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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, 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. - 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, 2018-19 - The ACT prep "bible," with four 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: There is now one more book of official ACT practice tests, The Official ACT Prep Pack 2018-2019, which has the same four tests plus two more online. Only buy this book if you expect to take a computer-based version of the ACT.)

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 only directly from the publisher.

Barron's ACT Math and Science Workbook, 3rd 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 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, for advanced questions - and the place to ask yours, which you can post and the author will answer!

Applerouth's Guide to the SAT 2nd 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. International students should email to the company to arrange shipping.

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 most of the others, 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.

10 Practice Tests for the SAT, 2019 Edition by The Princeton Review - more practice tests that are pretty good approximations of the content and difficulty levels of the actual SAT.

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 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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