6 Best PSAT Prep Books In 2023 (+ Extra Study Tips)

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Getting the best PSAT prep books in will not only get you in the 75th to 99th percentile. It can strategically place you among eligible candidates for the National Merit Scholarship.

Doing well on the PSAT could very well make taking the SAT a walk in the park. It is also known as the National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (NMSQT). It is often taken by sophomores and juniors in high school in preparation for the SAT.

With the PSAT, you can gauge how ready you are for college, what your academic strengths and weaknesses are and what you should improve upon.

One big upside to it is that doing well on your PSAT can qualify you for a merit scholarship that can help lift some burden off you when it comes to your tuition fee.

You don’t have to wait until you are a sophomore or junior before you start preparing with PSAT prep books. There are PSAT prep books for 8th and 9th graders and they’ll help you to determine if you’re learning what needs to be learned to stay on the right track to college.

Note that you do not have to submit your PSAT when seeking admission. But, if you have a great score, it can help you when your school of choice is evaluating you for admission.

students reviewing for PSAT

Best PSAT Prep Books To Check Out

Comparing PSAT prep books helped me realize that what is good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander.

Are you a student who simply craves comprehensive review material? Or do you just need help in a specific area such as maths or reading and writing?

Depending on what your needs might be, I put together a list of the best PSAT prep books with some extra study tips that will serve as your springboard to success.


1. The Princeton Review: PSAT /NMSQT Prep

Textbook Length: 528 pages

The Princeton Review PSAT prep book for 2021 is a comprehensive, clear, and concise PSAT prep book that provides the essentials for acing your test.

Some of its notable features:

Although it is a comprehensive guide that saves you the cost of having to buy 2 or more different books, it can be daunting looking at how large it is.

I love it though because it is easy to follow, and minimal to no error is found therein. You can read it on Kindle if that will be any help.


2. Barron’s PSAT Study Guide with 4 Practice Tests

Textbook Length: 648 pages

Another great tool for preparing students for the latest format of the PSAT is Barron’s PSAT Study Guide which has been updated for those taking the PSAT in 2022 and 2023.

If you get this book, you will have access to the following:

In 648 pages, the Barron PSAT study guide not only gives you an idea of how good you are at each subject, but you also get to know where and what you need to improve on.

After identifying your weakness, constant practice will familiarize you with certain questions and how they are answered. When you do come across them in the actual test, they will be a piece of cake.


3. CliffsNotes PSAT/NMSQT Cram Plan

Textbook Length: 336 pages

You might be wondering what a cram plan is doing on this list of best PSAT prep books in 2021.

Well, if you decided to take the test on very short notice and do not have enough time to prepare, a cram plan can give you the needed edge.

With one week to the test, studying to understand is no longer an option.

This is where Cram Plan comes in with these features and advantages:

Its subject reviews cover maths, reading, and writing. You also get a full-length model practice test with answers and explanations.


4. Kaplan’s PSAT/NMSQT Prep

Textbook Length: 906 pages

This is the most up-to-date Kaplan PSAT/NMSQT prep book. It contains 2 practice tests with answers and explanations with proven strategies.

Some of its notable features:

It might be heavy to carry around but then, but students are known for carrying an unheard number of books.

These tote bags for college students are the absolute best friends for doing heavy lifting. Oh, and they are gorgeous too. Don’t look haggard just because you are preparing for an exam.

studying for PSAT

5. Barron’s PSAT/NMSQT 1520: Aiming for National Merit

Textbook length: 400 pages

Although this Barron’s PSAT/NMSQT 1520: Aiming for National Merit prep book was published in 2016, it is the best PSAT prep book even in 2021 for ambitious students aiming for the National Merit Scholarship.

If you are aiming for a 1520 PSAT score, this is your best bet at it because it is specifically designed to help you achieve that. This test prep book offers you the following features and advantages:

If you have the Barron’s PSAT/NMSQT, you should get this as an additional 400-page tool if not just scoring a high score is your aim but getting a National Merit Scholarship.

The best part of the book as vetoed by other students is the several sets of practice questions grouped by area/theme. This helps if you have limited time to study.


6. Mometrix PSAT 10 Prep Book

Textbook Length: 306 pages

What could be better than reading if not video tutorials?

The Mometrix PSAT 10 prep book makes it to this list of best PSAT prep books in 2021 for canceling the need for a tutor with its video tutorials.

Among the features and advantages it offers are:

As such, you don’t get lost trying to break down dense language.


Extra Study Tips For PSAT

Lest you are a bookworm, studying for an exam can be tiresome. When it gets too snoozy, these 15 tips on how to read a boring book will help.

One study tip to never neglect is to keep practicing. Even if you know the answer to each question by heart, keep practicing until you understand the principles behind it just as much.

Create a schedule and stick to it. This will help you keep focused. It is also important that you set a score goal for yourself.

This will keep you charged. Also, make sure that you surpass that goal on your practice tests.

Whichever of these best PSAT prep books in 2021 you decide to get, make sure it is up-to-date with full-length practice tests and easy-to-understand answers and explanations.

Rafal Reyzer

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