Barron’s vs. Princeton Review: Which One is Better?

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In studying for the most important tests of your high school career, you want to make sure you have all the help you can get. So that’s where you might start looking into books and study materials to help. And since you’re looking for the best AP prep and the best SAT prep, you likely found Princeton and Barron.

At this point, you’re probably looking at Barron’s vs. Princeton and wondering where you should spend your money. Which one is going to give you the best results? Which one is going to be the best way to learn? Well, the truth is that it can be different for different people.

Looking at Barron’s vs. Princeton review for SAT or Barron’s vs. Princeton review for ACT means looking at each of these books a little more closely, and we’re going to consider them for you here.

Is Princeton Review Better than Barron’s?Is Princeton Review Better than Barron’s?

There is no easy answer to this question because different people tend to have different preferences when it comes to study materials. That definitely goes for the books that are involved in the process, such as those available from Princeton Review and those from Barron’s.

Princeton does have some good features, such as the practice tests and explanations. This can help you when you’re ready to start really diving into the material and making sure that you’ve retained the information.

On the other hand, it’s not necessarily as good when you’re working on learning the information. Some of the review sections aren’t quite as in-depth and won’t give you quite as much of the information that you may need, especially if you’re just getting started.

So, what should you be looking at when it comes to choosing the correct guidebook? The features that it’s best at, of course.

What is Princeton Good For?

What is Princeton Good For?

The areas where Princeton is the best are definitely in their practice tests and the explanations that go with them. You’re going to get some high-quality practice tests similar to what you would get on the test you’re studying for.

That means you can get an SAT, ACT, or AP test prep book, and you’ll be able to go through the practice questions and actually feel like you’re taking the test. Not only that, but you’ll be able to get the explanations that you need for questions that you get wrong.

That’s going to more fully prepare you for test day and help you make sure that you’re retaining the information you study. It’s also going to help you understand why you get questions wrong, and what the correct answer actually is so you can fix it in your mind and move forward.

If you do really well taking practice tests, absorbing the information, and then doing it over and over again, then you’re going to like Princeton Review books. They’re going to give you a lot of that kind of information and make sure that you can continue to improve by doing multiple practice tests.

What is Barron’s Good For?

What is Barron’s Good For?

Now, Barron’s is still a good test prep book because it’s going to give you a different level of benefits. In fact, Barron’s is going to provide you with a good amount of study material that will help you to prepare for the practice tests that you’ll find in Princeton Review.

The content here is going to get more in-depth and is going to make things a lot clearer and easier to understand for you. That’s important when you’re in the studying phase of your exam prep. Whether you’re working on your SAT, ACT, or AP test, you’ll appreciate being able to get this kind of review material.

They offer a more step-by-step look at answering the questions on your test, no matter which type of test you’re taking. This can help if you’re just getting started with your studying. You may feel more comfortable and confident with this style and the fact that the review questions and problems are actually very targeted to specific areas.

That doesn’t mean that the practice tests for Barron’s aren’t any good. They are still going to give you good information, and they will help you, but they’re not quite as good as you’ll get with Princeton.

Another benefit is that you’re going to save just a little money going with Barron’s over Princeton Review. Now, if you’re really looking to focus on the areas where Princeton Review excels, you may still want to go with that option. That’s because the price difference is negligible. But it is something to consider.

Is Barron’s or Princeton Review Better for AP Prep?

Is Barron’s or Princeton Review Better for AP Prep?

So, you’re ready to get started studying for the AP test, any AP test, and you want to make sure that you’re getting the suitable study materials. You could opt for both review books, but that’s going to cost you money and also take a lot more time to review them both. So, you want to pick out one that will help you the most.

With the AP exams available, you’ll find that both of these book companies have options for any exam you plan to take. That means you will have the ability to purchase either book that seems to fit best for you, but you want something that’s going to give you the best overall quality, right?

Barron’s books are generally good at content review. They very clearly dive into the content that you’re looking for, point out important points and details, and also keep everything as simple to understand as possible. This is really good for those who learn by reading material and memorizing it.

Princeton offers good content, but it’s not quite as good as Barron’s. Instead, where Princeton excels is in the practice tests themselves. In fact, Princeton offers some of the best practice tests, and they have a lot of them as well.

You’ll also find some excellent explanations to go along with those practice tests, and the fact that all of it is closer to the actual style of the AP exam is definitely a bonus. Not to mention, you’ll find some additional features available with Princeton Review’s AP prep.

All of that means that you’re going to get a little more for your money with Princeton. But don’t feel bad if you’ve already bought Barron’s or if you think it’s going to be the better fit for you. Depending on your learning style, it could be an excellent way to go.

Is Barron’s or Princeton Review Better for SAT Prep?

Is Barron’s or Princeton Review Better for SAT Prep?

If you’re planning to take the SAT, you need to make sure that you’re fully prepared for what it’s going to entail. After all, the SAT is an important exam that is going to play a significant role in you getting into the college or university that you want. So, which study guide should help you with that?

The good news is that both Barron’s and Princeton Review are going to give you a high-quality, comprehensive review of each of the subjects on your SAT. They’re also going to provide you with practice tests, online resources, and more. So, you won’t really go wrong with either one. But you can find a few benefits in one direction.

Barron’s offers test-taking strategies, which help you understand how to make the most of the exam itself. You’ll learn more about ways to make the process easier for you since it’s going to be stressful enough already. With these strategies, you should be able to feel a little more confident and a little more comfortable when you walk in on test day.

Another benefit is that you’re going to get some great explanations for your practice tests and problems. So, if you get a question wrong on a practice test, you don’t have to go searching for the correct answer. Instead, that information is going to be right there for you. It’s all detailed and very clear, so you won’t feel lost or uncertain.

Of course, Princeton Review has some great features as well. They have some excellent content review, and they have some realistic practice tests. Those are both critical features, and for some students, those might be the more essential features over the comprehensive aspect of Barron’s.

The fact that the practice tests are more like what you’ll find the actual SAT to be can be better at preparing you. After all, you’ll feel more confident when you walk in on test day if the test you’re looking at is relatively familiar. But you’re not going to get some of the other aspects that Barron’s is good at.

You’re also going to find that Princeton has some excellent content review, which means that you’re going to have a study guide that you can feel comfortable with. You’ll be able to learn a great deal of the material, and you’re going to have no problem with going back to memorize and review that content.

So, what are you going to want when it comes to reviewing for the SAT? The answer is ultimately going to be up to you, but in the end, Barron’s does seem to win out a little. After all, those testing strategies are definitely great, and the explanations that go along with the tests are truly top-notch.

Barron’s vs. Princeton: What’s the Difference?

Barron’s vs. Princeton: What’s the Difference?

When it comes down to it, you may be wondering just what the difference even is with these two books and what they have to offer. There really are only a few things that you’re going to find different with them, and those are going to be about your personal preference.

For one thing, both of these book series are designed to help you pass your tests and exams. They’re designed to be comprehensive, detailed, beneficial systems that will get you from where you are to a good score on your tests. And they do that in slightly different ways.

Because these books are written by different people and different companies, they focus a little bit differently on what you need to know to do well. That’s perhaps because the companies themselves view different aspects of the study process as being the most important.

Barron’s primarily seems to focus on the content and the explanations, which can be suitable for anyone who learns through reading information. If you’re really good at reading a textbook and then retaining the information, this is probably going to be a good fit for you and help you feel confident.

On the other hand, Princeton Review seems to focus more on practice tests, both in quantity and authenticity. This means that you’re going to have more chances to see what the exam you’re taking will look like, and that could make you feel more comfortable on test day. So, if you learn better through taking tests, then you’ll do well with this book.

There are plenty of different ways that you can make the most of both styles of learning. The best thing you can do is to make sure that you pay attention to how you learn best and which method makes you the most comfortable, then find a book that targets that learning style.

Wrapping Things Up: Barron’s vs. Princeton Review

Ultimately, there are some critical benefits with both Barron’s and Princeton Review. So, you want to make sure that you’re looking at both of them to see which one is going to work for you.

If you have the means and the time, buying both of these texts might not be a bad idea because they focus on different aspects. You’ll be able to learn a little bit about several different areas by getting both books. But that might not be a possibility (or an interest) for you.

So, if you’re the type who learns by reading and memorizing content, then Barron’s may be the way to go. It will help you by providing a lot of information that’s written in a comprehensive but also very clear manner.

If you’re the type who learns by taking practice tests frequently and then going back and doing it again, then Princeton Review might be the better way for you to go. These books are well written but with a focus on getting those tests as authentic as possible.

Don’t miss out on studying for your most important tests, and definitely take advantage of one of these books. They’re the best of the best for a reason, and they’ll make sure you’re as prepared as possible for test day.

Picture of Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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