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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the money!
This book is full of a lot of jokes, and not that much actual content, BUT there are enough real tips and information to make it worth purchasing. I am an SAT tutor and was shocked at how spot on the author was in some areas. For example, he mentions that the SAT frequently uses words such as anthropology, undermine, and underscore. In tutoring, my students have asked...
Published on January 19, 2012 by sarayale

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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag
This book is truly a mixed bag. On one hand, it's funny, easy to read, and contains some smart tips. On the other hand, it contains very few examples and some embarrassing errors, which caused me to question its accuracy.

I applaud the author for writing a concise SAT guide that is accessible to the typical student. However, I would strongly advise readers...
Published on August 14, 2008 by BookLover


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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Mixed Bag, August 14, 2008
This review is from: Hack the SAT: Strategies and Sneaky Shortcuts That Can Raise Your Score Hundreds of Points (Paperback)
This book is truly a mixed bag. On one hand, it's funny, easy to read, and contains some smart tips. On the other hand, it contains very few examples and some embarrassing errors, which caused me to question its accuracy.

I applaud the author for writing a concise SAT guide that is accessible to the typical student. However, I would strongly advise readers to use this book in conjunction with the College Board's own preparation guides. On its own, this book does not provide adequate background material - or examples - for the average reader.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good tips!, May 5, 2012
First off, if you plan on buying this book, DO NOT PURCHASE THE KINDLE VERSION. The formatting is horrifying, and the effect of the book is somewhat lost when converted to an ebook. (For instance, the vocab words on the bottoms of the pages in the physical copy are not present in the ebook version. There is more that irks me about the Kindle version, but I won't spend the whole review complaining about it. PLEASE, do yourself a favor and order a physical copy!)

This is one of those SAT help books that is actually fun to read. Just that makes Hack the SAT rather unique. I enjoyed working my way through this book, and the SAT tips were very helpful. The essay section had especially brilliant advice, and the math section provided an adequate supplementary review of the concepts I needed to slog my way through the SAT again.

All in all, a nice book, yet I would caution anyone against trying to study for the SAT with ONLY this book. For one thing, it doesn't have enough practice activities. There are also a few errors in the book (one practice question did not list the correct answer as an option, there are a couple typos, etc.). If you're looking to score competitively, invest in the CollegeBoard's "Blue Book," which has real, multiple practice tests.(Practice tests are an integral part of any study routine for the SAT. Please do as many of them as possible to accustom yourself to the types of questions asked on the SAT.) Barron's 2400 and Kaplan guides are also very good, so please check those out for a more thorough review of SAT concepts.

Good luck!
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28 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nervous yet? You will be, after reading this book., November 11, 2008
This review is from: Hack the SAT: Strategies and Sneaky Shortcuts That Can Raise Your Score Hundreds of Points (Paperback)
I found this book while buying an SAT guide for my nephew, and spent about an hour reading it. While I was impressed by the rates the author charges his students to tutor them (hundreds!), I wasn't impressed with the book. The book seems overly obsessed with scores and scoring higher. I scored the equivalent of above 2300 on the SAT and got into every college I applied to --- including Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, and the top small colleges --- but reading the book with its intense focus on scoring made ME nervous.

The mentality that the author is coming from seems pretty typical of the prep school crowd, at least the ones that I went to college with. And prep school kids do need to do more in order to stand out; it's much easier to get into H/Y/P from the great public high schools of the Midwest than from Eastern prep schools. And prep school kids seem to have this whole stigma against the good public universities, so they regard attending them as a failure, whereas from my Midwestern high school we just saw it as normal and going to an Ivy as a bonus. I don't envy them. But the mentality is intense and neurotic enough to drive anyone crazy.

As an example, he suggests that everyone take the test preferably three times, unless they get a high score to start with, and he gives a whole schedule on which to take the tests so that you have multiple tries. He gives suggestions for which subject tests it's easiest to get a good score on. Some of the practice questions are even about the SAT itself. And periodically in the middle of a hint, he'll say things like, "There's a lot riding on this test." In case you're not feeling enough anxiety already.

People do best on things they find fun. It seems to me that the best way to study for the SAT is to look at it as a puzzle and a challenge, and try to enjoy it. Focusing on scores seems like a way to get nervous for no reason and not to enjoy studying because you're focusing on an abstract thing far in the future. Better to enjoy the present moment.

I'm now an alumni interviewer. Last month I attended a session with admissions officers giving us an introduction to alumni interviewing. We looked at a few real applications (anonymized), and spoke frankly about the merits of each case, using honest language such as "This applicant sounds like a real tool.", debating about whether the applicants seemed to have social skills, and looking at the extent to which the applicants had taken advantage of their high schools' opportunities. It really is true that admissions officers think carefully about the whole person. Scores alone won't get someone into college: a top school could fill their entire entering class with 2400's several times over. Scores are just a signal. High scores and low grades means that the applicant wasn't trying. Low scores and high grades mean that the applicant may not test well, or that their school grades too leniently. And then admissions officers move onto reading the letters and essays.

Of course it is important to study for the SAT, but focusing on scores seems like a bad way to do that, and a good way to get overly nervous about it. In the end, I bought the Laugh Out Loud guide to the SAT --- it's written by a PhD and comedy writer and it seems to communicate a better spirit of fun. My hope is that it will give my nephew a good feeling about the SAT that he can maintain while taking a dozen practice tests in the Official SAT book.

No matter what, just have fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the money!, January 19, 2012
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This review is from: Hack the SAT: Strategies and Sneaky Shortcuts That Can Raise Your Score Hundreds of Points (Paperback)
This book is full of a lot of jokes, and not that much actual content, BUT there are enough real tips and information to make it worth purchasing. I am an SAT tutor and was shocked at how spot on the author was in some areas. For example, he mentions that the SAT frequently uses words such as anthropology, undermine, and underscore. In tutoring, my students have asked me what those words mean, and have even gotten questions wrong because of not knowing. So good tidbits of info, use with other materials. The author also gives some interesting info that I would have otherwise not known that may not directly help you on the SAT but is interesting to know. For example, he mentions information on how people get extra time on the SAT.

PS I only tutor Critical Reading & Writing so I did not read the Math sections.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource, August 11, 2012
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This review is from: Hack the SAT: Strategies and Sneaky Shortcuts That Can Raise Your Score Hundreds of Points (Paperback)
I feel that the author of this product has given the students very
good tid bits on how to take the SAT
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brought my score up a full 40 points, July 10, 2012
This review is from: Hack the SAT: Strategies and Sneaky Shortcuts That Can Raise Your Score Hundreds of Points (Paperback)
I met the author at the Countryside library near where I attend school. The author gave an impressive presentation so I went ahead and bought the book. I only read the verbal section a few nights before taking the SAT for the second time. My scores the first time were pretty good but they could stand to go up a few more points. The score on my verbal section went up a full 40 points. I highly recommend the book to anyone taking the SAT. Its a quick and funny read and because the SAT is a logic based test, you need to understand the test writers thinking and how you might be tricked into picking the wrong answer if you aren't a "logical thinker". Its a great last minute study aid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!, October 14, 2011
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This review is from: Hack the SAT: Strategies and Sneaky Shortcuts That Can Raise Your Score Hundreds of Points (Paperback)
A no nonsense approach to taking the test. The author makes the book fun yet it stil covers important concepts and will definitely help with the test!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Supplement to More Traditional SAT Prep, September 6, 2011
By 
Brian R. McElroy (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hack the SAT: Strategies and Sneaky Shortcuts That Can Raise Your Score Hundreds of Points (Paperback)
This book is written by a fellow Harvard Grad who lives and works as a private tutor in New York. It's in the same vein as "Up Your Score": a lighthearted, humorous take on the SAT. Instead of trying to tackle everything on the test, Mr. Schrefer instead focuses on providing quick, useful tips and shortcuts, with a particular emphasis on the math section. All in all, it's worth the ten bucks.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So helpful, July 14, 2009
This review is from: Hack the SAT: Strategies and Sneaky Shortcuts That Can Raise Your Score Hundreds of Points (Paperback)
This gives a great start to studying, as it makes the SAT seem like a game that can be mastered. It captures the "big idea" of the whole test, rather than scaring the students who read it about all they do not know. Use this in combination with practice tests; the author recommends that the only other book you need is the one by College Board (The Official SAT Study Guide). I just started studying and definitely recommend this. Not a boring read, either!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good as an ADDITIONAL prep book, March 2, 2009
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This review is from: Hack the SAT: Strategies and Sneaky Shortcuts That Can Raise Your Score Hundreds of Points (Paperback)
My daughter liked this book. It is a good SAT prep book if used as an ADDITION to the other books that focus on actual practice tests. There's no substitute for doing actual questions & tests as practice. Easy for teenagers to read; author relates well to teens, so it's not "preachy".
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Hack the SAT: Strategies and Sneaky Shortcuts That Can Raise Your Score Hundreds of Points
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