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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: June 2004 Archive: BEST SAT PREP BOOKS FOR MATH & VERBAL
By Cmpdia (Cmpdia) on Tuesday, June 08, 2004 - 11:59 pm: Edit

Ok so I went to the local bookstore and got myself the Gruber's and Princeton's SAT prep books....
I took the SATs in March and got a horrible score (1170) I don't remember exactly what my subscores were but I think I got similar scores for math and verbal..
soo my question is.. which book or books are the best to raise your score at least 200+ points?
Thanks in advance

By Forsakn4 (Forsakn4) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 12:24 am: Edit

princeton review thats all u need

By Jaug1 (Jaug1) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 01:01 am: Edit

I actually completely disagree with Forsakn4. Princeton Review is decent. I did use them, but only for practice, nothing to study out of. I say that Barrons makes the best books. My reasoning for this is that the Barrons tests are consistently harder than those placed on the Real SAT I and II's. Essentially, the problems you get on the real ones seem easier than when you do practice tests at home from the Barron's book.

Barrons is great for test prep
Kaplan and Princeton are ok
Real SAT I and II's are very helpful in gauging exact difficulty after taking some of the other tests.

P.S. The best help one can get is to hire a private tutor if at all possible. Classes move at the pace of the slowest person in the room. A private tutor allows for 1 on 1 interaction at your particular speed and enables you to learn the material you feel is necessary to do well.

By Cmpdia (Cmpdia) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 01:20 am: Edit

ok so how about grubers? is that good?

By Cmpdia (Cmpdia) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 01:31 am: Edit


By Jaug1 (Jaug1) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 01:32 am: Edit

I don't know about Gruber since I didn't use it.

For the SAT I, I used the 10 Real SAT book, some Barron's and some Kaplan.

For the SAT II, Math IIC was Real SAT and Princeton (only because I need review only)
Writing- Barron's, Real SAT II, Princeton, Kaplan and SparkNotes (suprisingly good).
Chemistry I used Princeton for review only.
US History was Kaplan becuase I couldn't find the Barrons.

Best of luck with your SAT studying!

By Cmpdia (Cmpdia) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 01:56 am: Edit

So basically the best books are 10 real sats and barron's?
By how many points do you think that I'll be able to improve my score if I study off 10 real?

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 02:12 am: Edit

Jaug1, I am afraid that your assessment of the textbooks is quite different from the consensus on CC. Despite that what constitutes a "better" book remains subjective, there are some lessons that seasoned test takers have learned:

1. There is NO -as in ZERO- validity to take harder tests when preparing. Case in point, the tests in the Barron's book are easily the worst one can use for the SAT-1. The reason being is that they so different that they are almost entirely irrelevant.

2. For the SAT-1, Princeton Review and Kaplan are clearly superior to Barron's. There is no comparison between PR, Kaplan and Barron's when it comes to the verbal section. For the math, the best SOURCE book is Gruber's.

3. Now, for the best book ... that is easy: it is the 10 Real SAT because it contains the ONLY tests worth using. Yes, toss all the other out as they are a waste of time. With the availability of tests, there is no reason why anyone would use one of the synthetic tests.

4. The best way to practice is to focus on practicing and using the source books as ... a source. Read the strategies and concepts but only in the context of a practice test.

How many points can you gain by practicing IN EARNEST with the 10RS: between 200 and 300!

By Cmpdia (Cmpdia) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 02:17 am: Edit

Xiggi thanks a lot man
So I guess I'll just alternate between Gruber's and Princeton's for verbal/math
and finish it off with the 10 real sat's for tests

By Jaug1 (Jaug1) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 02:27 am: Edit

Xiggi, I'm sry that I have to disagree with your assessment.

The Barron's Books do test you on the exact same material as the Real SAT books as well as the Princeton Review/Gruber/Kaplan. The Barron's is a set of more difficult tests which if you can do well on should guarantee higher scores. What is the point in taking tests that aren't as hard as the real thing? Plus, Princeton and Kaplan are known to have many errors in print which can waste time during tests.

I truly believe Barron's is the best book for studying, despite what others on this board may say.

Cmpdia, whichever books you do eventually use, study hard and focus over the summer and really hunker down in the last 2-3 weeks before the test and you should be able to raise your score 200-300 points. Best of luck!

By Xiggi (Xiggi) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 11:33 am: Edit


Would you take the LSAT or GRE to test your aptitude to excel on the SAT-1?

Would you take the SAT-IIC to ascertain your aptitude for the SAT-I?

The main issue in preparing for the SAT is relevance. There is no benefit in throwing together thousands of pages of seemingly hard material and claim the title of hardest book. The SAT is a test that can be aced by a ten grader. The Barron's SAT book is a recycled GRE book.

I own nad have read the Barron's and I respect their strategies and several of theor publications as being outstanding ... however, the SAT=I is not one of them, especially because of the contents of the proposed tests.

It is your prerogative to dispute the collective wisdom of this board as well as our individual experience. That is what this board is all about!

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