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Useful resources

Here are some terrific resources for SAT and ACT study.


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. - 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, register for the new Bluebook app to prepare for and take the new digital SAT. Research colleges, register for the SAT, download practice tests. Indispensable resource from the makers of the SAT. - 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. The ACT is given mostly as a paper test in the US and as a digital test internationally.

Some Recommended Books for ACT Study

The Official ACT Prep Guide, 2023-2024 - The ACT prep "bible," with five real tests in the book and one online 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.

NEW in 2020 from the ACT: Official ACT guides to individual tests: English, Math, Reading and Science - These guides recycle old tests for the chapter lessons, but are a useful supplement to practice tests for students who want concentrated and organized practice in individual sections of the test.

Applerouth's Guide to the ACT (4th Edition 2018) - A terrifically student-friendly, savvy guide to the ACT that I love. Great tips that help all students apply smart test-taking techniques to this test with drills and practice tests that are excellent facsimiles of the real thing. Available for purchase from the Applerouth website – and now also shipping internationally!
NEW: Here's a tip before you order your book: Register an account BEFORE you make your purchase. This will enable you to login to their website after you've purchased your book to access it online, with handy navigation menu through this 1000+ page workbook.

For the Love of ACT Science - A new book on the ACT textbook scene, Micheal Cerro's thin guide is fairly basic, but students find it helpful. A good supplement once you've completed the Applerouth text.

Some Recommended Books for SAT Study

NOTE: None of these resources have been updated for the new digital SAT, which is the current form of the test internationally and will roll out in the US as of the Fall 2023 PSAT.

The Official SAT Study Guide, 2020 Edition by The College Board - The SAT prep "bible," with eight official practice tests for the SAT, 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 The College Board has also uploaded two more new sample tests and two PSAT sample tests that are NOT found in this book. I recommend buying the book for the eight 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, 5th 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, for advanced questions - and the place to ask yours, which you can post and the author will answer!

Applerouth's Guide to the SAT 3rd Edition Applerouth is terrific in all sections of the test. The math chapters are particularly excellent -- and challenging! The practice tests are among the best approximations of the SAT there are. Highly recommended! Only available for purchase from the Applerouth website – and now also shipping internationally!
NEW: Here's a tip before you order your book: Register an account BEFORE you make your purchase. This will enable you to login to their website after you've purchased your book, where you can access it online, with handy navigation menu through this 1000+ page workbook.

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

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. Find user-uploaded test prep quizzes and other study tools and adapt for your own study needs, 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 classic website for two great pages of "Notorious Confusables": homonyms that are often confused. Has cute illustrations and is interactive. Click the blue oval for a massive drop-down menu of a full range of grammar and usage lessons, too.

College Application Process

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 and may offer surprisingly better educations for less money than more well-known schools.

Who Gets in and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions by Jeffrey Selingo

The Princeton Review's guide to the best 388 colleges

U.S. News and World Report's online rankings and search functions are very helpful, despite the controversies over them.

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