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Useful resources

Here are some terrific resources for SAT and ACT study.

Online Resources

SAT 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. for Test Prep and for College Admissions: Subscribe to my columns for great tips from top college coaches, deans of admissions, and other experts plus my best advice for the SAT, ACT, and other tests - 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. - The Princeton Review has tons of resources on their site ranging from info on the tests to study tips to college choosing information and links. Even if you just study at home with one of their commercially available texts, there is online help for you on their site.

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

Some Recommended Books for ACT Study

The Real ACT (CD) 3rd Edition (Real Act Prep Guide) - The ACT prep "bible," with five 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.

Get your ACT Together: The Fabulous Guide to the ACT 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 by The College Board - The SAT prep "bible," with ten real tests for practice plus full explanations of the answers in the book and in comprehensive online supplement.

Tutor Ted's SAT Solutions Manual: The Ideal Companion Volume to The Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd Edition by Ted Dorsey. The title says it all, except that Ted is also funny, very smart, concise and no-nonsense. Even if you buy the College Board's DVD edition, get this book for Ted's even better explanations.

Cracking the SAT, 2015 Edition 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 themselves.

PWN the SAT: Math Guide by Mike McClenathan - My newest favorite, written in a fun, breezy style and truly focussed on gaining students points by approaching the math SAT-style.

Kaplan SAT 2014 by Kaplan - Kaplan's math chapters are particularly well-designed.

Barron's SAT Math Workbook by Lawrence S. Leff - Barron's math workbook can function as a text for students weak in specific areas tested on the SAT. Lots of focussed drills, great resource.

Crush The Test SAT Math Prep: Hard Questions for 700+ by Matthew Kohler Ph.D - A new text for high-scorers. Score 800, get a scholarship!

Tips for book buying:
Check out for best prices and ideas on what is popular and to read what other students think of the books. For students studying for the SSAT or ISEE tests, be aware that the big test prep publishers such as Kaplan, The Princeton Review and Petersons recycle their texts - word for word! - from one year to the next, so you might want to buy last year's text online for a good discount over the "new" edition. SAT prep books also tend to be mostly recycled material, so last year's text will probably be just fine as long as it hasn't been written in.

Note, however, that the new PSAT (October 2015) and the new SAT (March 2016) will be very different from the current tests, so get the newest and latest for those.

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Khan Academy - Khanacademy is an amazing resource: a totally free, ad-free compendium of hundreds of lessons in YouTube format, starting with SAT math explanations to every single math question in the Collegeboard's book of practice tests!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Khan's SAT lessons refer to the 1st edition of the CollegeBoard book of SAT practice tests. Use this guide to decipher where to find the matching test sections in the 2nd edition and DVD edition of the CollegeBoard book.

Vocabulary-building for SAT Students

A number of publishers offer new and classic novels which feature SAT-level vocabulary, highlighting and defining the words so students don't have to run to a dictionary every page. It is a great way to build vocabulary while enjoying a story.

Kaplan's classics collection includes: The Scarlet Letter, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Wuthering Heights, The Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, Frankenstein, The Ring of McAllister (Simon and Schuster Publisher)

The Wizard of Oz Vocabulary Builder, by Mark Phillips, A. J. Cornell Publications 2003
(This book is conveniently 365 pages long, making it ideal for planned long-term study: Read a page a day for a year.)

Tutor Ted's SAT Vocabulary Flash Cards: Classic flashcard study with clever, funny - and most importantly, memorable - definitions. Put a half dozen in your pocket every day and learn 'em!

Vocabulary Cartoons II: Building an Educated Vocabulary With Sight and Sound Memory Aids (Paperback) by Sam Burchers, Max Burchers, Bryan Burchers - Fun online tool to build your vocab with personalized lists and drills.

Apps 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!

Got an iPod or iPhone? Podcasts are a great way to learn on the go. A number of websites offer free SAT vocabulary podcasts for download. Here are some good links to get started:

The Princeton Review vocab minute podcasts (all free, junior and senior levels)
Get the lyrics here.

Hip-hop SAT vocabulary podcasts (a couple freebies on website)

Grammar for the SAT and ACT

Big Dog Grammar Drills
Fun, interactive, well-organized grammar drills.

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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