I have been getting texts and emails from my students who want to do some practice over the summer to be ready for the next SAT, but aren’t sure where to begin or what materials to use. So here is your answer!
When students visit Amazon or visit Barnes and Noble, they are overwhelmed by the options, but aren’t sure what would be the best materials. Here is what I recommend:
- As of now, the College Board has only published ONE book of 4 exams for the redesigned SAT, but you don’t need to purchase the book as the same exams are FREE online. (Most of my students have done at least the first three of those exams.)
- Don’t forget the Khan Academy on the College Board site. Very good practice available there.
- I have found that the Kaplan, Princeton, and especially Barron’s are not true to format or have errors. I have always said that the only tests to use are those published by the company that creates the exams, but since we are limited to four, I have found three close seconds – Ivy Global, McGraw Hill, and Kallis’ Pattern.
- If you need more fine tuning in the reading or grammar – Erica Meltzer’s books are appear to be quite good: The Critical Reader and the Ultimate Guide to the SAT Grammar.
- Steve Warner created 3 SAT math prep books geared to 3 different levels – A lot of drill work in each!
All of the above are available on Amazon.
Now here’s what I recommend students do to maintain their critical reading and thinking skills. READ! READ! And READ!
- Our Recommended Reading List has a range of books to choose from. Some of my favorites – The Color of Water, by James McBride, 11.22.63, by Stephen King, and Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy. Read 15 minutes a day, compute wpm, and write a brief synopsis.
- Use this ‘how to sheet’ to figure out wpm and how long it will take to complete your book.
- Read editorials or reviews from the Washington Post, NYT, The Atlantic, Forbes, The Economist. Follow these steps to capitalize on your daily reading from these periodicals.
So here’s your Study Plan:
- Read an editorial or review or read 15 minutes/day in one of the books from the Recommended Reading List or your school reading list. Compute wpm and write a synopsis.
- Order one of the recommended test prep books. If you know your typical weakness – reading, grammar or math – order one of the those books as well.
- Do at least one practice test section a week for the next 4 weeks.
- If you see a weakness, get out that book and do the drill work.
- Do a whole test every week for the next 3-4 weeks, up until the week of the exam.
If you feel like you need a brush up with Charles and/or me – you seem stuck or frustrated as your not moving or dropping from your previous test score from last spring – give me a call. One of two lessons in each should do it!
If you haven’t yet worked with Breakthrough Test Prep, there’s still plenty of time to take advantage of the remaining summer weeks! Get two-thirds of the program over before school starts to make it easier to maintain and transition into school demands.
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