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on March 19, 2013
As an experienced SAT and standardized test instructor, I always first use the books from the test publishers: College Board "Official SAT Study Guide," Peterson "Real ACT" for the ACT. The rationale is to have students work on the most accurate problems. The shortcomings of those publishers' books, however, are in the strategies: they are not succinctly explained, especially for high school attention spans. A book like Dr. Gruber's clearly provides easy-to-understand strategies and techniques for each problem type.

One of my students in 2011 introduced me to the Gruber book which is a well-researched compilation of techniques and practice problems. The student was a high-achiever who understood that Dr. Gruber's book is a third-party book with its own proprietary practice problems, so our question was, 'How similar are these problems to the actual SAT test?' We compared them and found a close correlation between the Gruber book and the College Board SAT tests.

Based on this student's experience (his total scores were above 2200 out of 2400), he was definitely benefitting from using Dr. Gruber's book. He understood the strategies and applied them well to the practice problems. The bottom line is that if you use this book, you will increase your score and become a better test taker if you first understand the strategies, apply them objectively, reflect on your incorrect problems, and practice consistently. If so, you can use Dr. Gruber's book to achieve success. Best of luck!
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on November 30, 2012
Over more than 10 years I really checked quite a few prep books for several tests (TOEFL, SAT, ACT, GMAT...) - finally, I condensed to wide range to just two very similar approaches: Kaplan and Gruber. Both are similar in content and only slightly different in the strategy of preparation.
I like the Gruber version because is has not only recap pages but also vocab lists. It's really helpful at least to get a feeling of the "frequently" used words.
So, you can't be wrong to buy or rent this book.
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VINE VOICEon May 26, 2013
This is an excellent book for SAT tutors; a average-to-good book for students using this book as their sole source of preparation; an excellent book when used in conjunction with the SAT exams published by the College Board.

This book teaches critical thinking strategies which are essential for not only the SAT, but other examinations you will take in high school and college. I cannot recommend the strategies highly enough. Other SAT test prep books teach you tricks. The Gruber book teaches you thinking strategies which will serve you for years to come.

I will focus especially on the math content, as that is what I usually use this book for.

-Critical Reading Section-

The questions in the review tests are a little harder than the actual SAT. The critical thinking strategies are useful.
The vocab list is extensive, and perhaps a touch overly difficult, but it would be a good list for a student to work with if they want to do very long term preparation (12+ months plus) for this test.

-Writing Section-

The writing section is an afterthought, in terms of content review other than the practice tests. The section on writing a good essay is helpful (see below), but the guide lacks numerous practice questions for the multiple choice writing questions. The practice test questions are a touch harder than the actual SAT questions.

However, this book has a section on writing the essay which would be helpful for many students. It also has a section on grammar that should be required reading for every high school student in this country. Grammar is not taught extensively in schools anymore, and this book gives you a back to basics course in the subject.

-Math Section-

Math Practice Test Questions- Unlike the SAT, the questions sometimes seem to be randomly placed within the section. An entire section can be very easy, and the next section can be brutally tough. The questions are tougher-to-much-tougher than the actual SAT. (Students using this book on their own should be made aware of that.)

Questions on the practice test are linked by a numerical code to the content review (covered below) as well as the general math strategies (covered at the start of this review). As such, they can serve as a reminder of the general math principles that the were just part of a specific test question. It's helpful if you get the question wrong, or omitted, and can even be helpful if you get the question correct.

Math Content Review- Excellent. If anything, it overprepares you for the test. It covers some areas (such as set theory, and certain geometric formulas) that are not covered on this test. This section can be a godsend if you are weak in this subject.

After each content review section, there are 50 practice questions which cover what you reviewed. These questions are much harder than what's on the test.


This book prepares you for a test that is more difficult than the actual SAT. But the strategies it teaches, as well as the essay review and grammar review sections mentioned in this book, are worth their weight in gold.

This book should be used in conjunction with the book of SAT exams published by the College Board. (The Official SAT Study Guide) You will likely score higher on those more realistic practice tests than the harder Gruber practice tests.

The 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th editions of this book are 99.95% the same as the book under review. If you can buy a copy of those books (at what I assume would be a very inexpensive price), you are getting this book.

Another, less effusive way of saying the same thing: This book hasn't been really updated in at least a decade.

Shame on the publisher and/or Dr. Gruber for recycling the same book year and year. But as long as they recycle the book, I'll keep recycling this review!

But that's a personal quibble of mine. You should buy this book.
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on January 2, 2013
This was the second SAT book we bought. My daughter and her SAT tutor liked this book much better than the "big blue" SAT book.
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on July 29, 2013
We are just beginning to crack this book, but my husband and I are very please with the extensive content, and with the organization of the book. My daughter started to feel relieved about the SAT prep process as soon as she looked through it.
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on June 9, 2013
This book proved to be quite an excellent guide not only to prepare for SAT but also a super refresher on the areas of Math and English grammar principles. The detailed explanation on Math problems and English grammar is a definite plus for the user to immediately recall the principles behind the concept. No-nonsense approach and the exercises definitely arms the user with the core knowledge to be adequately tuned up for the test. It helps to gauge your strengths and weaknesses of principles and yet tunes you up to regain the confidence. A book to buy and have for immediate sprucing up of the grey matter academia.

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on September 18, 2012
Thanks to this book, I went from a 1600 to 2200 on the SAT's. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to refresh their skills.
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on February 22, 2013
I have an SAT business and this is one of the better books out there for math, the other being the Barron's Math Workbook (which is better for top students), and of course, the Blue College Board book.

The author's problems are most like actual SAT Problems. Essentially, it seems as though he poured through many old SAT's, changed around the problem a bit, and put them in this book. Thus, the problems are similar to ones you might actually come across, unlike other books, which contain problems not at all like the exam.

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on December 23, 2012
I have been a fan of Gruber's Complete SAT Guide since using it in the High School SAT Prep class that I taught for many years. I purchase it for relatives and friends children when they enter their freshman year of High School. If they begin working with it early and practice a little at a time they have more confidence when they sit for the exam and they score better because they are better prepared.
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on July 24, 2013
The book presents a real study guide for the SAT score; read it, learn it, and you will get an above the average score.
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