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SAT Prep Black Book: The Most Effective SAT Strategies Ever Published by [Barrett, Mike]
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SAT Prep Black Book: The Most Effective SAT Strategies Ever Published Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 183 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Barrett has been helping people do better on standardized tests since he was in high school. In college, he worked briefly for Kaplan but left when it became clear to him that the Kaplan method was irreconcilably different from the way he naturally thought about the test. A few months after Mike graduated from college with a degree in linguistics, his younger brothers needed help with the SAT, so he taught them his approach to the test. Word of their success spread throughout their high school, and Mike was soon offering informal SAT tutoring to a few dozen of his brothers' friends. One of those students recommended to Mike that he set up his own SAT preparation company. He thought about that for a couple of weeks and decided to pursue it. Since then, Mike has used a variety of channels to help tens of thousands of students with the SAT, PSAT, ACT, GRE, LSAT, GMAT, ISEE, and SSAT. He regularly travels to work with students all across the United States, and consults with students all over the world through Skype. He speaks at live events as well, and is available for booking. Mike's SAT strategies are so different from the traditional approach because he analyzes standardized tests from the ground up, rather than simply assuming that they cover the material they claim to cover. In other words, most SAT tutors and courses teach the same math, reading, and writing skills that you learn in high school, because they take the College Board's word then it claims that the SAT is a test of college readiness. But Mike has looked carefully at large numbers of real SAT questions, and has determined that they have almost no similarity at all to the kinds of questions that teachers ask in school. According to Mike, SAT questions rely on very basic concepts but present them in very strange ways. So students who want to improve their test scores shouldn't waste time re-learning what they've already learned in school - instead, they should learn how the SAT actually works, so they can take their existing knowledge and leverage it into a higher score. And this is exactly what Mike teaches you to do in the SAT Prep Black Book. If you want to understand how the SAT actually works, you need to read this book.

Product Details

  • File Size: 973 KB
  • Print Length: 331 pages
  • Publisher: Testing Is Easy LLC (March 10, 2013)
  • Publication Date: March 10, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BS1FT9M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,417 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my kids along with the so called Blue book, the College Board's official SAT book, to help them get ready for the SAT. I was impressed by the title of this book.

This book lays out a very clear and concise plan-of-attack for every single part of the SAT. My kids mostly needed help with the reading and the math, and they said this really helped. They're both good students but they were having a hard time getting SAT scores that matched their grades in school. They also said this book was faster and easier to read than they were expecting it to be, because it's pretty thick considering that there are no practice tests in it.

And that's why you should get the College Board's blue book too if you really want to maximize the effectiveness of this Black book. The black book is all about making sure you work with real SAT questions. Which you can only get from the blue book, because only the College Board is allowed to print real SAT questions. I had bought a lot of other books from Kaplan, Princeton, and so on, and my kids now told me I should have just gotten these two books from the beginning and we could have saved a lot of time.

At first I was only going to give 4 stars because there are no practice tests, but I decided to go with 5 because it's actually better that this book insists on working with real test questions, which can only be found in another book. That way the kids know for sure that the strategies from this book will work on real SAT questions like the ones they'll see when they take the real test.

Bottom line is that they haven't taken the test again since I bought these books, but they've done practice tests and say they improved a lot. That wasn't the case with the SAT books they were using before. They're happy now, so I'm happy.

(They also recommend signing up for the free extra video examples that are mentioned in the black book.)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are really serious about Passing the SAT with a 2000 or higher, this is the book.

A summary of what you are getting:

Confidence, because it takes away all the uncertainties from the SAT;
Strategies, knowing exactly how to approach the questions;
Knowledge related to the type of questions and their patterns.

Confidence:

The Math Tool Box for example reviews every single subject that might appear in the Test. The author explains every concept clearly. Besides he goes through a whole section using not only the concepts in the tool box, he also picks the "most difficult questions" in the Math Section from the Blue Book.

Strategies

In the Essay Section, the strategies are spelled out clearly. For example, he recommends that one takes a position for or against the Thesis spelled out in the question. Then you divide the Essay in five sections...when you buy the book you will see for yourself.

Knowledge related to the types of questions and their patterns.

Anybody who knows Music will tell you, chords and theories are made from patterns (think of the Cycle of Fifth for example). Michael does the same thing in the Black Book. In the Reading Section for example, he demonstrates how the right answer is always in the body of the text.

As a trained teacher and a CPA, I live in Toronto, Canada, I bought the Black Book and the Blue Book from the College Board in order to train my daughter for the PSAT and the SAT. Being hands on, I read and applied all the instructions from the Black Book as a test drive before passing the knowledge to my daughter, the Black Book works like a charm. Using previous Tests from the Blue Book, my daughter consistently pulled between 2100-2300 in practice.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If my family could have afforded a private tutor, I would have gone that route. Instead, I found myself on my own and completely
overwhelmed with SATs. Every standardized test prep book I've read (and I've read quite a few) has left me feeling over-stressed and under-confident. They make me feel like--regardless of how smart I am or how well I've done in school--I'm about to get spanked by an unbeatable test. So, I was very surprised when the Black Book told me I didn't need to memorize vocabulary words, or do a lot of other stuff that I saw in other books. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical. And then I read page 39: "The 'Big Secret' of the SAT".

Since the Black Book arrived a week ago, I have done a complete 180. This book takes away that overwhelming feeling and--as you spend more time learning the rules--replaces that feeling with one of confidence. This book shows you where to focus your time. I'd also add that it's well-organized, easy to move through without your eyes glazing over, and is the next best thing to having a personal coach right next to you. I highly recommend this book for anyone prepping for SATs.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have bought a number of SAT prep books, vocab cards, etc. My Junior son is also doing the College Board's online prep class. This is the only resource he actually reaches for--he will do the other stuff when told to, but this book is so compelling to him that he picks it up on his own. He has done the SAT twice and it really is as though this book "unlocks" the secrets of the SAT in a way that makes sense to him. I think this book would be most useful to students who have done the SAT once or twice so they understand the context and the author's strategies.
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