SAT Book Review – The College Board Book (1st Edition)

Everybody has heard of the Bible. For Christians it is the one book that matter most; indeed, it is the only book that really matters. This powerful connection is used more broadly to refer to any book that is the one book you’ve got to own for whatever field it is you are studying.

As for SAT prep, the Bible is the College Board’s The Official SAT Study Guide. That’s right – this book is so important that if there were only one SAT Book to own, this would be it. Why? Well, the book contains 10 real SAT tests (we call them retired tests). And no publisher out there can recreate SAT questions, the way the people who write the test can.

The good news is you are not limited to one SAT book. There are others out there that are helpful on at least one of the sections – in fact, we have a list of the best SAT prep books on the market. And though the College Board book is the Bible for SAT prep, it is by no means perfect. While you get loads of practice questions, you don’t learn many effective test-taking tips (The Princeton Review does a much better job of teaching helpful tips and imparting test day wisdom).

And there is one glaring omission: for all those questions (there are 1,700 in all), you do not get an explanation. Yes, yes, I know. That’s a little crazy, but remember the SAT does not make its business from helping you understand the test (it makes money from charging the nation’s high school students a fee to take the test).

There are some books—of varying quality—that do offer explanations for the test. Then there are also my explanation videos on YouTube for the first three exams.

So if you want to see what you’re up against test day, go through the tests in this book. No other questions on the planet will prepare you as effectively as the ones written by the College Board itself.

Grade: A


  • Chris Lele

    Chris Lele is the Principal Curriculum Manager (and vocabulary wizard) at Magoosh. Chris graduated from UCLA with a BA in Psychology and has 20 years of experience in the test prep industry. He's been quoted as a subject expert in many publications, including US News, GMAC, and Business Because. In his time at Magoosh, Chris has taught countless students how to tackle the GRE, GMAT, SAT, ACT, MCAT (CARS), and LSAT exams with confidence. Some of his students have even gone on to get near-perfect scores. You can find Chris on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook!

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!


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