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39 Reviews
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Book with unique Perspective for scoring your best
I got 99th percentile scores on the SAT and ACT in high school, and I mainly attribute my success to having been exposed to the 'cracking' series. Maybe I would have gotten 90th percentile without, it's hard to say, but the strategies involved in acing the exam (I got a total of 3 questions wrong), apply at least as much to struggling students *if not more*...
Published on November 29, 2012 by ChicagoGrooves

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85 of 110 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bleh!! Princeton Review.
Princeton Review is not a good company. Get Spark Notes if you want to spend less than 10 hours prepping, add the Barron's book if you are a serious student. Definitely get the actual College Board SAT book just to do the real SAT problems.

Here is my full review:

The book/method choice impacts your ACT/SAT scores which will impact course your life...
Published on May 27, 2012 by Eric


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Book with unique Perspective for scoring your best, November 29, 2012
This review is from: Cracking the SAT, 2013 Edition (College Test Preparation) (Paperback)
I got 99th percentile scores on the SAT and ACT in high school, and I mainly attribute my success to having been exposed to the 'cracking' series. Maybe I would have gotten 90th percentile without, it's hard to say, but the strategies involved in acing the exam (I got a total of 3 questions wrong), apply at least as much to struggling students *if not more* !

Let me explain why these books can bring success in ways other books can't.

I used this book in high school, which was over 10 years ago, but I've used other Princeton Review 'Cracking' Books since then, and they feel just as sharp and poignant today as they did in the 90's.. The main benefit of these books is the change in mindset from "you are being measured" to "you can beat this system". That change in mindset, if really adopted, can easily improve a person's motivation to study, and keep them feeling confident and eager on exam day. Those reviewers who point out grammatical errors in the book are missing the point- it is critical to learn how to do well under pressure, and the biggest part of that is having the confidence that the thing measuring you is a thing you have the power to affect. All of a sudden you are not a piece of meat to be sized up, you are the one seeing if the test measures up to you.

Obviously your milage may vary, and some people may prefer to focus on actual test questions and fundamentals. But I doubt that will take them to the highest scores they can achieve. In life, it is both knowledge of the material and of the system which enable success. Let's not bow to the ETS and agree to be measured solely on knowledge. Let their weakness be our gain and use every tool at our disposal, and I believe the 'Cracking' series is an essential tool for standardized test mastery.

Whether or not you get the book, get the mindset, and stop agonizing about 'knowing enough', and start taking your best possible test. Good luck - and you'll wish you'd done this earlier !
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF THE BEST SAT PREP BOOKS!, June 8, 2013
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This review is from: Cracking the SAT, 2013 Edition (College Test Preparation) (Paperback)
This is one of the best SAT Prep books. It gives you a list of vocabulary words that appear the most on the SAT. I took the SAT and so many of the words included in this book came up. The Writing section is incredible. It reviews all the grammer you need and it helped my writing section go from a 540 to a 680. The reading section is also very well explained and it goes over everything you need. I went from a 570 to a 610. The math section covers all the basics, but I think it's not for the people who have over a 600 already. All the information is explained well but the math is for people who just want up to a 600. I recommend the Barrons SAT Prep 26th Edition for the Math section and Reading as well. The Math section goes in to full detail, and helps you solve those difficult questions. With this book and Barrons for the Math, these were my scores, before and after.

Before: Math 590 Reading 570 Writing 540 After: Math 680 Reading 610 Writing 680
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85 of 110 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bleh!! Princeton Review., May 27, 2012
This review is from: Cracking the SAT, 2013 Edition (College Test Preparation) (Paperback)
Princeton Review is not a good company. Get Spark Notes if you want to spend less than 10 hours prepping, add the Barron's book if you are a serious student. Definitely get the actual College Board SAT book just to do the real SAT problems.

Here is my full review:

The book/method choice impacts your ACT/SAT scores which will impact course your life will take. You are making a giant life decision picking an ACT/SAT book or study program.

You decide, but decide carefully. Trust no one. Not this review, not other reviews (fake), or advertisements, or tutors, or teachers, or counselors.

Advice: Go to bookstore and read some of the books. Be as critical as you can be. Make a thorough, informed decision. Skip the first pages of hype and promises. (then come back to Amazon for your purchase)

When you compare the books, see if this assessment is correct: Princeton Review is text heavy, babbling on and on unnecessarily to preface simple ideas. They are a 'strategy oriented' program. This is geared to eeking out a few extra points. Sparknotes and Barrons show you the same strategies in fewer pages and less words, easier organization, graphics.

SAT and ACT test questions are masterfully designed not to be 'gamed'. Pull the Official ACT/SAT book at the book store and try applying the Princton Review 'techniques'. Strategy is important, but not sufficient by itself. Princeton Review uses THEIR sample questions to show how well 'gaming' works. Counter to any good tutor's advice, they don't use official test questions. On the real test, 'Gaming' without understanding the topic is a time wasting method that only works on easy problems.

This is what Princeton Review knows about you, their target consumer:
If you are researching this book, you are trying to become informed about the ACT or SAT. If you are not informed, how can you critique books and services offered? Most people base their decision on advertising and graphics and feeling. Not objective, criticism or research. It's difficult to research, parents and high school kids don't post reviews on things like this.

In my opinion, Princeton Review is the biggest company in test prep, but not because of quality. They say they are the best, and consumers have no background to disagree. After reading and owning several of their books. And working with students that went through their top dollar program, and researching reviews from students in their programs and employees/tutors in their program.... Princeton Reviews seems (to me) to be more of a business than anything.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful, March 29, 2013
By 
NYker (Nassau County, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cracking the SAT, 2013 Edition (College Test Preparation) (Paperback)
I found the SAT test-taking tips very helpful. Every problem has an explanation, not just the letter of the correct answer.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Princeton Review SAT, December 2, 2012
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This review is from: Cracking the SAT, 2013 Edition (College Test Preparation) (Paperback)
I was really disappointed to discover that the NEW book I just purchased had all the same texts as the book I purchased four years ago. No one should bother buying new books regardless of the advertising that says "new edition" since the publishers are just recycling the same old texts year after year.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different approach to tackling the SAT!!, September 15, 2012
This review is from: Cracking the SAT, 2013 Edition (College Test Preparation) (Paperback)
This book and I have one thing in common, WE BOTH HATE THE SATs!!

this book shows students how to get good grades on the SATs without knowing all the material. that is, it shows you how to guess and answer effectively without really showing you the actual ways of answering the question.

if you want a book that shows you the "correct" way of answering the questions like the actual mathematical method, this book is not for you, get the official SAT book. but if you just want a shortcut into acing the SATs, you should get this one!! :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 11, 2014
This review is from: Cracking the SAT, 2013 Edition (College Test Preparation) (Paperback)
Very good
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 4, 2014
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This review is from: Cracking the SAT, 2013 Edition (College Test Preparation) (Paperback)
It's an okay book,
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4.0 out of 5 stars Really helps, June 2, 2014
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This review is from: Cracking the SAT, 2013 Edition (College Test Preparation) (Paperback)
I have taught students how to earn scores of over 1,800 on the SAT for the past eight years and refer to many of the methods taught in this book. My teachings go way beyond those taught here, but a students can raise their scores by 300 points if they use the Princeton Review methods and practice sufficiently. If you are struggling to beat a score of 1,500 and would like to raise your score to 1,800 I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It works, November 20, 2013
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This review is from: Cracking the SAT, 2013 Edition (College Test Preparation) (Paperback)
I kid you not, son #2 increased his math score by 130 points after reading the words in this book for 3 hours. He did not do the practice questions. Just read about how to do the math and scam the system. I think he also tried harder on the test, took it more seriously, and got good sleep before. He is going to take the test again after going through this book again since he thinks he can do even better. I think the key to these stupid tests is showing your kid the SAT range of acceptances at Harvard and then showing them where they are on the number line. Use cappex online for this. This way, they are not comparing themselves with the dummies in their school but with the best of the best. They won't get into Harvard, but it does seem to focus their attention on doing their best. And then they have not closed any doors by getting lower scores than they should. And when they are the smartest kid at their state school, they will not coast because they know there are kids at Harvard doing better than them. They will do well at their state school and then everyone will be happy and we can all retire and go to Florida.
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Cracking the SAT, 2013 Edition (College Test Preparation)
Cracking the SAT, 2013 Edition (College Test Preparation) by Princeton Review (Paperback - May 22, 2012)
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