The Best PSAT Prep Books for 2018

Are you looking for the best PSAT prep book for taking the test in 2018? Our editors have compiled the following hand-picked list and reviews of the best PSAT books that are already updated and specifically written for the redesigned new PSAT version. These study guides are sure to help you on your way to a top score in the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10.

Best PSAT Prep Books: Our Top Picks

► #1 Kaplan PSAT/NMSQT Prep 2018

Best PSAT Prep book 2018Kaplan’s highly rated  PSAT prep book is now available in its 2018 edition. This guide contains a plethora of materials. As its title suggests, it contains materials for strategic approaches to the PSAT, review of key concepts and practice, practice, and more practice.

The book begins by laying out the basics of the PSAT itself before describing general test taking strategies. It then proceeds to examine the three main topics of the PSAT – math, reading and writing – in greater depth, providing both strategic advice as well as substantive content for each of the three topics. The book’s strategies for math topics are particularly strong as it suggests test takers locate the most efficient solution for solving the problem rather than simply proceeding to solve the problems on “math auto-pilot”.  This is helpful advice in so far as it helps test takers solve problems faster in an area where time is of essence.

The book contains a  multitude of practice problems.  These are complemented by two full-length PSAT practice tests (one of which is accessible only online), which provide further ability for test takers to practice their skills. In short, this book’s strong readability, its ease of use, its strong substantive and strategic content and its ample areas for practice make it one of the best PSAT prep books available for the test’s new format.

► #2 Cracking the PSAT/NMSQT with 2 Practice Tests

Princeton Review best PSAT booksIn addition to Kaplan, another highly reputable and experienced test prep provider, The Princeton Review, has contributed one of the best PSAT prep books. This guide, Cracking the PSAT/NMSQT, has everything that’s needed to succeed on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

Cracking the PSAT/NMSQT offers the trifecta of strategy advice, practice drills and questions, and review. Additionally, it offers its readers two full-length PSAT practice exams. All of this is delivered on over 500 pages in an easy to follow, clearly structured and presented manner. Part I begins with an introduction to the PSAT/NMSQT and offers strategies on how best to approach the test.

Part II covers the exam’s entire subject matter, from reading comprehension and punctuation to math principles and math techniques. Once readers have mastered this part, they can move on to the book’s drills and use the answers and explanations to improve their understanding. Finally, the last step consists of taking the practice tests – which feature realistic questions – and again studying the respective explanations. Having carefully read and followed the guidance in the book, and having attempted the companion guide’s practice tests, test-takers can trust to be well prepared for and score high on the actual exam.

► #3 Strategies and Practice for the NEW PSAT/NMSQT

Best PSAT Prep book 2018 BarronsThis book by test prep leader Barron’s offers a comprehensive review of all the important aspects of the new PSAT.

Barron’s offers both tips and strategies giving test takers the ability to master the fundamentals before testing their knowledge of the subjects with two complete PSAT/NMSQT practice tests.

The book divides the material into the three testing topics: Reading, Writing and Language, and Math. In particular, the Math chapter of the book is especially strong as it offers in-depth explanations to problems as well as provides detailed steps for solving problems. The book’s Writing and Language chapter is strong as well, offering comprehensive coverage of grammar rules. However, its coverage depth of individual grammar rules is not as strong as in the Math chapter. We were not convinced by the book’s Reading chapter as it failed to provide any insight into explanations for answers. Nevertheless, in terms of coverage, the Reading chapter is good.

Overall, Barron’s Strategies and Practice for the New PSAT/NMSQT offers insights, tips, and strategies from which even future National Merit Scholars can benefit. For its comprehensive coverage, its handy tips, and its detailed treatment of math, this is undoubtedly one of the best PSAT prep books available, despite some weaknesses in the guide’s Reading section.

► #4 Accepted, Inc. PSAT Prep 2018

Accepted PSAT Prep book 2018From the Accepted, Inc. test prep team comes another strong study resource for the PSAT, entitled the PSAT Prep 2018: PSAT Study Guide and Practice Test Questions or the PSAT Exam. The book is interesting in that it uses a concept-driven approach, which – combined with practice questions and tests – is designed to boost your score on the PSAT as quickly and efficiently as possible.

PSAT Prep begins with an introduction to some background on the test and how it is structured, administered, scored. The remainder of the book is divided in three parts. First, readers are introduced to the Evidence-Based Reading and Writing portion of the PSAT. Here, the book does a good job at breaking down the material in easily digestible pieces, for example by analyzing the different segments that make up a passage, discussions of text structure, the purpose behind a text, the meaning of words and phrases, sentence construction and punctuation, active and passive voice, and transitions.

Second, the next part covers all relevant math areas that may appear on the test, including numbers and operations, algebra, geometry, and statistics and probability. While this is all fairly standard for a PSAT book, this guide does a particularly good job at explaining concepts in a straightforward manner and with good use of examples and illustrations. The guide concludes with a final part that contains two full-length PSAT practice exams that allow test-takers to practice and apply their knowledge to realistic test questions. Overall, we found this to be a very good resource.

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Ivy Global’s 3 New PSAT Practice Tests

Best PSAT Prep bookWhat does the newly revised PSAT/NMSQT contain? Given the recent revisions to the PSAT, the answer to this question still remains murky. Ivy Global’s book, however, is one of the best PSAT prep books when it comes to demystifying the new PSAT.

This PSAT review book begins by outlining the changes to the PSAT as well as the new format for the test. It continues by providing a helpful set of tips and clear strategic advice for approaching the PSAT. Its advice is offered in a no-nonsense format making it easy to understand and highly approachable.

Yet, the real strength of this book is the actual provision of three sample PSAT full-length tests. Given the lack of actual revised PSATs available upon which test takers can practice, this turns out to be a highly valuable resource. Moreover, since the book contains the three tests, their provision is guaranteed unlike other resources in which tests must be accessed online. Indeed for the easy access to the three sample PSATs alone, this book is quite clearly one of the best PSAT books around and a definite must-have.

PSAT Study Guide Team’s PSAT Prep 2018

Best PSAT study guide This compact book (full title: PSAT Prep 2018: Study Guide Book & Practice Test Questions for College Board’s New PSAT Exam), authored by the PSAT Study Guide Team, is one of the best PSAT prep books if you are looking for a very concise and still highly useful combined PSAT study resource. Written in an easy to follow style, PSAT Prep 2018 helps you with subject matter review of all the topics that are likely to appear on the test; practice questions complete with answers and helpful explanations; and an introduction to winning test-taking strategies.

The book begins with a short discussion of strategies and tips for mastering the PSAT. This is followed by an Evidence-Based Reading test, a Writing and Language test, and a Mathematics test. Next, the guide delves into a discussion on how to approach the PSAT math questions. Here, it covers math concepts; algebra, functions, and graphs; geometry; and data analysis, statistics, and probability. The subsequent chapters offer a PSAT practice test, which is followed by detailed answers and explanations. Finally, the books ends with an explanation of what your PSAT score means for National Merit Qualification. All in all, a useful resource for both preparation and review.

New PSAT Strategy & Practice Guide

Best PSAT Prep book New PSATNew PSAT Strategy & Practice, authored by test prep boutique Test Prep Genius, offers an excellent treatment of the new PSAT materials.

The guide breaks down the three main PSAT topics into easily digestible bite-sized segments. It also complements its substantive content with easy to use tips and strategies and finishes off each substantive section with practice problems. This excellent PSAT book further provides three full-length practice PSATs to help test takers practice their skills in a test-like setting. 

The writing style of the book is clear and its problems are fresh but, unusually, test takers must access explanations for answers to practice problems online. However, this frustration aside, given the voluminous sources of practice this book provides with in-depth and highly useful questions, this guide still deserves a place on our list of the best PSAT prep books.

New PSAT 10/11/NMSQT Strategy/Practice Guide

Best PSAT Prep books GeniusThey say that practice makes perfect and this book has practice in spades!

With over 300 practice problems and one full-length PSAT test, the New PSAT – the result of a collaboration between the C2 Education learning center and Test Prep Genius – offers plenty of opportunities to get in shape to master the PSAT.

This book contains simple and easy-to-understand lessons on each of the three topics of the PSAT and finishes off each lesson with useful practice problems that allow test takers to see if they grasped the fundamentals. As an additional source of practice – complete with digestible lessons on substantive topics – this is one of the best PSAT prep books and essential to master the PSAT.

Best PSAT Prep Books

RankingPublisherBook TitlePagesYearPractice TestsPrice Range
1BarronsStrategies and Practice for the NEW PSAT/NMSQT26420152$
2KaplanPSAT/NMSQT 2017 Strategies, Practice & Review50420162$
3Princeton ReviewCracking the PSAT/NMSQT48020162$
4Ivy Global3 New PSAT Practice Tests29420162$$
5Accepted, Inc.PSAT Study Guide and Practice Test Questions21620162$
6PSAT Study Guide TeamPSAT Prep 2017: Study Guide Book17820161$
7Test Prep GeniusNew PSAT Strategy and Practice Guide36620153$$
8C2 EducationNew PSAT 10/11/NMSQT Strategy/Practice Guide32820151$$