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Cracking the SAT with 8 Practice Tests & DVD, 2014 Edition (College Test Preparation) Paperback – June 4, 2013

ISBN-13: 978-0307945624 ISBN-10: 0307945626 Edition: Csm Pap/Dv

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Product Details

  • Series: College Test Preparation
  • Paperback: 832 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Review; Csm Pap/Dv edition (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307945626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307945624
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 2 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Vince Kotchian on December 8, 2013
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This review is from the perspective of someone who has been tutoring the SAT privately since 2008. Overall, if you can only buy one SAT strategy book, this is a decent, but not great, choice.

Strengths:

- the DVD provides another way for the book's mostly helpful techniques to get into your brain
- question solving techniques are mostly good and well-explained
- the book's writing, overall, is down-to-earth and readable

Weakness:

- the book poses as a one-size-fits all solution to SAT prep. This is an oversimplification, and though the book is a jack-of-all-trades, it's a master of none. In my opinion, there are superior resources for each part of the test.
- practice questions and tests are not good reflections of the real SAT both in terms of difficulty and question content/style. This is a big deal. Do not use these questions; use the ones written by the College Board.
- the book emphasizes "cracking" and tricks at the expense of learning fundamental skills, which can steer students away from putting in the time to learn vocab, math, do extra reading, etc.

I would recommend this book only to people who can't afford to buy more than one SAT book. For those looking for a competitive SAT score, I would track down more specialized books written by people focusing on just one area of the test. For math, try Pwn the SAT or the New SAT Math Game Plan; for verbal, try the books written by Erica Meltzer. I also like the Pwn the SAT essay book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Enterprise on February 5, 2014
The Princeton Review's techniques generally work very well for most students. Some are old standbys, such as plugging in numbers on algebra problems or predicting answers on sentence completions, while others are not as common, such as the "ratio box." If you're scoring anywhere from 1200 to 2000, the methods taught in this book will probably be a big help.

Another advantage is that TPR really puts a lot of effort into researching the test, and it shows. The problems are generally pretty realistic, with order of difficulty taken into account, and the practice tests mimic actual tests pretty well.

However, the book still leaves a lot to be desired. The biggest problem (which has been the case with several editions of this book, as well as many of TPR's other books) is that it's terribly edited. Sometimes problems don't make sense because a crucial element was omitted, and sometimes the supposed answers are just incorrect. It seems like a rush job, except that TPR has been producing this book annually for many years, so I don't know what their excuse is.

Second, despite its size, the book doesn't provide enough advanced material, and the essay is not given enough treatment. Therefore, if you're a high scorer, you may want to pass.

Finally, many of the explanations to the problems in the practice tests are poor. Sometimes the explanations simply ignore what is actually written in the problem. If you can figure out how to do the problems yourself, then it's no problem, but if you really get stuck on a problem and aren't sure why the answer is what TPR says it is, you may simply find yourself scratching your head.

No book is perfect, and this one certainly has its flaws, but it's still one of the better ones on the market.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harry Hamilton on January 29, 2014
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We got this for a niece of ours who is facing the SAT. These Crack the SAT courses really work once the student has mastered the basic material. It won't teach you math or reading or anything specific, you need to beef up on that elsewhere. But, it WILL give you essential information on how to take the test. And given that the SAT has consequences for negative answers, sometimes, at certain points in the test, if confidence is low, it simply makes more sense to leave an answer blank rather than guessing. This course teaches these precise types of tactics relevant to the SAT. Money well spent.
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With my previous expierences with other SAT practice books i really like the princeton review editions as they help you with in depth explainations and examples. Same could go for other sat books but i find the princeton review easier to follow along with; not boring with long non engaging explainations. But like my title states, in order to get the most out of this you have to put forth effort yourself and study from it as much as you can on a daily basis. Good luck!
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By Patricia Suazo on January 22, 2014
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Our daughter did well on the PSAT as a result of ordering this book. I would recommend it to others not wanting to pay a lot for a class that teaches the same thing.
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