th Edition

This book covers three-dimensional geometry, several types of functions, matrices, complex numbers, and more. Students can focus on specific math topics using the diagnostic test and self-evaluation. With six printed practice tests and access to two more online tests, users of this SAT Subject Test prep book can track their progress as they study.

$$ on Amazon

Best Subject Test Books for English

Test Prep Books' SAT Literature Subject Test Study Guide

This book offers a review of key literary terms and concepts, poetry, and drama. Practice questions with detailed explanations of answers help you build the skills and knowledge measured on the English SAT Subject Test. Users gain access to practice test questions, review materials, and test-taking strategies.

$$ on Amazon

The Princeton Review's SAT Subject Test: Literature Prep, 17th Edition

Students using this SAT Subject Test prep book get four practice tests, 140 practice drill questions, and sample passages from English and American literature. The book covers topics like drama, poetry, and key literary terms. You also get tips for pacing yourself during the test and making logical guesses.

$$ on Amazon

Best Subject Test Books for History

Barron's SAT Subject Test: U.S. History, 4th Edition

Quickly review significant events in U.S. history, from European colonization through modern times, including landmark decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court. Each section includes a timeline and short quizzes. Three practice tests include detailed answer explanations, with two additional tests provided.

$$ on Amazon

The Princeton Review's SAT Subject Test World History Prep, 3rd Edition

This study guide covers the rise of human civilization, empires, world religions, major conflicts, and the transition to the modern world. Quickly refresh your knowledge of key people, places, and events. Two full-length practice tests and more than 60 drills help prepare you for the World History SAT Subject Test.

$$ on Amazon

Best Subject Test Books for Science

Barron's SAT Subject Test: Biology E/M, 6th Edition

Test-takers preparing for the Biology SAT Subject Test can use a diagnostic test to identify areas of weakness and take advantage of in-depth content reviews of all test topics. The book includes two practice tests, with online access to two more. Answers and explanations will help guide your studying.

$$ on Amazon

Sterling Test Prep's SAT Chemistry Practice Questions

Users can review chemistry content through 960 practice questions covering the periodic table, states of matter, atomic structure, and more. The authors include chemistry teachers with extensive credentials in the subject. The book contains step-by-step reviews of quantitative questions, and detailed answer keys ensure you understand the concepts covered on the test.

$$ on Amazon

Barron's SAT Subject Test: Physics, 3rd Edition

This book includes test-taking tips; a diagnostic test to identify important focus areas; and content review of mechanics, electricity, waves, thermodynamics, and more. You can prepare for the Physics SAT Subject Test with three practice tests, allowing you to grow accustomed to the test length, difficulty, and subject matter. Self-assessments help you track your progress.

$$ on Amazon

Best Subject Test Books for Language

Barron's SAT Subject Test: Spanish, 5th Edition

This SAT Subject Test prep book includes written and audio practice tests for Spanish. Review grammar, refresh your vocabulary, and practice listening comprehension. The book features a diagnostic test to focus your test prep and 10 practice tests with answers and explanations. You can also review reference appendices to find synonyms and idiomatic phrases.

$$ on Amazon

The Princeton Review's SAT Subject Test: French Prep, 17th Edition

This French prep book includes two full-length practice tests. Detailed answer explanations help you identify skills to develop before test day. The book contains more than 130 practice questions; expert reviews of vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension; and vocabulary words grouped by theme.

$$ on Amazon

Chinese SAT II Simulated Tests

Dr. Qian Wang draws from more than 20 years of experience teaching the Chinese language in this SAT Subject Test prep book. She offers six simulated tests with detailed answer explanations. The book also includes scripts and free audio downloads for the listening tests.

$$$ on Amazon

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