SAT (originally Scholastic Aptitude Test)

The Official SAT Study Guide Reviews

4.5 rating out of 5, based on 13 reviews
I believe this source made a difference in my score.
by on 6/22/2014 10:35 PM

This resource provides students a full comprehensive review of the entire test. For those who have never taken the test before, it explains the physical setup of the test: how many sections, how much time per section, how it is graded, and the like. The first half of the book gives test tips and goes through section by section on the best ways to approach certain questions, as well as a short test material review. The second half is filled with ten full length practice tests, with answers provided at the end.

The most helpful part of this source is the short sets of problems with explanations to why the answer is right or wrong. As students answer the questions provided, a paragraph description is given for each answer choice. For me, there were numerous problems where there were two very close answers for a problem; this section will help you choose the "better" of the two. For the essay portion of the test, multiple sample essays with explanations of their scores are provided in the book. Though a student cannot assess their own work, they can most definitely read and see what elements gave an essay a certain score, and strive to achieve higher. Lastly, without doubt, the practice tests were most helpful, as I utilized most of them because it is EXACTLY like the real test. Repetition helped me get used to finishing problems within the time frame and familiarizing myself with the questions.

Personally, the test material review was not much of help. Especially for math, going over concepts briefly did not help me, and will probably not help other students as much. I truly believe the content of the test needs to be learned in a classroom. Luckily for me, I needed more help in English than in math - as this book does a good job of going over the test strategies. My other concern with this book is that those who have low proficiency in English and Math may not benefit from using this study guide. The SAT is universal across the nation, but those that need help with the actual material presented in the test should not bother utilizing this book.

Overall, I give this book a rating of four out of five. Personally, I believe this source made a difference in my score, as I had a 1080 increase between my two trials of taking the test. Between reading the test taking, or rather "answer selecting" strategies, and taking multiple practice tests, I felt much more ready and comfortable for the test the second time around. However, the rest of the material, particularly in the mathematics section, did not help me at all, because those topics need to be learned in a classroom. I was recommended this book from teachers and multiple peers, and can agree to pass on recommendation for future students. Made by CollegeBoard itself, practice tests given are exactly like the real thing, and there are no mistakes or discrepancies on answers to the questions.

2 Was this review helpful?
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Everyone should get this, even if you don't use the whole thing.
by on 6/22/2014 10:35 PM

The scariest part of the SAT is that no kid ever knows what to expect until they've taken it and the whole ordeal is over. Reviews from older kids and parents are not helpful because they might range from "It's super hard, the worst test of my life" to "It was so easy, don't even bother studying". I would recommend buying this book for one reason, and that's that it lets you decide for yourself how stressed out you should be. Here are some things it is good for:

The SAT "voice" is designed to confuse you with annoying little tricks, but this book reveals them all in the example questions. Keep an eye out for ambiguous wording in the questions and you'll begin to pick up on these tricks.

You need to be able to gauge when you should guess on a question and when you should move on. Practice will give you an idea of how much you can trust your gut instincts.

Your guess/skip strategy will also depend on how long the whole test will take you ? do you need to rush through the whole thing, or can you afford to take your time? This book has practice tests that you can time yourself, so you'll soon know how you need to be budgeting your time during the real thing.

I would recommend that every new test taker get their hands on a copy of this book, but I'll also say that you probably won't go through the whole thing. You'll try a couple random questions, spend a couple minutes studying a subject with which you're less comfortable, and take one practice test. Really, you're spending $20 on your own peace of mind.

2 Was this review helpful?
Pretty good study tool for the SAT.
by on 6/22/2014 10:35 PM

The CollegeBoard SAT review book was a pretty good study tool for the SAT. It begins by introducing you to the SAT, and then reviews the reading, writing, and math sections, with practice tests at the end.

This practice book did a very good job on the practice questions and math review specifically. Because CollegeBoard makes the SAT, their practice questions were very similar to the ones I saw on the test. I also like how it shows you how to score your practice test the same way they score the real SAT. The practice test reading sections were also a good way to study for the real exam, considering it can be tricky to study reading. Out of all of the review sections, I thought the math was the best. It takes you through a short and simple review of the things that you should already really know if you are taking the SAT. It is primarily there to refresh your memory, not to teach you the material in depth. The book also included little hints and tricks for better test taking skills.

There were very few issues I found with this study book. The only thing I disliked about the book was the writing preparation section. I didn't find it very helpful, but it gave a few practice prompts to spruce up my skills. I didn't find it very helpful because it really only gave me tips that I already knew and didn't give me much advice at all.

2 Was this review helpful?
The best book by far for SAT practice questions and full length practice tests.
by on 6/22/2014 10:34 PM

The Official SAT Study Guide ? often just called The Blue Book ? is the official test prep book offered by College Board. In my experience, it's the best book by far for SAT practice questions and full length practice tests, simply because the people who make the real SAT wrote this book, too. So, if you're looking for a collection of true-to-the-SAT practice tests, you should most definitely get yourself a copy of the Blue Book. And if you plan to simulate the actual exam experience during your studies by using the real SAT time limits), this book is definitely the way to go.

One big caveat: the Blue Book does not explain why your answer was wrong, or why the right answer is right! The book provides a few useful tips and tricks for SAT test-taking, but none you won't find in any other prep book, and the practice exam answer key doesn't provide any explanations at all! So, make sure you've gone through a lot of practice questions that DO offer thorough explanations before you attempt the Blue Book's practice tests. And remember that Google exists. Lots of students have taken Blue Book practice tests before, so you can find forum posts and conversations about many of the trickier questions online.

2 Was this review helpful?
This will probably be your most valuable book when studying.
by on 6/22/2014 10:34 PM

The Official SAT Study Guide can be an excellent resource for those that are driven to work on their own. The book offers a wide variety of problems, which would allow thorough practice on any subjects. But, be realistic in your expectations. I have yet to meet anyone that worked every problem in the book. Focus on the problems that you struggle with the most. In addition to study problems, the study guide also offers multiple official SAT practice tests. Because of this advantage, I would approach it just like the actual SAT. To understand this approach, the book offers tips and schedule to make it as realistic as possible.

This resource will probably be your most valuable book when studying. There are not many, if any drawbacks to using The Official SAT Study Guide. The only possibility could be the overwhelming amount of material present in the book. But, as you begin going through study sections, it becomes more manageable. Overall, I would highly recommend The Official SAT Study Guide to any driven student.

2 Was this review helpful?
Practice questions that are identical to those that I found when taking the SAT.
by on 6/22/2014 10:34 PM

The reason I initially chose this book was because it is published and written by the same company, College Board, that administers the SAT. I reasoned that it would therefore have practice tests and practice problems that were most similar to the test itself and would prepare me best. I was completely right in my assumptions. The structure of the book itself is very well organized, beginning with an overview of the test itself and then diving right into practice problems and solutions for each section. Each practice section in the book is prefaced by helpful tips on how best to approach a specific problem and how to improve from your mistakes. As I continued to study, I realized that I found the multitude of practice sections and practice tests to be most conducive to my learning. College Board does an excellent job of providing practice questions that are identical to those that I found when taking the SAT and prepared me best for the exam, far more than any other book that I used during my studies.

Continuing along this thread, this book contains ten, full-length practice tests at the end, which do not include the many practice problems found throughout the book. This was by far the book's strength; each test mirrored the actual SAT, and provided me with invaluable advice when correcting my own work. The solutions to the test also provide explanations, which were helpful when evaluating my strengths and weaknesses in each section. The math solutions provide step-by-step answers that guided my thinking as I looked over my mistakes, and the critical reading and writing sections provide similar explanatory solutions that helped me figure out why I made certain errors on the test. One thing to keep in mind with this book is it requires Internet access to be able to review the solutions on College Board's website.

Overall, I believe that this book was instrumental in helping me achieve my ultimate scores on the SAT. The multitude of practice problems and tests gave me a sense for how I would score on the actual exam and helped me strengthen my weak areas. I would recommend this book to every test taker.

2 Was this review helpful?
The most helpful resource I used while studying for the SAT
by on 6/22/2014 10:34 PM

I found this book to be the most helpful resource I used while studying for the SAT.

One of the most appealing things about this book (before even opening it) was that I didn't have to pay for it. When I decided to start studying for the SAT I went to my high school guidance counselor and asked him if he had any information on how to study; I was immediately bestowed with a free copy of this book and a few pamphlets that mentioned websites that might also help with my studying. For people that may be trying to study on a budget, there is always the possibility that your local high school may have free copies of this book (or a similar one). Even if this book isn't available to you for free it is fairly inexpensive on considering it contains almost 1,000 pages.

This book contains practice tests, descriptions of the different sections SAT takers will be tested on, practice essay questions, and other features. I particular enjoyed using this book because I would fill out all of my answers on a separate sheet of paper which meant I left no defining marks on the book; this made it easy for me to go back and retake tests after a period of time. As a person that is less math inclined I also appreciated the manner in which math was discussed; aside from math based practice questions there was also a section concerning what aspects of math I should be focusing on. For example, I learned that there was more algebra and geometry involved with the SAT as opposed to trigonometry and calculus which I had been lead to believe.

I ranked this book 5 out of 5 because as long as the person reads the book it will be helpful; the practice tests are optional (though highly recommended). There is also the potential to use the book repeatedly, to share it with friends or siblings that are studying, as well as the ability to spend an entire day or small amount of time each day on studying. This book was the best thing to happen to my SAT study habits and I am very grateful to have discovered it well before I took the test; this gave me the chance to use it repeatedly.

2 Was this review helpful?
I found the questions in this book to be very similar to those on the SAT test.
by on 6/22/2014 10:35 PM

I brought this book with me everywhere I went: road trips, study hall, the hair salon, everywhere! Every chance I got, I had my nose in his book. For $31.99 you get 11 practice tests and practice tools. I found the questions in this book to be very similar to those on the SAT test. Another great feature of this book is that you can preview the book on their website before purchasing it so you can see how the book is laid out and what kind of tools and practice tests it includes.

1 Was this review helpful?
I highly recommend this book.
by on 6/22/2014 10:34 PM

I used this resource probably more than anything. It not only contains a lot of information about what will be on the test, but it also gives a lot of great advice on how to prepare yourself to take the exam. This book has tons and tons of practice SAT exams that were created by the test makers themselves. I highly recommend this book.

1 Was this review helpful?
Helpful for vocabulary and reading comprehension. Should have focused more on mathematics.
by on 6/22/2014 10:34 PM

When I purchased this book, I thought that this would be the best resource since College Board creates the exam. While I find it somewhat accurate and closely resembling the test itself, there are some improvements that could have been made. I think that the book should have focused more on the mathematics section. I found it to be lacking some very important aspects that are typically on the SAT exam. I will commend College Board for its vast amount of tests: 10 full practice tests. The large of amount of practice tests will definitely help strengthen your vocabulary and reading comprehension skills, as well as build time management and experience dealing with questions.

1 Was this review helpful?
Most similar to what you will see on the actual SAT.
by on 6/22/2014 10:34 PM

I would suggest studying for the SAT from the Official SAT Study Guide mainly because it is from the same company that the distributes the SAT Study Guide, College Board. This product is great because it comes with a number of free full practice tests of old SAT exams. This is really helpful because taking old SAT exams from the College Board itself will help you to become familiarized with the test as best as you can without actually having to take the test. This book could be improved, however, by including even more practice exams, and that is why I am giving it only a 4 rating. The edition I used did have a few full practice exams, but the majority of the book was composed of practice problems and explanations of questions. So this product could be improved by providing more full length tests from previous years, rather than including more example problems. However, the example questions provided in this book are similar enough to the questions on the practice tests that you can usually use the example problems to assess how to solve test problems you may have struggled with on the practice tests. I would still highly recommend this product because it is directly from the College Board, so the content is most similar to what you will see on the actual SAT.

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Supplies an impressive number of SAT practice tests.
by on 6/22/2014 10:34 PM

This book was helpful in that it fully served the purpose it was intended to. Beyond anything else, the best thing you can do for the SAT is practice until eventually you figure out something that you did not understand previously. This book is mostly just practice tests; there are few "helpful tips" or guidelines. Even the few they did have were not especially helpful. Despite that, it is tremendously useful in providing practice tests and there are an impressive number supplied in the book. There are several chapters where the three main sections of the SAT are evaluated and specific types of questions or concepts are explained, these chapters were considerably less useful than the practice tests and I would not recommend doing much more than skimming them. At the back of each practice test, the answers are provided. In addition to this, they also explain why the answer is what it is. While the chapters on answering questions were not helpful, this part definitely was. Understanding concepts was much easier when I could consult the back to see where I went wrong as well as see how I could fix my mistakes and come to the right answer in the future. Overall, the book was a very useful tool as long as you use it correctly and recognize where it succeeds and where it does not.

1 Was this review helpful?
Probbly the most beneficial SAT resource on the internet.
by on 6/22/2014 10:34 PM

The official website, by College Board, is probably the most beneficial SAT resource on the internet. The website can recommend strategies for you to study based on your personal strengths and weaknesses. There are many resources the website has to offer. One helpful aspect would be the daily SAT question. The daily question can just keep you thinking and requires very little time commitment. Another beneficial area is the practice questions page. These questions can be tailored to the subjects you need the most help on. The time commitment for these questions depends on how you study best. There are plenty of questions for the binge-studiers, but it is also useful for quick study sessions. The next section I would recommend, is the practice test section. When using the practice tests on the site, I would suggest treating it just like the actual SAT (Find a quiet room, time yourself and take scheduled breaks). There are multiple practice tests, so do not worry about running out. Now, for those that take the PSAT, this website can actually review your scores and build study plans based off the results. I believe this is one of the most beneficial aspects of the website. Overall, the College Board website, is one of the best resources available.

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Other SAT Resources from The College Board

The Official SAT Online Course from The College Board
Online Course Material
The Official SAT Study Guide with DVD from The College Board
Official Full SAT Practice Test from The College Board
Practice Test

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