From Quora: My Answer to "I'm almost 16, my SATS are in a couple of years, I'm good at math but I lack in English, what books do you recommend I read to help with that?"
Barron’s SAT would work - even an old edition such as the 28th or 29th edition (the current edition is the 30th edition) would teach you all you need to know. It has a great list of the classics of English/American literature, any of which you could read to learn more about English. Try reading a book from that list every two to three weeks - you’ll learn a lot about literary devices, human nature/life lessons, and have great examples of both for the essay and reading sections. You can also go to CliffsNotes Study Guides | Book Summaries, Test Preparation & Homework Help | Written by Teachers for a similar list of classic books that the SAT people would like you to have read and understood. The Cliffs Notes can help you understand those works if you get stuck, and also help if you are writing a report and need a quick guide as to in what part of the books events happen. (DO NOT just read the Cliffs Notes or similar guides instead of reading the books, especially if you have to report on them - your high school teachers and college professors will KNOW. They are intimately familiar with these works, and can easily think of questions about details not covered in the commercial guides/summaries).
References to books essay graders have read are more likely to get you a top score than references to obscure novels or pulp fiction. Some of the books are probably ones you will have to read for English class. It also has a very good section on English grammar (including tips about things most native English speakers get wrong) and how to write the essay. It even has a very nice vocabulary list, which will teach you many words even native-born American English speakers may not know.
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