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Useful resources

Here are some terrific resources for SAT and ACT study.

Websites


SAT & ACT Prep New York Blog Check out my new blog! I keep it updated with news about testing and college admissions, study resources for high school students, and more! Your comments and feedback are welcome, too.

Collegeboard.org - the organization which administers the SAT. Their website has all the official information about the tests including dates, fees, etc. Make an account and review your PSAT results, do additional drills, sign up for questions or word-of-the-day. Research colleges, register for the SAT, download practice tests. Terrific resource from the makers of the SAT.

ACT.org - The alternative test to the SAT is the ACT. Some students score higher on this somewhat more straight-forward test of academic achievement. Check out sample questions and download a full practice test.



Some Recommended Books for ACT Study


The Official ACT Prep Guide, 2016 - 2017 - The ACT prep "bible," with three real tests for practice plus full explanations of the answers in the book. Not as extensive a resource as the comparable guide to the SAT, but the only book published by the test makers with real ACTs in it. Note that the essay scoring has changed since this book was rushed into publication. Expect updates in the next school year.

Applerouth's Guide to the ACT (Oct 2016) A terrifically corny but savvy guide to the ACT that students love. Great tips that help all students apply smart test-taking techniques to this test. Available only directly from the publisher.

Barron's ACT Math and Science Workbook, 2nd Edition. Barron's excels in getting to the heart of hard math for this exam. Science section is less successful.



Some Recommended Books for SAT Study



The Official SAT Study Guide, 2018 Edition by The College Board - The new SAT prep "bible," with four official practice tests for the redesigned SAT starting March 2016, plus full explanations of the answers in the book and in comprehensive online tools. Note that all of the material in this book is available for download or online test prep at the College Board website and through Khan Academy at www.sat.org/scoring. The College Board has also uploaded two more new sample tests, two PSAT sample tests, and two sample essays with scored examples that are NOT found in this book. I recommend buying the book for the four tests it contains and then downloading and printing out the additional material as you need it. (Be sure to print out all test materials, as you need to train yourself to take the test on paper, not on a computer screen.)

PWN the SAT: Math Guide, 4th Edition by Mike McClenathan. I cannot praise this book enough. Run, don't walk, to buy this terrific and terrifically student-friendly guidebook to SAT Math. Also, check out the book's amazing companion website and blog, www.pwnthesat.com for advanced questions - and the place to ask yours, which you can post and the author will answer!

Cracking the SAT Premium Edition with 6 Practice Tests, 2017 by The Princeton Review - The Princeton Review's techniques and strategies are still a cut above the rest, and their practice tests are more like the real thing than anyone other than the College Board itself. Purchasers of this text can download "The Princeton Review SAT Elite Extras" from The Princeton Review website, helpful supplementary materials for individual test sections and questions types.

500+ Practice Questions for the New SAT: Created for the Redesigned 2016 Exam by The Princeton Review - more focussed drills in each test section. Math drills, in particular, are somewhat inconsistent with the style and difficulty level of the real SAT, but good as a supplement.

KALLIS' Redesigned SAT Pattern Strategy + 6 Full Length Practice Tests Kallis is a relative newcomer to the big books of SAT practice tests, but with few resources yet available for this new exam, Kallis' collection is very handy and a relatively good facsimile of the SAT in style and content.



Vocabulary-building for SAT Students


Vocabulary is less directly tested on the new SAT, but it definitely still counts - on both SAT and ACT. Check out the resources below to build your vocabulary in an organic manner, primarily learning words in context rather than by rote.

Kaplan's Scoring Raising Classics collection includes: The Scarlet Letter, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Wuthering Heights, The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, Frankenstein, and The Ring of McAllister: A Score-Raising Mystery Featuring 1,046 Must-Know SAT Vocabulary Words

The Wizard of Oz Vocabulary Builder is conveniently 365 pages long, making it ideal for planned long-term study: Read a page a day for a year.



Digital Resources for ACT and SAT Students


Apps
Visual Vocab SAT: Fun, intuitive and useful vocabulary to learn painlessly on-the-go. First 50-word set is free. If you like it and use it, buy the additional word sets of 350 more advanced words. This app is the best I've found for easy, incremental learning in those in between times during the school day - waiting for the bus or class ... At any short break it's handy and you will learn those words as you associate them with the strong images, audio reading and screen-displayed definitions. Has quiz function, too.

Quizlet.com: Find user-uploaded test prep quizzes and other study tools and adapt for your own study needs, too.

Play2Prep: Terrific app for daily quiz questions for ACT or SAT. Play your friends, too!


Other Test Takers' Tools
Testing Timers silent timers for the ACT and SAT - indispensable, especially for the ACT!
Note: This watch may not be allowed in the new SAT.



Grammar for the SAT and ACT


Notorious Confusables
Check out this website for two great pages of "Notorious Confusables": homonyms that are often confused. Has cute illustrations and is interactive. Has a full range of grammar and usage lessons, too.



College Application Process


Acing the College Application: How to Maximize Your Chances for Admission to the College of Your Choice by Michele A. Hernandez, Ed.D., Ballantine Books. Ms. Hernandez has made a career out of getting top students into top schools, charging upwards from $10,000 per student for her elite college counselling. The book is a good place to start if you haven't got Michele to personally guide you.

Colleges that Change Lives by Loren Pope - Pope really hates the Ivy League and other top prestige schools, but if you can forgive him that, he has done his homework and presents a very compelling case for under-recognized colleges in every part of the country that accept a wider range of achievers.

The Insiders' Guide to Colleges by Yale Daily News Staff. This is the one that really gives you the low-down on what it is like to live and study at many of the most popular colleges and universities in this country.

U.S. News and World Report's online rankings and search functions are very helpful. Or see their annual guide to colleges



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