Which Kaplan test prep books are best?

Applying to college or graduate school can be a challenging and demanding process, and taking standardized tests is typically one of the most difficult steps. However, Kaplan test prep books can help you learn test-taking strategies and earn your best possible score on the test. Kaplan’s “SAT Prep Plus 2022” is a stellar Kaplan test prep book. It offers straightforward descriptions and realistic practice tests, so you will be prepared and confident when you take the real test.

What to know before you buy a Kaplan test prep book

Test-taking strategies

A Kaplan test prep book will go over some basic test-taking strategies to help you throughout the entire test. Some of these strategies include how to figure out when it’s appropriate to guess, how to assess which questions to answer first, how to review the directions for each exam and how to pace yourself. 

Subject review

Select a Kaplan test prep book that goes over all of the concepts and subjects that the exam covers. For example, the best SAT test prep books include a review of the essay, the writing and language test, the math test and the reading test.

Practice questions and explanations

A Kaplan test prep book should provide you with a diverse array of practice questions to help you understand how the questions are usually phrased and set up for each test section. The book also gives you detailed explanations of each answer — including correct and incorrect responses — to help you understand the concepts behind each answer.

What to look for in a quality Kaplan test prep book

Skill diagnostics

When you start studying for your exam, it helps to know which concepts, subjects or exam sections you need help with. Focusing on the weakest exam areas lets you manage your time more effectively.

Practice tests

One of the best ways to study for a standardized test is to take practice tests. Kaplan test prep books offer practice tests and answers to help you evaluate your test preparation progress and see how close you are to achieving your score goal.

Supplemental materials

The best Kaplan test prep books come with supplemental materials, including a CD-ROM with practice questions and explanations, online video tutorials by expert teachers of the test subjects and online practice exams.

How much you can expect to spend on a Kaplan test prep book

Kaplan test prep books range in price from about $12-$200. The most inexpensive books cost about $12-$30, midrange books go for $30-$75 and high-end books vary in price from about $75-$200.

Kaplan test prep book FAQ

When should you start using your Kaplan test prep book?

A. It depends on the test you’re taking. Start studying for the MCAT exam at least three months before taking the exam. That should provide you with enough time to take multiple practice exams and review the test content. The earlier you start studying, the better. Buy your Kaplan test prep book six to nine months before taking the test.

For the SAT exam, start using the test prep book at least five weeks before taking the exam to give yourself enough time to study. Start studying 12 weeks before the exam if you study best at a slow pace. If you are very concerned about your test performance, give yourself about six months with the book. For the ACT exam, you should give yourself at least three months to study in order to have sufficient time to cover all of the material in the book.

How important is your SAT score?

A. The importance of the SAT test score for your college application differs from one school to another. Try your best, but remember that other factors — such as your interviews, essays, extracurricular activities and high school academic record — play a crucial role in how the university or college evaluates your application.

Can a Kaplan test prep book replace an in-person test prep class?

A. This depends on the kind of student you are. If you work best independently, you probably just need a book and supplemental video tutorials to prepare for the test. An exam prep class can help keep you focused if you don’t study well on your own. Use a prep book to work on the course lessons that you covered in class.

What’s the best Kaplan test prep book to buy?

Top Kaplan test prep book

Kaplan Test Prep SAT Prep Plus 2022

Kaplan “SAT Prep Plus 2022”

What you need to know: This book offers reliable online resources for comprehensive SAT test prep and comes from a trusted brand.

What you’ll love: Updated for 2022, this SAT test prep book is guaranteed to improve your test-taking skills and scores. Online video resources, recommendations for proven test-taking strategies and five practice tests are also included with this product. 

What you should consider: Some readers don’t think that the practice tests are helpful.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top Kaplan test prep book for the money

Kaplan Test Prep ACT Prep Plus

Kaplan “ACT Prep Plus 2021”

What you need to know: Students looking to achieve a higher ACT score and first-time ACT test takers will both benefit from this book’s guidance. 

What you’ll love: This product includes plenty of online tests and info that you can study anywhere. The brand also guarantees an improvement in your score or you will get a refund.

What you should consider: Some of the questions in this book are too easy compared to what you would see on the actual ACT exam.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Kaplan Test Prep MCAT Complete 7 Book Subject Review

Kaplan “MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2022-2023”

What you need to know: Helpful mnemonics and real-life examples are utilized in this comprehensive MCAT book to help you study.

What you’ll love: This MCAT study guide is over 3,000 pages and includes access to three practice tests with explanations of both right and wrong answers. The book also uses several education methods to reinforce study concepts.

What you should consider: This book is text-heavy, and the material doesn’t always match the real MCAT test questions.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals. 

Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.