- Series: Gruber's Complete Sat Guide
- Paperback: 1104 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks; 18 edition (June 1, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1402295731
- ISBN-13: 978-1402295737
- Product Dimensions: 3 x 10 x 12 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Gruber's Complete SAT Guide 2015 18th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
1. Any high school student with an above average intelligence will get a tremendous edge and I don't see any reason why after going through this book thoroughly, one would not achieve at least 600 on each of the parts. Those students that are in the top 10% of their class will do even better.
2. The techniques, the prep material is top notch, an extremely thorough review of the vocabulary, complete math refresher, one just has to put his/her mind to it and work hard.
3. In short, Dr. Gruber's approach reminds me of a famous saying by a famous Russian general, Suvorov "The training is tough so that the battle will be easy". Preparing for the SAT is certainly a boot camp, hard on both students and parents, but with Dr. Gruber as your general, the student will feel super confident going into the battle.
This is an excellent book for SAT tutors; a average-to-good book for students using this book as their sole source of preparation; an excellent book when used in conjunction with the SAT exams published by the College Board.
This book teaches critical thinking strategies which are essential for not only the SAT, but other examinations you will take in high school and college. I cannot recommend the strategies highly enough. Other SAT test prep books teach you tricks. The Gruber book teaches you thinking strategies which will serve you for years to come.
I will focus especially on the math content, as that is what I usually use this book for.
-Critical Reading Section-
The questions in the review tests are a little harder than the actual SAT. The critical thinking strategies are useful.
The vocab list is extensive, and perhaps a touch overly difficult, but it would be a good list for a student to work with if they want to do very long term preparation (12+ months plus) for this test.
The writing section is an afterthought, in terms of content review other than the practice tests. The section on writing a good essay is helpful (see below), but the guide lacks numerous practice questions for the multiple choice writing questions. The practice test questions are a touch harder than the actual SAT questions.
However, this book has a section on writing the essay which would be helpful for many students. It also has a section on grammar that should be required reading for every high school student in this country. Grammar is not taught extensively in schools anymore, and this book gives you a back to basics course in the subject.
Math Practice Test Questions- Unlike the SAT, the questions sometimes seem to be randomly placed within the section. An entire section can be very easy, and the next section can be brutally tough. The questions are tougher-to-much-tougher than the actual SAT. (Students using this book on their own should be made aware of that.)
Questions on the practice test are linked by a numerical code to the content review (covered below) as well as the general math strategies (covered at the start of this review). As such, they can serve as a reminder of the general math principles that the were just part of a specific test question. It's helpful if you get the question wrong, or omitted, and can even be helpful if you get the question correct.
Math Content Review- Excellent. If anything, it overprepares you for the test. It covers some areas (such as set theory, and certain geometric formulas) that are not covered on this test. This section can be a godsend if you are weak in this subject.
After each content review section, there are 50 practice questions which cover what you reviewed. These questions are much harder than what's on the test.
This book prepares you for a test that is more difficult than the actual SAT. But the strategies it teaches, as well as the essay review and grammar review sections mentioned in this book, are worth their weight in gold.
This book should be used in conjunction with the book of SAT exams published by the College Board. (The Official SAT Study Guide) You will likely score higher on those more realistic practice tests than the harder Gruber practice tests.
Prior editions of this book are 99.95% the same as the book under review. If you can buy a copy of those books (at what I assume would be a very inexpensive price), you are getting this book.
Another, less effusive way of saying the same thing: This book hasn't been overhauled in at least a decade. It's been tweaked.
I wrote to Dr. Gruber about this concern. In the interest of fairness, I will present part of his reply to me:
"There were in fact many changes from the 10th Edition to the 16th. Many examples were changed, Strategies were executed differently, many corrections and clarifications were made, Many inserts were put into the introduction, etc.
Each year there are changes.
Here's the difference between the 17th Edition (2014 book) and the 16th Edition (2013 book):
There are more examples in the strategies and more examples in the basic skills section. There are clarifications on many questions, answers and descriptions throughout the book, etc.
There are complete and detailed explanations to the World's Shortest SAT --with descriptions of why each incorrect answer is wrong. Also in the detailed explanations to the answers in the World's Shortest SAT, each answer is also keyed to specific strategies and basic skills and the answers are explained with the quickest and most effective way to solve the problem. The methods and strategies used here will enable you to solve many more problems that you will encounter."
(In response to my concerns, Dr. Gruber offered to send me a complimentary copy of this, the 17th edition. Thus the book under review has been given to me by the publisher. While his offer was a kind gesture on his part (and, in my opinion, tells you something about him as a person) his doing so has not affected this review.
This book teaches you strategies that can be used for the SAT, but it also teaches you strategies which will benefit you for a lifetime. (Reading Comprehension is a skill that goes well beyond college admission tests!)
This book is well worth the minor cost, and more effective than any SAT course my students have attended. Obviously, it does require a student to be motivated enough to sit down and do what Mr. Gruber tells him, but any student who does that will reap the dividends. Two of my children increased their scores by 100 pts _per section_, 300 pts total, just by using this book.
The students who are self-motivated, focused, and hardworking can use the following three books and achieve great scores. This way they can save lot of time and money without going to SAT Test Prep centers.
Gruber’s Complete SAT Guide
Dr. John Chung's SAT Math: 58 Perfect Tips and 20 Complete Tests (one notch higher in complexity of the problems)
McGraw-Hill Education 12 SAT Practice Tests