Our Favorite Books For Crushing ACT/SAT Math
by Vickie Barone
Similar to the advice we gave in our post about ACT/SAT Grammar books — you don’t need a lot of books, but you do need the right ones — the same holds true for ACT and SAT math prep. After years of experience working with students of all math levels, here are our top picks for math prep books.
The Best ACT/SAT Math Books Contain 4 Key Elements:
Clearly explained lessons with thoughtfully chosen examples.
Contents organized by topic so you can focus on what you need most.
Practice problems that closely mirror the actual test questions.
Solutions for all practice problems, with some full solution explanations.
The College Panda Series Is Perfect for Getting Started
The College Panda series, by Nielson Phu, has some great resources for students at any level. The College Panda Advanced Guide and Workbook for ACT Math or SAT Math is the perfect book for starting your journey to excellent math scores, no matter which tests you decide to take. They each feature clear and thorough lessons grouped by topic, and they cover everything you might encounter on the real tests. Following each lesson is a group of focused practice questions. The best part about these books is that you can get one early, and practice by topic as you learn the material in school. All of the practice questions are printed to look exactly like they will on the real test, so that helps to increase your comfort level with the test format.
Next Step Book For The ACT
If you want even more ACT practice, you can also get Phu’s The College Panda's ACT Math Workbook: More Advanced Practice By Topic, which has more than 400 extra practice questions, again grouped by topic.
Next Step Books For The SAT
For more SAT practice, there is The College Panda’s 10 Practice Tests for the SAT Math. This book would be most helpful after taking Geometry and some Algebra 2, as the format is just like the real tests, where the questions are all mixed together instead of organized by topic.
For Advanced ACT/SAT Students Who Need A Challenge
For students who have completed their Geometry and Algebra 2 courses in school, and are already scoring around 600+ on practice SATs or 25+ on practice ACTs, there is another book we recommend. Dr. Steve Warner’s 28 Lessons: Advanced Course books on SAT Math or ACT Math are great for the most advanced and motivated students because they feature 28 short lessons with strategies for getting the right answers on all different types of questions. This arrangement makes it easy for a student to do one lesson per day and get it all done in one month. A student who already consistently gets the easier SAT or ACT questions correct will find these books helpful, as the practice problems provided all resemble the more difficult problems they will see on the real tests. This allows students to focus their efforts in the most efficient way.
Need more help or want to speak to Vickie to learn more about ACT/SAT math, SAT II’s? Learn more about me here. I can also help you prepare for you math midterms and finals.