Advice for sophomore STUCK WITH NEW SAT 2005

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: April 2004 Archive: Advice for sophomore STUCK WITH NEW SAT 2005
By Altf4 (Altf4) on Sunday, April 11, 2004 - 07:10 pm: Edit

hello everybody

ok, so just a while ago i bought some books for the bio SAT II and i plan to study a lot b/c practice test scores me at about 640 and i want at the very least a 700...

that's not the real problem, i have a 3.8 b/c my high school doesn't weight the gpa else i have like a 4.2-4.3, the 3.8 is a B in Mandarin 2, i don't know if that looks bad b/c i'm asian although have no previous 1st language experience with Mandarin...what do you think?

ok, anyways, after i take the bio sat 2, i'm gonna get ready to study hard for IIC math b/c i'm finishing this year in pre calc (solid A, hooray) and got accepted into Calc BC AP (competitive examination) much to my suprise...i will register math 2c sometime next year, like in fall...

BIG QUESTION: i need to know where i can find the best new SAT prep books, like the DAY THEY ARE RELEASED, i got a 1300 off a practice test (old SAT) that i tried taking on my own, and basically scoring myself, that's about it though.
1300 is not good, b/c i'm asian and colleges expect like at the least 1450 (or equivalent 90% for new SAT )

colleges i want: UCSD, UCLA, caltech.
east coast: MIT (unlikely, lol), Duke, Columbia

safety: Santa Clara University, which is like within walking distance from Bellarmine, my current high school.

help me out here, please tell me if my schedule looks good, right now i'm planning on taking chem honors, calc bc, and us history ap as a junior, also plz advise me on my SAT schedule

EC: piano, high school swim team, cross country (i know, it's not that great of a list)

i'm very dedicated, i'll spend the entire summer studying if i have to...


By Altf4 (Altf4) on Sunday, April 11, 2004 - 07:15 pm: Edit

oh sorry, i might add intended major of

biomedical engineering/marketing

minor music

By Nyu2010 (Nyu2010) on Sunday, April 11, 2004 - 07:32 pm: Edit

Hey, which books are you using for studying for the Bio SAT II? I have PR...and I'm practice-testing at a 680 but I don't know whether this book is easy or not.

By Jens (Jens) on Sunday, April 11, 2004 - 07:35 pm: Edit

u might want to check out sparknotes for the new sat prep

By Altf4 (Altf4) on Sunday, April 11, 2004 - 07:43 pm: Edit

oh, i'm using kaplan, b/c i heard princeton review content made the test seem easy and made you "overconfident", but that's only from my sources.

i'm also using the barron's because they have a lot of practice tests and my teacher recommended it.

generally, most books tests are harder than the actual ones, because their aim is to try and prep you as much as they can.

By Nyu2010 (Nyu2010) on Sunday, April 11, 2004 - 08:10 pm: Edit

Crap. And here I am, doing badly using Princeton Review.

Well, I guess I better go buy the Barron's tomorrow...but good luck with your endeavors.

By Altf4 (Altf4) on Sunday, April 11, 2004 - 08:39 pm: Edit

wait, if you want a numerical score out of 800, i don't believe barron gives you that (so you would have to estimate on your own, given your raw score), i'm not sure about PR, it's just again from my sources, so since i say so, doesn't mean it is necessarily "bad".

umm, interesting, i just found my copy of the barron's SAT II biology, i believe there is a typo for the score scale: for 800 (best possible), u only need a raw score of 75. I think it's a typo because only 79-80 raw can earn you an 800 (depending on the edition's curve), must be that 75-78 raw equals 790, since the next lowest here is 780...interesting...anyways the point is, the barron's makes some stupid mistakes like that even though they're content is good and if one were to memorize every single concept in the book, one would get a 750 for sure!!!

QUESTION: I'm asian. generally, Which colleges' current affirmative action policies (if they exist), will screw me over, so to speak. (please look at my college list on first post)

By Varr (Varr) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 09:52 am: Edit

yeah Barrons got all you need!!! I'm almost half through it :D!!!!!!!!!!!!! (will take it in october, and the satII chem in Nov)

By Shanbangs (Shanbangs) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 12:00 pm: Edit

PR for Bio SAT II was good. took it freshmen year, got a 700, while my practice test scores were at best 690. Overall, PR is solid. Question to the first poster on this thread, why columbia? It has nothing in common with UCberkley, Cal Tech, MIT, etc. Columbia is a humanities school.

By Bluesea1988 (Bluesea1988) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 01:48 pm: Edit

Hey Altf4, I am going to take the same tests as you will (SAT II Bio in June and SAT II Math IIC in October). I wanted to take SAT II Math II this May and Bio this June, but after all I thought it would be good to concentrate in Bio to get a good score and then study for Math IIC over the summer. I'm using Barron's for Bio too. What book do you think is good for Math?
About the new SAT, I have to take it too (class of 06). You can check on the website of SparkNotes since they post some helpful information ( I think the "new" SAT is just a combination of the old SAT I (Except Analogy and Quantitative comparison) + SAT II Math IC + SAT II Writing. So it's not that hard to prepare for.
The testprep companies I know (Barrons and SparkNotes) will release the book for the new SAT in June. So be patient! If you want to get started, then take a look at the SAT II Writing or the Writing part in the PSAT.

By Bluesea1988 (Bluesea1988) on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 01:53 pm: Edit

Are you sure your school doesn't weight GPA for Honors and APs? Maybe your "school GPA" will vary with "UC GPA" and other GPAs calculated according to those college systems, because colleges do weigh GPA differently than your school, and those GPA are important (your school GPA is used to rank only, I guess). So you don't have to worry so much about your GPA; you should be able to bump it up with your junior year.
What do you plan for junior year? This is my schedule:
English 3, AP Calculus BC, AP US History, Chemistry (my school doesn't have Honors), Piano, Spanish 3.
I don't think that's good enough because people usually take 3 - 4 APs in their junior years.

By Altf4 (Altf4) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 03:03 am: Edit

my school doesn't weight, and it doesn't rank, only for purposes of "quadrant rank system", so top fourth, second fourth, third fourth, bottom fourth scale


regular English, Calculus BC AP, Ap us history, chem honors, mandarin 3 (maybe), percussion ensemble, and a required religion course (regular)'

mandarin 3 will be tough for me, even though i'm asian, chinese is not my first language and languages are hard for me, math is second nature, mandarin 3 will bring my GPA down.

bluesea: barron's is good for math, actually i think the best, very comprehensive, since you have a lot of time, be like me, memorize 100% of barron's and ur old math textbook (yes i will study a LOT) and u get 800, it's very simple, just pure dedication will win u the 800

thanks for info about June release on books, i saw most being released on early fall, i guess some summer some early fall, summer better b/c i'm dedicating this summer to SAT prep, on my own and with a paid course as well.

Columbia University has the Fu school of arts and technologies, i heard it was good, but probably beyond my reach sadly

By Wishful_Thinker (Wishful_Thinker) on Thursday, April 15, 2004 - 08:54 pm: Edit

I'm a soph also

SATII schedule sounds good, as for the SAT 2400, i already have a book on it: McGraw-Hill's SAT 2400! Personally, i think the old sat is easier b/c there's no precal (math is my strong side but i don't want to mess up on something stupid) and there's more writing (weakness alert x.x;). but yea if you want a book...there it's already out

your classes are good, are you going to take AP english lang or physics? good classes.

your ECs - they are FINE. i was on swim team last year. BUT, find a club @ school and stick to it. one w/ comptns. if you're going into BC already (at my school they make us take AB beforee BC) you seem good @ math...go for mu alpha theta. there should be plenty. if you can't find that...go volunteer. start your own thing...originality baby!

and do something interesting over the summer, don't study the whole time! go on the web and type in "summer programs at universities" or something. they have plenty programs that are fun and good for ya. i'm not forcing you..just and idea. check out

and i got a 130 on my psat so we're in the same boat. i'm also asian so i'm working MAD hard on the SATs trying to jump 100+ points *crosses fingers* do they sell miracles x.x?

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