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Barron's Vs. Princeton Review

Legend's ReturnLegend's Return Posts: 26Registered User New Member
Some people claim that Barron's test prep books prepared them more for the standardized tests, while others disagree and assert that PR is better. Personally, I don't have preference on which brand is the better (or the best), but I hear frequently about that discourse (subconsciously, I believe). I'm just inquisitive.... What are your opinions about test prep books? which test prep prepared you best for STs (SAT I and II, AP, ACT, MCAT, etc)?
Post edited by Legend's Return on

Replies to: Barron's Vs. Princeton Review

  • NuclearPakistan1NuclearPakistan1 Posts: 1,285Registered User Senior Member
    Princeton Review FTW

    ( To keep my comment as succinct and clean as possible.)
  • Legend's ReturnLegend's Return Posts: 26Registered User New Member
    I am closing this thread. You can still post your opinions if you want.
  • dococtopidococtopi Posts: 248Registered User Junior Member
    The only times I bought Barron's was when I knew the material thoroughly and didn't need the first half of the book to teach me or refresh me on certain aspects (i.e., SAT Math II, SAT Lit, AP CS). When I actually wanted to refresh my memory on course material, I bought PR (i.e., any AP test I was taking).

    Barron's generally crams the most tests into a single book, which is good if you already know the material and just need the practice. Otherwise, the "teaching" in Barron's is generally horrendous and does not explain anything very well. A lot of times they focus on little things that come up rarely on the actual exam. Having said that, I have to say that the exams themselves are a little bit shoddier than those found in PR, but they're good enough.

    To me, nothing beats the first half of the PR books. They tell you exactly what you need to know for the exam, and their end-of-chapter reviews are good. Their practice exams are known to be a little bit easier than Barron's (known to be the hardest, perhaps because they sometimes focus on obscure things), and they don't have enough practice.

    Another big issue I have with Barron's is the egregious typos found in their books. For example, on a practice SAT Math II exam, the answer was "B" or something, and the listed answer was "D." In the answer explanations, it still said the answer was "D" but the explanation gave support for "B" being the answer. That's the most outstanding example I remember, but they occur often enough that I can safely make the judgment that PR's quality is much better than Barron's, especially in this aspect.

    So if you know the material and just want the practice, go for Barron's. Anything else, go for PR.
  • ArachnotronArachnotron Posts: 1,761Registered User Senior Member
    Barron's is best for SAT subject tests/APs. Blue Book for regular SAT.
  • AimHigh2AimHigh2 Posts: 583Registered User Member
    @dococtopi

    I totally agree. I read just Barron's for one ap test and almost everything on there wasn't even found in the Barron's book. It was a disappointment. The book focused on totally different facts that weren't even tested and left out the important stuff. I'm sticking with PR
  • IceQubeIceQube Posts: 3,184Registered User Senior Member
    One cannot make valid generalizations on the quality of test prep books.

    Think about it for a second. The authors are different for each test prep book!

    So while Company A's AP _____ book might be great, that in no way guarantees the quality of the company's other books.

    Just take 5 Steps to a 5 as an example. They publish some pretty decent review books such as the one for AP Chem. They also publish some pretty atrocious books, such as the one for AP Environmental.
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