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on October 15, 2011
As a high school AVID teacher we ordered a class set of copies for use in our PSAT prep unit (yes, the book is about the 'real' SAT, but the PSAT is a mini-version of the real thing so the information is still valuable).

This edition is improved over previous editions which tried WAY too hard to be "hip" in its writing. An older teacher even went so far as to white-out certain lines in the older book that contained funny-but-borderline-inappropriate tips like "flirt with the teacher." This edition, while still decidedly casual in its overall tone, is an easy read without being too colloquial.

Generally, the book IS successful in its efforts to educate you about the structure and history of the SAT while incorporating a bunch of tips in each chapter. There's a 100-page vocabulary list in the Critical Reading chapter which was great.

What it is NOT is a practice test. It's written from an angle that is more ABOUT how to take the test than giving you an ACTUAL test to take. The writers do include sample questions to illustrate how their tips can help you, but not a lot.

Having more practice questions would've gotten it five stars for my review but I know that "Up Your Score" is NOT a practice-test book. Those are different kinds of books. If you're looking for a practice test, go buy one of the bazillion test books out there.
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on August 9, 2010
Up Your Score: The Underground Guide to the SAT, 2011-2012 edition is an absolutely practical and user-friendly guide to preparing oneself for the SAT test. In addition to traditional study skills recommendations, Up Your Score also focuses on important test-taking tips for optimizing one's natural performance. "You have only about 40 seconds per problem... If you find yourself finishing ten minutes early, then you're probably working too fast and being careless... If you aren't finishing all the questions before time runs out, you might have to be a little less careful... In any case, it's essential that you have practiced enough to know exactly how fast you should be moving." A word list of crucial literary terms, and warnings against some of the most common test-question tricks (such as how nonanswers like "it cannot be determined from the information given" are almost always incorrect when offered for questions near the end of the test, since by that point many students will be rushed, harried, and less likely to be able to figure out the answer by the time limit) round out this savvy and thoroughly accessible guide. A "must-have" test preparation supplement for anyone whose educational future is dependent on their performance on the SAT.
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on August 6, 2014
This is a wonderful book to help students organize their preperarion schedule for the SAT. It also provides tips and hints for the test itself. It is NOT a study guide, study guides have practice tests, but this is a great compainion to a study guide
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on December 27, 2013
This book is an excellent investment for SAT takers! Better than taking any class designed for scoring better on the SAT. Definitely worth the money.
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on June 6, 2014
I used this book to get a great score 20 years ago; I gave this version to my sister in law and she loved it too. Quite enjoyable!
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on April 22, 2013
I love reading, and this was indeed a great read. Purchased for studying, but I still have it on my bookshelf.
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on May 7, 2013
Fun way to up your score. Very helpful AND relaxing. Truly goes into the mind of the Evil Testing Serpent. ;)
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on March 16, 2011
1) this book is easy going and very motivational.
2) there are absolutely no practice questions that are on the real SAT
3) they make up fun questions like : Brad Pitt and George Clooney are having dinner ....
4) Test taking strategies are amazing.
5) they dont teach you concepts needed to take SATs.
6) Many typos
7) give you crazy explanations for math section when only simple ones are need. EX: PG 183 , they give u a 10 step solution that makes no sense, when simple cross multiplication could be used.
8) only helps make very poor score into a below average or average score
10) tips on diff. types of passage are good

OVERALL: not very good. better off buying someother book

I dont understand how student who got a 2400 on the SATs could write such a terrible book.
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on March 1, 2012

-Good critical reading and writing strategy sections.

-Strategies can help you raise your score, but ONLY in conjunction with taking practice tests.


-The entire math section barely has any examples, so unless you already know the math, you won't be able to understand the book. Basically, it's a review for excellent math students and mostly useless for everyone else. The book spends about 2 pages on the grid-in part, mostly about how to fill in your answer. I'd definitely look elsewhere if math is your weak area.

-Ambiguous and conflicting strategies. The book actually says something to the effect of "here are a bunch of strategies. Pick one (or several) that works for you" on several occasions.

-Vocab is over 1/3 of the book. Many of the words are not helpful.

-Inappropriate use of sarcasm and humor. Many instances where humor is used in the middle of explaining a crucial concept, distracting the reader from the key point trying to be made, or, even worse, "humor" is used in lieu of actual, helpful advice.

This book may be helpful for those who have little to no knowledge about the SAT and want a crash course/cram a week or two beforehand. Despite its title and marketing shtick, it's not for self-motivated kids looking for 90+ percentile scores and its use of inane humor in lieu of solid explanations and examples can be frustrating. If, for some reason, you bought this book, make sure you also buy the Official SAT Study Guide by The College Board and take at least two practice tests before the SAT.
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