SAT & ACT Recommended Reading List

Students who read regularly tend to have the easiest time with the Reading sections of the SAT and ACT. Reading a little every day can go a long way toward boosting your verbal skills by building your fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary.

ArborBridge's SAT & ACT Recommended Reading List (below) is a great place to start. Exploring the resources on this list, curated by the ArborBridge Instruction Team, will prepare you for the types of passages you'll encounter on the SAT and ACT Reading sections.

Click here to download your reading list.

AB SAT ACT Recommended Reading List

Natural Science

Find and read scientific journal articles exploring a wide array of scientific fields, including biology, chemistry, Earth science, and physics.

Recommended sources:


Social Science

Find and read contemporary social science journal articles and long-form newspaper articles exploring the fields of psychology, political science, economics, and sociology. 

Recommended sources:


Poetry (SAT Only)

Find and read poems by classic and contemporary poets.

Recommended sources:

Recommended poets:

  • Amy Lowell
  • Charlotte Forten Grimké
  • Claude McKay
  • Langston Hughes
  • James Weldon Johnson
  • Maggie Pogue Johnson
  • D'Arcy McNickle
  • Walt Whitman


Literary Fiction

Find and read short stories and novels by reputable authors. In many cases, you can find great books available for free on your Kindle, iPad, iPhone, computer, or eReader. 

Recommended books:

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon)
  • Exit West (Mosin Hamid)
  • The Museum of Extraordinary Things (Alice Hoffman)
  • Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
  • Never Let Me Go (Kazuo Ishiguro)
  • The Remains of the Day (Kazuo Ishiguro)
  • The Namesake (Jhumpa Lahiri)
  • Pachinko (Min Jin Lee)
  • Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
  • The Bonesetter’s Daughter (Amy Tan)
  • The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt)
  • The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
  • House of Mirth (Edith Wharton)
  • The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton)
  • The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)


Recommended short stories:


Additional recommended authors:

  • Jane Austen
  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Charlotte Bronte
  • Emily Bronte
  • Albert Camus
  • Willa Cather
  • Amit Chaudhuri
  • Scott Fitzgerald
  • Aldous Huxley
  • Henry James
  • Dinaw Mengestu
  • Daniyal Mueenuddin
  • George Orwell
  • Philip Roth
  • Mark Twain


Recommended sources:


Need more individualized advice?

The recommendations above are general suggestions. If you have specific questions, reach out to our experts here. We’re happy to help in any way we can.


About ArborBridge

ArborBridge is the global leader in innovative, digital, one-on-one tutoring. With nearly a decade of experience teaching students online, ArborBridge supports students of all kinds: home schoolers, AP students, test preppers, and more. Our tutors specialize in creating personalized plans and in providing compassionate support for students and families.

Erin Ohsie-Frauenhofer

About Erin Ohsie-Frauenhofer

As one of the highest-performing tutors in ArborBridge’s history, Erin coaches tutors and develops tools and trainings to disrupt old habits and empower new strengths. With a Master of Arts in Teaching from Brown University, Erin worked as a classroom teacher and student services director prior to joining ArborBridge in 2017. Her decade of success as an educator has prepared her to ensure that programs are tailored to individual students’ needs.

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