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The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar

4.7 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1463599881
ISBN-10: 1463599889
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Since 2007, SAT/ACT Verbal tutor, writer, and test-prep expert Erica Meltzer has helped numerous students raise their Critical Reading and Writing scores by hundreds of points. For an extended preview of her recently released second book,The Critical Reader: The Complete Guide to SAT Critical Reading, you can visit her website at: http://www.thecriticalreader.com/images/samples/TCR_website%20preview_6.19.pdf

Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463599889
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463599881
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

After scoring an 800 Verbal in high school, Erica Meltzer assumed she was done with the SAT for good. That changed in 2007, when she answered a Craigslist ad for an SAT tutor and inadvertently found herself in the high-pressure world of Manhattan test prep. Concerned by the lack of accurate, high-quality commercial SAT prep material, she began writing her own. Her first book, "The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar," has been widely praised as the most effective source of SAT grammar preparation and is currently used by tutoring companies across the United States.

A native of Brookline, Massachusetts and a graduate of Brookline High School (where she was required to memorize Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style" as a freshman), she holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and has also studied at Harvard, Columbia, and the Sorbonne. She lives and works in New York City, and you can visit her website at http://www.thecriticalreader.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
On the table before me are three SAT writing workbooks. The Barron's and Peterson's workbooks have twice as many pages as Erica Meltzer's book, and both of the former have pages offering essay practice and advice. All three books have their merits and shortcomings, but I can honestly say that, despite her choice to focus on grammar only and leave essay advice to others, Erica Meltzer's Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar is my book of choice. No, it's not perfect, but in ten years of SAT tutoring I haven't seen a better tool for an SAT Grammar tune up. Unfortunately most of the high school juniors and seniors with whom I've worked need a review of grammar principles. The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar may be just the refresher they need.

The other books I have used, including those 500 plus page colossi, are bloated with pages dealing with concepts that rarely appear on the SAT. Meltzer has done her homework, dissecting the SAT test to isolate those grammar concepts most commonly found on the writing portion of the SAT test.

This is a well organized book, clear and easy to follow, with plenty of hand holding followed by rigorous and challenging practice activities. Practice, tips, and explanations for all three types of SAT writing questions are found in Ms. Meltzer's book. Since only six "Fixing Paragraph" items appear on the SAT, it makes sense that fewest pages are devoted to this question type.

In every book I've used, including the venerable College Board book, I've disagreed with answers and answer choices. For the most part Erica Meltzer is on target, and most of the issues I have are because of personal preference.

This is an excellent book as is, one I would have no misgivings handing to an aspiring SAT student for guided or self instruction.
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Format: Paperback
Erica Meltzer, whose blog at ultimatesatverbal.blogspot.com should definitely be a daily stop for you if you're prepping for the SAT (which you probably are if you're reading this), has spent years holding a microscope to the SAT writing section, and has compiled all of her findings into a book that, miraculously, is under 200 pages long.

In those pages, Erica's managed to pack advice (and a dizzying number of example sentences) to cover every single grammar rule that could conceivably appear in an SAT writing section. She provides insight into how often certain error types appear. At times, she even provides insight into roughly where in the test certain error types are most likely to appear -- did you know faulty comparison errors are most likely to appear in question #27? She writes with an authority that only someone who has spent as much time analyzing the test as she has could possibly muster. In short, she knows everything you need to know to get an 800 on the SAT writing section, and she tells it to you. All of it. I don't think one could find a question, in the Blue Book or in any recent QAS, that tests a concept that she hasn't covered.

The book's greatest strength -- its completeness -- might be seen by some as a weakness, though. Erica leaves no stone unturned, and there are many, many stones. An example: Even though the subjunctive appears, by her own admission, very infrequently on the SAT, it does appear once in a great while, so there's a page devoted to it in this book. Such minutiae is interesting to me because I spend a lot of time looking at the SAT with a critical eye, and is important to the student who seeks a perfect score, but might not be very important to the student who simply seeks a very good score.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar does a fine job of narrowing down which errors you need to be able to identify on the SAT. It presents these errors in a logical order, covering the most common errors first and the least common errors last. The explanations are intuitive IF you have a decent grammar foundation. I would hesitate to recommend this book to students who can't identify parts of speech on their own because there are few examples of these errors.

That being said, this book is still a great resource for most students. If you are scoring below a 600 on your practice tests, go through the book slowly and thoroughly. Read through the error descriptions carefully, focus on the tips for spotting them, and be sure to go through all the practice problems. If you are scoring above a 600, I would still read through all the error descriptions and strategies, but only do exercises for the errors you make in your own writing or have not seen before.

Above all else, be sure to work through College Board's Official SAT Study Guide to ensure you can apply the errors to actual SAT questions. Use the book's appendix for explanations of all questions from the Official Study Guide. Overall, this book is a great place to learn the grammar rules for the SAT but not a great place to practice them.

* Excellent organization, specifies which errors occur on which problem types
* Only covers what is covered on the SAT
* Good techniques for identifying errors
* Good explanations of grammar rules
* Appendices of questions by topic and questions by test are VERY helpful
* Great combination of teaching grammar and teaching to improve your SAT Writing score

* Does not have enough multiple choice questions.
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