Connecticut parents often ask my opinion on which SAT and ACT books to purchase. My answer is not based on my subjective view. The only objectively correct answer is the official guide. For that reason, we only use The Official Guide to the SAT and the ACT’s Real ACT book for our SAT and ACT classes.
The College Board creates the SAT. For that reason, it is the “teacher”. If given the choice to study for your teacher’s test, you would look at your teacher’s past tests, not a teacher who teaches the same subject in a different school. The same reasoning holds true for the ACT.
Every other provider of SAT material, be it Kaplan or Princeton Review, is in the position of the “other teacher.” It is not that I’m against either of their test prep programs. I’ve written elsewhere that the quality of franchise test prep varies from location to location and can change based on teacher turnover. Those are large problems for franchise test prep companies but the bigger issue in my mind is that that they use their own material to prepare students.
Getting additional books as supplements – after exhausting the official guides – can certainly make sense. But, the official guides are clearly the best material for both SAT and ACT prep.