Most helpful positive review
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Super preparation for anyone, including high scorers
on August 22, 2002
I've not read this year's edition, but I'm familiar with the editions of previous years. Without a doubt, this is the best test preparation book I have ever read, and I have read no small number of them. As others have pointed out, some of the strategies the authors describe border on the obvious, but these are sufficiently important, few, and entertainingly presented that this small lapse is quite acceptable. The book's practice tests are refreshingly indistinguishable from real SATs; they are certainly the best available, though those in Kaplan's SAT book are quite good as well.
Many reviewers have declared this book to be insufficient for those who seek high scores. I disagree strongly. Good advice is good advice, even if presented in a manner less than ceremonial. Pedantic word lists assembled without attention given to what words will likely appear on the SAT, though impressive and temptingly concrete, are not the best use of any preparer's time. Of greater importance than a presentation of all the math and English needed for the SAT is a thorough, insightful walking through of SAT questions, and that's where this book shines.
This book, the College Board's book of ten real SATs, and a functioning noggin are all anyone needs to succeed on the SAT. But if you've got money to spare, you might try the Kaplan book, too -- another look at strategy and a few more realistic practice tests can only help.
I have not yet taken the SAT. On practice tests, my scores started as low as 1440 but have since climbed well into the 1500's -- even to the point of a 1590 most recently. More than to any strategy, I attribute the improvement to increased familiarity with the test, and I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the contribution this book has made.