30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2012
I've used both the Princeton Review and the Barron's Math II book. This book is really advance so only get it if you plan to score above the 750s. What's great about this book is that it is much more detailed than the Princeton one so you definitely learn a lot of and like others have this, it is very very challenging. I bought this book mainly to practice and also to learn many of the concepts. There are questions after each section and the concepts are taught in a more example based fashion. What I like about this book is its details and how its very focused on Math level 2. The tests are also very good because they really get you to think and it prepares you really well.
The problem I found with this book is that there are certain questions that they test after each section where there are no examples for. This normally happens for 1-2 questions every section, so it isn't major. This is like a teacher who tries to challenge students by putting a question on the test that the students were never even taught. Some of the sections are also taught in a really difficult to understand way. The explanations for certain questions can also be very vague at times and often it is explained as if you had a LOT of background knowledge.
Overall, I found this book a good way to learn stuff, but like others have said, note that not only are the questions difficult, but the way many concepts are taught are also hard. If you don't have much time to prepare, I recommend the Princeton Math II book, as it is much more simplified, but if you have a good amount of time to spend for this I highly recommend this Barron's Math II book. If your planning to achieve a really high score, this book will prepare you very well for the real test.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2012
The practice questions and practice tests in this book are MUCH harder than what actually shows up on the Math II Subject Test. Ku and Dodge also review many topics in detail that will not be tested on the Subject Test either. Working through this book and slogging through its tedious, difficult problems is great practice and will make the real Subject Test feel like a breeze.
Don't be discouraged if your practice test scores aren't as high as you'd expect. I scored in the low-to-mid-700's on all my Barron's practice tests but comfortably and easily (read: finished the test 20 minutes early) scored an 800 on the real thing as a sophomore.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2013
As has been previously stated, this book is relatively difficult. Had to get that out of the way first. However, that is not (to my mind) a bad thing at all.
As a student two years removed from precalculus (finished the class June 2011, took Math II Subject Test June 2013), I needed mainly a review of topics (not self-studying, etc). The difficulty of the math wasn't so much my concern as just reviewing some of the more remote subjects (hyperbolas, for example) that would be presented on the test. The beauty of this book is that they are all there - occasionally in more detail than one would like!
However, as someone who was aiming for an 800 (and this book helped me succeed in getting that score), I would rather take the Type II error (learn too much) than the Type I error (learn too little) [I'm sorry, AP Stat reference :]. This book will prepare you for any and everything on the test.
A quick note: I have always been a student who does better in math/science as opposed to reading/writing, so again, the math part itself came relatively easily to me, both when I first learned it in class and then in the refresher [this book]. If you are a student who struggles at math (or simply wants to do well, but not necessarily in the 750+ range), it might be a better use of your time to find a less advanced book (and remember, you can always come back to this one if the Math II doesn't go your way the first time).
However, doing these problems is like a professional baseball player in the on-deck circle swinging a weighted bat - it is harder than normal, but once the weights come off, the bat (the actual test questions) feel like swinging a toothpick.
If you go through this book, even just doing the parts you don't remember and then doing the practice tests, there is almost no way your score will be less than 700. If you truly want to do well, this book is definitely recommended. If you don't care, but want to be pleasantly surprised, this book is for you too :)
Also, look at every review of 2-4 stars - most of the people there got 800's using this book, and simply mentioned that the stuff was harder than the test - so it's not that the quality of the instruction in this book is bad, it's just that in retrospect people wish they hadn't done as much of the work! The beauty of course is that YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO THE ENTIRE THING! Just choose the spots where you are unsure and work those aspects of your knowledge. I was simultaneously studying for Physics SAT II, and I needed to study that topic far more. Just be efficient, and this book will do the rest if you study it well.
One last thing (this is just personal advice) - If you are a junior planning on taking this subject test, and you are in AP classes, I would strongly recommend taking the subject test in June. AP exams are over, giving you at least 1-2 weeks of study time (where HW levels are low) for those so inclined, and you will know in advance if you have to review for the fall of senior year.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2012
This book has a good amount of tests but some are extremely difficult. Well beyond the scope of the actual SAT Subject Exam. Definitely a great book to help push you to do really well on the exam. I wouldn't recommend this book unless you're scoring around 700 or more consistently on the other study guides (Princeton Review, Mc-Graw Hill, etc.). This book will definitely intimidate you otherwise.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2013
I started out with a 600 on my diagnostic practice test and was completely disappointed. Then, I went over the review material and it was excellent. It covers ALL the topics on the exam. Feeling fully prepared, I went to take the practice test and I was only scoring in the mid-700s. Nevertheless, I continued to review until the day of the test. However, I also took one test out of the Official SAT Subject test book by Collegeboard to get a feel of what was going to be on the test. The day of the test, I finished within 50 minutes and had 10 minutes to look over everything. If you review this book for at least a good 3 weeks, you will easily get an 800, just like I did :)
FYI. If you have not taken pre-calculus as a class prior to this exam, it will be really difficult to learn just from this book.I would strongly advise you to take the class first.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2013
A good prep book, but stressed my son out a little bit because the questions were harder and more comprehensive then the actual test. College Board on line free sample questions was a better reflection of the test.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2013
I just finished a year of honors pre-calculus and i've seen everything on the test throughout the year and this book is a great fresher, but the great thing about it is if you've never seen any of the topics before if you study the book thoroughly you will still do excellently. But this is a book for those who want above a 730 because it is considerably much more difficult than the actual exam, if you can do well on these practice tests, like you get a 600 or above, you will without a doubt get above a 750 on the real thing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2013
The book was retarded in the sense that it over prepared me for the test. I'm not kidding you. I spent 2 weeks reading this whole book. I rated it a five because I got a 690 on the Math 1, and after reading this I got a 750, on Math IIC. I'm not extremely smart either. I would warn people that it doesn't help you manage your pace. The only reason I got a 750 was because I missed 6 at the end!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2012
I really like this review book. It has plenty of practice problems and tests. I just took the SAT today and I think this book prepared me well. In two weeks, I reviewed and mastered different skills necessary for the test. As a word of caution, I though the review book had harder problems than the actual test - for me this was good, but it might hurt the confidence of other test takers.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2014
Wow, there's already an 11th edition.
Anyway, pretty good to review concepts. I think 10 practice tests are provided, one diagnostic included. When I studied this book, I did a diagnostic test (.. I think I got mid 500's which freaked me out a little), read through the review section in one weekend before the test, and then did four practice tests. At the time, I thought there were only two practice tests and spaced two tests throughout the week before the test, but then I realized there were actually ten! So I crammed in two more practice test and took the real test that Saturday.
For my practice tests, I could only get in the low 600 range. I think my highest score was 670 (and I think I kind of cheated and gave myself pity points). For the actual test, I got 770. The practice tests in this book is def harder than the actual test, but it's good practice. (Note: I got 730 for both practice tests in the CollegeBoard Math book.)
- I'm not REALLY GOOD at math, but I'm also not horrible at it. My pre-calc teacher did a horrible job teaching, which was why I felt I really needed to take advantage of the review section of this book.
- My SAT subject test was taken in June of 2014
- Haha I actually didn't finish with a bunch of time like other people. I remember not getting enough time to figure out the last question of the test
- This book makes you use the calculator more than you would on the actual test
- Learn to use your calculator, learn all the shortcuts!
- There were a few typos and errors in this book. On one page it would say the answer is "A" and in the explanations it'd say the answer is "D".
- In my personal opinion, Dr. John Chung's is not helpful at all. I thought the 53 tips were some miracle advice that would get most people a high score, but they're actually a collection of equations. I'm not someone who can just understand equations and properties well, so I ditched this book after reading the first two pages. Also, the practice tests were EVEN HARDER than Barron's (how?!) so it was definitely not for me.
- REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR GRAPHING CALCULATOR