Once a week I try to review some book related to college in order to lend some guidance to a field that has become completely overrun. So many people are writing test guides and college guides that it is easy to buy a book that is not useful and that will be occupying space on your shelf for years unused.
What is the foremost dread of most college-bound high school students? Taking the SAT. You have probably heard that most people dread public speaking more than death. Most high school students seem to dread the SAT even more than public speaking. However, this dread must be overcome. The SAT is important for college admission, scholarship applications, and sometimes even jobs.
After realizing how many students dread the SAT, I asked myself, How can students become comfortable taking the SAT? Considering my own feelings, I realized the comfort comes with confidence. If I know that I will do well on a test, I become happy, even eager, to take it. The only way to be confident is to know the test. One must study the subject and the test thoroughly. What is the best way to do this? Taking practice tests! The answer, then, is taking practice tests. Answer as many sample SAT questions as possible.
The 411 SAT Prep Series is almost entirely sample test questions. This series includes the following three books: 411 SAT Critical Reading Questions, 411 SAT Algebra & Geometry Questions, and 411 SAT Essay Prompts & Writing Questions. Each book include four-hundred and eleven sample SAT questions. This means when you complete the whole series you will have answered a total of 1,233 practice questions. After answering that many questions, almost anyone would be comfortable and confident.
Each of the three books begins with a pretest. This test helps you evaluate where you are and what topics need the most attention. By studying hardest in your weakest areas, you will be able to score better on the SAT. The pretest is also useful as a benchmark to see how much you have learned by the end. The last chapter in each book is a posttest. When you finish, you can compare your beginning score with your end score to see how much you have advanced.
Each book includes a chapter on the test. In this section, the author explains how that particular section of the SAT is setup. They explain both basic test-taking skills and SAT-specific strategies. For example, in 411 SAT Essay Prompts & Writing Questions, the process of elimination (POE) is explained. They explain the probability of guessing the right answer if you eliminate just one, two, or three answers. The scoring of wrong answers is also explained here. This chapter is basically designed to introduce you to the layout of the test so that when you take the test it will seem familiar and comfortable rather than strange and new.
Plenty of Questions
After the first chapter, these books are almost entirely filled with questions. At the beginning of each chapter, you are given a bubble sheet just like on the real test. Then, for the rest of the chapter, you are given questions, questions, and more questions. The only difference between this preparation book and the real SAT is the number of questions the real test has fewer questions.
Even though this series includes more than a thousand questions and answers, each answer is detailed and complete. While many books would simple give the number of the answer, this book includes a useful explanation of the correct answer. As one would expect, the math questions are the most detailed. Some of the explanations for math questions are twenty lines long! If you get the wrong answer, read the explanation, and you will probably learn where your mistake was.
At the end of each book is a posttest. This test is designed to be very similar to the pretest. You can use the posttest to evaluate how far you have come, and where you need to go next. Hopefully, you will be shocked at how much better you do on the posttest than you did on the pretest. If you succeeded on the posttest, you can take the SAT. If, however, you did badly on the posttest, you will know which areas need work.
Who is this series for?
The expected answer is, Students taking the SAT, of course. However, I recommend this book not only to students preparing for the SAT, but also to normal people who want to have good writing, reading, and arithmetic skills. Even if you have already taken the SAT, answering these questions will help keep your thinking abilities sharp and ready for use.