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The Critical Reader 3.7.2013 Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm about 125 pages into this book (more than a third of the way done) and I'm admittedly having some ambivalent feelings toward it.
On the one hand, I think Erica Meltzer has created a comprehensive guide to the SAT Critical Reading section and knows what she's talking about. On the other hand, I am completely turned off by her manner of approach. There are some things I absolutely cannot look past. After reading the preface, I felt almost insulted. Meltzer states in the first sentence, "I did not want to write this book." She goes on to say, "No matter how much you don't want to take the SAT, I assure you that I didn't want to write this book just as badly." Well jeez, if you did not want to write the book, then why did you? While I do agree that the majority of high school students do not have reading comprehension skills on par with that of a college student, I think her initial approach was ultimately condescending and very off-putting. Similarly, the language Miss Meltzer uses makes it seem as though if you aren't using her method, then you're wrong. Unfortunately, I am one of those test-takers who reads through the passage and simultaneously answers the question. That doesn't mean I can't score an 800.
My biggest piece of advice: readers of this guide should take some of her opinions with a grain of salt, and look to mold the techniques to their style of test-taking, not try to mold themselves to Meltzer's style of test-taking.
BUT with that being said, I believe Erica Meltzer's guide is a self-studier's must have. One-hundred and twenty-five pages into her book and I can definitely feel a change in the way that I am thinking and approaching the Critical Reading section.Read more ›
BUT--the above criticism is not a reason not to buy the book if it will help improve scores. I did like the book enough to buy my own copy so that I can read further and see if I can pick up additional pointers/insights for my students. I already score an 800 on Critical Reading but I am always looking to pick up tips to make myself a more effective tutor and teacher.
I do disagree with Erica regarding crossing out each entire incorrect answer when working; I advise my students to just cross out the letter of the wrong answer choice with one diagonal slash and it seems to save time and have no negative effect. In addition, if they eliminate all of the answers and need to start over, they then make another diagonal slash in the opposite direction--so now we have an X over each answer choice that is definitely wrong. I think that is more effective, quicker and neater than erasing to reconsider an answer if one eliminates it by mistake.Read more ›
For some students the reading section of the SAT is more daunting than the other sections. Whether it's their weak vocabulary skills, or the length of the passages, or the number of questions, the mere mention of the overwhelming reading section can cause panic or even a flight response in students. Luckily I still have the remnants of my catlike reflexes to catch them before they escape.
In her 300 plus pages Erica Meltzer covers a lot of territory. By breaking the reading content skills into manageable chunks, she puts the student (and the SAT instructor) at ease and instills confidence that the task at hand can be mastered. Sections flow from topic to topic, each building on what was previously covered.
Overview of Critical Reading
Vocabulary and Sentence Completions
Passage Content and Themes
The Main Point
Vocabulary in Context
Reading for Function
Tone and Attitude
Assumptions, Generalizations, and Claims
Things I Like:
The conversational tone of the author is helpful and makes a difficult topic almost fun or at least bearable.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great book for the highly motivated, avid reader, but the highly motivated don't need it,, do they, I've yet to see an SAT prep book that not only states the obvious but... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Will Bion
When my son was a sophomore, his score on the reading section of the PSAT was at the 92nd percentile. I read the reviews of this book and thought it would help him. Read morePublished 6 months ago by MaryMac
I worked through this book in a month and managed to bring up my score from 550 to 780!Published 6 months ago by Caili
This book brought forth me up from a 630 to a 750. The tips are absolutely worthwhile to read buy the practice problems lack some of the difficulty and reality of the true sat. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you want to improve your critical reading scores, I urge you to get this book! My score jumped from a 630 to a 730, and an increase of 100 points on the reading section is very... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Neoking
It doesn't give or teach anything else that is not on the official guide book.Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
I am going to try to be as pragmatic as possible in this review, because let's be honest, that's really hard to do when it comes to test prep books. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Yousef Elraghy
Scored 800 in CR. Thanks to this book and also my high school SAT prep schedule which is mentioned I think in the ebook "The Perfect College."Published 9 months ago by Slow-reader