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Common Sense Method to Preparing for the SAT - page 4 / 11

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That is why I recommend breaking the tests in smaller and manageable sections.

The general idea is to devote about thirty minutes to completing a test section and about the same amount of time to review the answers proposed by The College Board. While most students focus on the scores and check their wrong answers, much can be gained from checking the correct answers. It is important to TRULY understand EVERY answer and to try to understand how the SAT questions are developed. To do this, one has to be comfortable with the material tested.

It is for this reason that I recommend to start working with open books and without time limits. Open books include the precise answers to the test. During this phase, students ought to review the books that form their SAT library. On this subject, I have a simple recommendation: buy as many SAT books as you can afford. There are no clear leaders and most books share very similar strategies and tips. For math, Gruber's is the most complete and should provide answers to most problems appearing on the SAT, with the potential absence of problems specific to the post March 2005 test.

The other usual suspects are Princeton Review, Barron’s, Kaplan, and McGraw Hill. The strategies and tips for math will be very similar among the books listed. The strategies for the verbal components offer a few variances, which students should evaluate on an individual basis.

With the advent of the new SAT, a number of new books have appeared. Those new books such at the Rocket Review of Adam Robinson, the Maximum SAT of Peter Edwards, and the solution book by TestMaster(s) have raised the bar, and are in many ways better than the books published by the former “gorillas.” However, the choice of the source books is not that critical, and I did not try to prepare an exhaustive list of books. There are a number of other books that contain advice and strategies. My recommendation stays the same: buy as many as you can and check the strategies to find a few that apply to your individual taste. As you will say later, the best strategies will be self-developed.

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