- Paperback: 630 pages
- Publisher: ACT Prep Books; 2 edition (July 1, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0692916164
- ISBN-13: 978-0692916162
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.4 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 59 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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SAT Prep Black Book: The Most Effective SAT Strategies Ever Published 2nd Edition
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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. 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. In addition to the extensive training, which describes how to approach every type of real SAT question on test day, the second edition of the Black Book also contains over 600 detailed walkthroughs of real SAT questions. These walkthroughs model the ideal thought process for every SAT question, and make a point of demonstrating how to apply the practical lessons from each question to what you'll see in the future on test day. If you want to understand how the SAT actually works, you need to read this book.
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Top customer reviews
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I’m a rising junior scheduled to take the SAT this October, and so far my family’s spent hundreds of dollars on outside tutors and tuition programs to teach me the “hidden secrets” of the SAT and understand the ins and outs of this standardized test. This book will cover nearly all the strategies taught by outside, private tutors AND teach you how to truly understand the test, why the College Board designed it the way it is, and how to exploit its weaknesses to your advantage.
Not only that, but you get detailed answer explanations for every question of every section of four real College Board SAT tests, covering why every wrong answer is wrong and why every right answer is objectively right.
This book has been my holy grail in self-preparation for the New SAT, and I highly recommend you buy it if you are serious about raising your score by at least a couple hundred points.
If you are still unsure about this book, just let its five-star reviews speak for themselves…
Hands down best thing I ever did. I have a exam on Nov 4 and I just received this book today. Spent the night reading the first 70 pages. This book just made me realize I can have better marks than what I was hoping for. I was skeptical about getting even a 700 on reading and writing section. After the first 70 pages and using the methods written, I answered a couple of questions without even reading the passage. I was completely blown away by it. Best 29 bucks ever spent. With this knowledge I am looking forward to get around 780. This book completely stated the exact mistakes I was making reading a passage, and how it prevented me from getting answers right. I still have yet to read the writing and math section, but I am optimistic that the book will help me in those sections as well.
To be honest this is my first review, and Mike Barrett, I would like to thank you for helping me out here. Your book helped me understand the test better and reduce my stress and anxiety.
I would definitely recommend people to buy it. If you are expecting practice questions and other stuff like you find in Kaplan, barron's and Princeton review, you wont find them in the book. But whats inside will completely amaze you. So simple yet never thought about.
After going through the process of studying and taking tests I think I can confidently say: Mike's right—the SAT is really a flawed test and the only way to prove your actual intelligence is by learning the intricacies of its design. Each person's learning style is unique, so I think the best way I can communicate the book's effectiveness is through my observations of how well The Black Book prepared me for the SAT.
This was the most valuable part of the whole Black Book, for me. There were so many ways I was mistaught the reading section, like to guess when there seem to be two similarly valid answers. Remember: *there is only one right answer*. Also, his method for systematically going through each question is brilliant.
I scored 38/40 on this section for my second sitting of the test. I spent less than two months of serious studying. With more practice, it could have become perfect. If you're decently smart, you can score perfect on this section (or any other for that matter), you just might need to put in enough preparation.
*Writing and Language Section*
The book’s advice for this section is also crucial. You have to know the very specific rules of the College Board in order to answer the questions correctly. The book’s question answering methodology is also excellent here.
With only a little bit of practice dedicated to this section, I scored 38/40 on my second sitting.
I am a special case and I hadn't taken a normal math class for over a year when I was studying. I was probably rustier than I could have been, but I still managed to do okay.
I scored a 710 on my first sitting. I did not use my time most effectively, but again, with enough practice, I could have improved on that skill and eventually achieved a perfect score.
The SAT’s essay is BS, and to be honest, I did not do well on this section while following Mike’s formula. Both sittings I scored a 6-4-6, receiving the lowest possible score on the analysis section. Could this mean that the essay graders saw through the formula? Or does it mean I executed the formula too formulaically? I don’t know, but I cannot wholeheartedly endorse the advice and methods in this section.
*One of the Few Faults in this Book*
It took me a long time to get the system of multiple passes down and I still had a ways to go. That was probably my main obstacle to a higher score. I wish there was advice given in the book for how to train to do this outside of taking a timed practice test.
All in all, with about a month and a half of hard studying, I put together a super score of 1470, which, with a few (non-athletic) hooks in my application, turned out to be good enough for several top schools, including Stanford. Considering the short amount of time I dedicated to taking the SAT, I owe a lot of credit to this book for helping me figure out the test and achieve an acceptable score (I guess Stanford believes any student with an SAT above 1450 is qualified academically for the university).
-I combined this book’s advice with some articles I found on the Prep Scholar blog and that seemed to work.
-I kept a Word document of all the questions I got wrong on practice tests and why, and reviewed it as part of my studying. This was tedious but it is necessary when you only have a few official practice tests available to learn from.
-If you have plenty of time before the test, just flip through the book in the beginning and get comfortable with it, because it is a beast (albeit a very readable one).