The Best PSAT Review Books of 2019

By March 29, 2019 October 17th, 2019 Entrance Exam Resource Reviews
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The PSAT/NMSQT or Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test is more or less considered a primer for the actual SATs. While it does not count when it comes to your college admissions, it is nonetheless very important if you are aiming for a scholarship because it is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship. That said, if you want to qualify for a scholarship or if you just simply want to take a test in preparation for the SATs, then you may want to consider taking the PSAT seriously. You can do so by using one or some of the best PSAT review books we recommend for you.

Our Favorites for the Best PSAT Review Books (the best out of the bunch)

Cracking the PSAT/NMSQT by The Princeton Review

One of the most common study tools and one of the most popular review books on the market, The Princeton Review’s Cracking the PSAT/NMSQT certainly is something you should have by your side if you want a material you can rely on. It is usually the best choice for many students because it tends to trim a lot of the unnecessary details to provide a material that is complete yet time-efficient.

The book contains up-to-date information on the PSAT as well as tips and strategies you can certainly use to get the edge during the exam. These strategies are designed to help you answer the questions efficiently and more easily so that you may also be able to brace yourself for questions you may not have expected to come out.

Aside for that, the book also contains a comprehensive yet concise content review portion for all of the topics that are covered by the PSAT. The good thing about this portion is that it does not seem too heavy or too wordy since it was written in a clear and concise manner. In that sense, you would not have to waste a lot of time reading things that you will not be needing. Each topic also has drills that are designed to help you practice what you have learned.

Finally, Cracking comes with two full-length practice tests that were created specifically to mimic the style of questioning and the difficulty of the actual PSATs. All the questions have detailed answer explanations to help you understand and know what you need to improve on. That said, this book is worth the price and the 4.4 rating it has on Amazon.

What makes it unique:

  • It aims to help you with its comprehensive review in a concise manner.
  • It comes with two full-length practice exams that are quite difficult and challenging.
  • The book contains the latest information about the PSAT.

Why choose this book:

  • This book is a master at saving you time and effort.
  • It does not cost a lot even though it is just as complete as any other book.

PSAT/NMSQT Prep by Kaplan Test Prep

This book is regarded as one of the most useful materials you can use for the PSAT because of how it contains a treasure trove of information and content that covers all of the important topics for the exam. On top of that, it provides you with a lot of useful tips and strategies, practice tests and questions, and summaries that all help to build a more confident student in you.

Kaplan prides itself in providing you with the proper knowledge and guidance you need to come out on top of the PSAT. In that regard, it does not only give you a comprehensive and detailed content review of the topics covered by the exam but also an overview of the PSAT and a concise breakdown of the things you should know by the time the day of the test arrives.

Not content with providing you with information and details, this book contains over a thousand practice questions that are all considered realistic in the sense that they are actually reflective of the ones you will be encountering in the PSAT. It also has a practice test. All of the questions have their corresponding answers and explanations. For its price, PSAT/NMSQT Prep is worth every penny and is certainly a favorite on Amazon specifically because of how clear and comprehensive this material is.

What makes it unique:

  • At more than 600 pages, it is full of information and questions that prove to be advantageous on your part.
  • It has more than 1000 practice questions.

Why choose this book:

  • The book not only guides you in terms of knowledge and information but also helps you practice your question-answering skills.
  • It is best used if you have a lot of time on your hands because of how vast its contents are.

The Runners-Up for the Best PSAT Review Books (still good but a little lacking)

Barron’s PSAT/NMSQT by Ira Wolf, Sharon Green, Brian Stewart

Barron’s has always been a leader in test prep books. In this regard, its material for the PSAT is of the highest quality as well. Like many of its other books, Barron’s takes on a holistic approach in crafting this study aid in the sense that it contains an overall complete and comprehensive wealth of information, content, and practice questions.

When using this book, you can start out by taking the diagnostic tests that were designed to help you gauge how much you already know. After that, you are provided with a lot of key tips and strategies that you can use yourself to stand out on the day of the PSAT. Also, the content review portion of this book is considered to be so comprehensive and detailed that it covers everything you need for the exam. In that sense, you might need a lot of time to finish reading this portion of the book.

Finally, this book tests you out in two different ways. First, it has a lot of practice exercises that not only train your answering skills but would also fill up your free time to make sure that you are as productive as possible. The second one is by having you answer the practice tests. This book contains two full-length model tests that each have their own answers and explanations.

A brand-new book won’t cost you much. Though it might be just as good and as complete as any of the books on this list, it is a little bit more expensive compared to the others. Nevertheless, if you are willing to spend a few extra dollars, you will not regret choosing this book as it really is one of the best tools to arm yourself with during your review.

What makes it unique:

  • It has a holistic approach in the sense that it tackles your review from all sorts of angles.
  • The practice exercises will make sure that you stay productive and busy throughout your review.

Why choose this book:

  • Not a lot more can be said about how complete and useful this material is. Go for this book if you do not mind spending a little more than what the other books on the market are worth.

PSAT Prep by Test Prep Books

Quick yet comprehensive is the best way to describe this book. With only about 172 pages, it pales in comparison to the other books on this list in terms of overall length. However, it still holds up well against the competitors on the market because it simply is complete on its own despite coming in a smaller package.

In a sense, this book gives you every information and concept you need without having to waste your time on trivial matters. It is a compact material that only tackles the most important things you should know in time for the PSAT. And even though it seems not as complete as the other books, it is still able to provide you with strategies and practice questions.

That said, this affordable book is best used for cramming and if you are time-crunched. It might be more expensive than some of the other books on this list but it is worth every penny if you are looking for a study aid that saves you a lot of time. That and its organized flow and easy-to-understand format are the reasons why it is a top seller on Amazon.

What makes it unique:

  • It is able to deliver a comprehensive topic review in a concise yet detailed manner.

Why choose this book:

  • If you are looking to save time or if you do not have a lot of time left before the PSAT, this might be the best choice for you.

The Best Value for Your Money for Best PSAT Review Books (good and affordable)

550+ PSAT Practice Questions by The Princeton Review

If you are looking for something that is both useful and worth the value of your money, then this book is something you should highly consider. Written as a companion book to the main Cracking book, it stands out well on its own precisely because of how it aims to prepare you for the PSAT by improving the way you answer the exam questions.

Fully dedicated to providing you with more than 550 questions, this book’s specialty is to help you familiarize yourself with all types of questions that will be covered by the PSAT. In that sense, you will be able to master the art of answering different types of questions no matter what topic is covered. You will also be able to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and what you need to work on in order for you to work smarter and better.

Every question on the book has a corresponding answer that is fully explained to help you learn from your mistakes. You will be able to do better if you carefully analyze and digest where you went wrong and if you actually put the effort into improving that weakness of yours. That said, it is a book that is worth more than the price you are paying for.

What makes it unique:

  • It is one of the few top PSAT review books that focuses only on practice questions.
  • The book covers all types of questions to help you improve in a more well-rounded manner.

Why choose this book:

  • Knowing how to answer questions is half the battle in any kind of exam. In this regard, choosing a book that contains hundreds of practice questions is one way to improve how you answer the PSAT.

Summary of the Best PSAT Review Books

Here’s a table of what PSAT review books we evaluated:

ProductList PriceNumber Of Pages
Cracking the PSAT/NMSQT with 2 Practice Tests, 2018 Edition $15.99 512
PSAT/NMSQT Prep 2019 $15.99 636
Barron's PSAT/NMSQT with Online Tests $22.99 648
PSAT Prep 2018 $12.99 171
550+ PSAT Practice Questions, 2nd Edition $14.99 368

The PSAT covers both Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. With that in mind, it takes more than knowledge to stand out and become eligible for a college scholarship. If you want to excel and qualify for the scholarship, you should be able to develop both your knowledge and your test-answering skills. And in that regard, the best way to do so is to arm yourself with the best PSAT review books that provide you with all the concepts you need while also giving you more than enough practice questions and tests.

Want to start studying early for your SAT? Check out our post on the best SAT review books here or read our 125 SAT tips post here.

Need a calculator for the PSAT? Check out our post on approved SAT calculators here.

Thinking about alternatives to college? Learn about the best GED prep books here.

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