Best college & high school test guides according to redditors

We found 465 Reddit comments discussing the best college & high school test guides. We ranked the 100 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about College & High School Test Guides:

u/DrRoger1960 · 19 pointsr/Sat

Please do not practice "tough" for the sake of tough. That is like practicing soccer but using a bowling ball, which may be tough but is rather obviously a bad idea. Practice realistic to get the right content, the right pacing, and the right thought process when you are testing.


McGraw-Hill is a bad fit for anyone. It does not do a good job of matching the question style or content of the real SAT, and it is rated by this Reddit as the worst prep book in existence.

Kaplan is adequate but not great. I would recommend redoing one of the better books rather than doing Kaplan, but at least it helps you to prepare. The College Board Guide is one of the many excellent books that I do recommend. Other recommendations are listed in the sidebar, quoted below:


The resources provided in these lists are ones that are highly and regularly recommended by the community. Refer to the survey link below for more information on resources


>Large-scale data analysis of the community including average test and practice test scores, recommended resources, hours studied and improvement, etc.
8 official practice tests + 11 additional real tests from QAS dates. This link contains every SAT practice test that can be found on this subreddit
Khan Academy's SAT page
Official SAT discord
CollegeBoard's Daily Practice for the New SAT available on the App Store or Google Play


>UWorld question bank with 1900+ questions and explanations has video explanations to each question on the 8 official practice tests and 11 QAS tests. The first 4 practice tests and a strategy course are free.
Reading and Writing books from Erica Meltzer (author)
Math, writing, and essay books from College Panda (author Nielson Phu)

Textbook companies with a large number of prep products (such as Princeton Review and Kaplan) are not highly recommended

u/redditnoob1381 · 13 pointsr/Sat

Forget about the practice tests. Try reading these 3 books and they're different from those traditional Kaplan/Princeton books cuz this is more effective and to the point. Look at the reviews if you don't believe me.

Reading - The Critical Reader, 3rd Edition: The Complete Guide to SAT Reading

Writing- The College Panda's SAT Writing: Advanced Guide and Workbook

Math - The College Panda's SAT Math: Advanced Guide and Workbook for the New SAT

There's also a dude on this website called and he spends a ton of time going over every question on those practice tests you took so he'll tell you the right way to do it. It's free for practice tests 1-4

u/IndoMagician · 10 pointsr/Sat

Math: if you want to review basics = - this for algebra. - this for geometry. If you watched those or didn't, I'd do Khan or Uworld, whichever you prefer, and then take some sat practice tests after you feel sick of those two programs. Writing = Math, you either know what you're doing or don't.

Reading: I would read a ton to get more used to the test and increase focus and speed. Read scholarly readings - here are a few websites with lists and . start off light, like The Stranger by Albert Camus; don't try to read Hamlet your first run or you're going to get confused and don't know what the hell is going on. You'll increase your focus and improve. Be sure to actively read and if you don't understand a point, go back and analysis it. And when you get to harder readings, it's okay to slow down so you can soak everything in (i.e. Heart of Darkness). Try to read 30 to 60 minutes a day and you'll crush the reading passages. Just make sure you aren't tired when reading because it isn't as useful and read books you like, don't force it. Reading is something our generation isn't accustomed to and we get distracted by technology, but trust me, it will be worth. Just keep reading. And again, after you feel like you mastered it, do some passages.

Writing - and . Writing is more of a formula, just like math, you either know the concepts or don't. Buy either one. I've tried the second link but heard the first one is better and cheaper.


There have been multiple books on math, reading and writing; I'd buy only math and writing books from the web (Amazon) if you would like to. They aren't NECESSARY, but can help. An approach to the reading passages was created by George from . George is smart, so use George. Don't buy sat reading books from the web, George is free. For math, Khan Academy attacks on one point heavily, while Uworld gives harder, but more variety in their programs (you can also chose specific categories too). GOOD LUCK AND TELL ME WHAT YOU GET!

u/gregmat · 9 pointsr/GRE

ETS books for sure. This is stop number 1:

ETS GRE Power Pack

This is stop number 2:

Use stop number two to gauge your weaknesses in math. You can then attack those areas more specifically with a book from Manhattan or online lecture videos. It's okay to use outside material for math stuff, but, for the love of god, please don't use outside materials for verbal. Only use their strategies and then apply them to the real questions.

Don't forget too that ETS has FOUR online tests -- not two. It's just that two of them cost money, but, at $39.95 each, it's a steal.

Also this PowerScore vocabulary list is on point and was clearly compiled from official materials. Most vocab lists are garbage because they heavily emphasize words that you'll most likely not encounter on the real test. However, this PowerScore list just nails them.

PowerScore Vocab List

u/bananaman911 · 7 pointsr/Sat

Well first you have to look at what the subscores are; if you're doing 26/40 on Reading/Writing, then my advice will obviously be to focus on Reading. For argument's sake, let's say you're at 33/33. This suggests you probably know both Reading and Writing pretty intuitively and just need some gaps filled up and additional practice.

For Reading, Erica Meltzer is recommended, but I would suggest sticking to practice tests and doing deep analyses of your mistakes and all the answer choices (know WHY every wrong answer is incorrect). Reading is a lot less concept-heavy than Writing or Math, so you'll benefit more from exposure to the way the CollegeBoard asks questions. Train yourself from the beginning to look for an answer 100% supported by the text; you MUST NOT introduce outside assumptions EVEN when a question is asking about an "inference" or "suggestion." If you're afraid of running out of the tests, maybe use PSATs in the beginning.

For Writing, you've got Erica Meltzer if you want a very thorough writing style or College Panda if you like things more to-the-point. Meltzer also has a separate workbook of practice tests for after you're done drilling concepts. Give yourself an official section every few concepts to see how much of it you are retaining when forced to deal with the concepts all together without the benefit of being told what to look for. Know your grammar concepts cold but also realize that this section tests some reading too; you'll need to draw from context to determine the best place to put a sentence, identify the most relevant details, or even determine what word is most appropriate. As with Reading, analyze your errors thoroughly; take particular care in trying to tie back errors to concepts.

On the online resource front, you can use Khan Academy (free) for different types of reading passages and grammar concepts and Uworld (requires subscription) solely as a question bank. Feel free to also download the free official SAT Question of the Day App for daily questions (every other day will have an English question).

You can obtain good explanations of practice tests with (only first 4 tests are free).

Good luck!

u/OfficialTriviaTom · 7 pointsr/Sat
u/asiandad1010 · 7 pointsr/Sat

I really respect the time and effort you are putting into studying for the SAT. That is quite a number of practice tests you have completed.

To bump up that reading, I highly recommend Erica Meltzer's SAT Critical Reading (2nd Edition). It's been an outstanding book for many to bump up that score. I find her to be a very outstanding author.

If grammar/writing seems to be the issue, fortunately, Erica Meltzer offers a book covering this topic! Link to her 3rd edition grammar. To reiterate, Erica Meltzer is an outstanding author who really uncovers tips to score high for SAT.

As for math, your best option is College Panda's SAT Math Workbook. I have heard great reviews about this book and I am looking to purchase this book, too. This book should really help you for the math section.

I hope you find these options helpful. You should continue to use Khan Academy daily for general practice on the three categories.
Always remember, quality over quantity. A person that practiced with 4 tests could outperform a person that practiced with 21 tests. I appreciate your studying and wish you the best luck to improve your great score!

u/epursimuove · 6 pointsr/changemyview

> The oarsman-regatta controversy was less than a decade ago


This question, if it ever existed, was used in the 70s or earlier. Here's a book from 1994 discussing it as an already "famous" question - they don't give the original source, but they cite the claim as far back as 1980. The SAT had long stopped using questions like this by the 90s.

The reason this one particular question has stayed so famous is because it's atypical - if bias were common, more examples would be given. In contrast, in the past few decades the SAT has shown a decided tendency towards including material that repeats multicultural pieties. Looking through the 10 tests in the official study guide, all of them have multiple reading passages about topics like black women's identities, Chicano labor organizers and Navajo sand-painters. Upper-class-whites only show up if those upper class whites are Victorian women heroically defying gender roles. For the record, I don't think this is a bad thing - talented students from all backgrounds are more than able to handle unfamiliar material, so the content of that material doesn't much matter. But claiming that the SAT is currently biased towards white culture (or has been at any point in the past 30 years) is patently prosperous.

And more to the point, minorities have historically done better on 'cultural knowledge' questions than they have on more purely intellectual questions.

> how can we be confident that any tool we use to measure merit is not corrupted by racial bias?

If a metric designed to predict an outcome (e.g., the SAT, which is meant to predict college GPA) is biased against a group, then members of that group will do better on that outcome than we'd expect from that metric. In this case, we'd expect black students to outperform what their SAT scores would indicate. But this is not the case - holding SAT scores constant, all races have comparable performance in college. Similar checking for bias has been done on just about every standardized test out there - and has confirmed a lack of bias in all of them.

u/z55t · 6 pointsr/Sat

i got a 8/6/8 on the March one.
firstly, your paragraphs are too short - you do not develop your points fully. Thats why you scored so low on the analysis part.
Also, small things like linking the passages really helps.

If I were you, I would buy this book. By using it, I went from a 5/4/5 to my score now:

If you want, I can send you mine

u/SATaholic · 5 pointsr/Sat

For Reading:

For Writing: or

For Math: or

For Essay (if you’re taking it):

For General Strategy:

For Practice Tests: (NOTE: These practice tests are available online but I prefer having them on paper, which is why I bought this book.) and

Good online resources include Khan Academy, UWorld, and Also, I recommend taking a timed practice test often to follow along with your progress and see what you need to work on. Make sure to do the practice test all at once (don’t break it up into section) and try to do it in the morning like you would in the real SAT. Then, go over your mistakes very carefully (this is VERY IMPORTANT) until you truly understand the mistake so that you won’t make it again in the future. This is the most important step. If you skip this, it’s unlikely that you see any meaningful score improvement. Also, It’s up to you which resources you buy/use based on what sections you need help with. Good luck!

u/Thatshaboii · 5 pointsr/Sat

I have personally only used Meltzer's english book, CP's english book, and CP's math book and can vouch that all of these are amazing, but others on this sub also recommend other books. Here is a list of many of them. I hope they serve you well :] (Edit: I apologize for how huge this post is, lol)


u/cd_0819 · 5 pointsr/Sat

hmm so you’re pretty evenly split there. 41 days may not seem like a lot, but it is plenty of time for a large improvement if you study well and consistently. i can’t truly predict any one number since i don’t know you or your work ethic/capabilities but i’ll try and give u some tips for each section to maximize ur time before the august test :)

math: if you haven’t already, purchase the college panda SAT math book ( The College Panda's SAT Math: Advanced Guide and Workbook for the New SAT ). it’s truly a godsend. work through this entire book over the course of around two weeks, highlighting, taking notes in the margins, and doing EVERY PRACTICE PROBLEM. you’ll see significant results right away. use khan academy to practice individual problem types if you still have trouble after using this book (i swear this book & uworld — which is sadly no longer free but if you can afford it it’s a great resource — got me -0M)

Writing: you really need to get a strong foundation in “standard” american english grammar. i put standard in quotes cuz college board keeps its own grammar rules and likes them a distinct way. all of the rules you need to know (as well as helpful tips for the other section) i learned from the SAT black book ( SAT Prep Black Book: The Most Effective SAT Strategies Ever Published ). again, highlight and take notes in the margins and read through a couple of the walkthroughs this book provides

Reading: this is the toughest to improve in, but not impossible. really work on math and writing before attempting to tackle this section. if you don’t know this already, the best advice any person on this sub can give you for this section is that THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS IN THE PASSAGE, AND IS 100% SUPPORTED BY THE PASSAGE AND CAN BE BACKED UP WITH EVIDENCE FROM THE PASSAGE. that being said, CB is a nasty bitch that excels at making tricky answers that readers with poor comprehension skills tend to choose. this is best remedied by reading a lot in your free time, specifically high level texts

u/officiakimkardashian · 5 pointsr/Sat

Kaplan tests aren't that great. I, in fact, own one of them and they contained several errors and questions you would never see on the SAT. For example, a reading question was, "what's the best title for this passage?" You won't see that on the SAT.

If you want practice tests pretty similar to the SAT, check out Ivy Global's. Well made and accurate.

For just math only, College Panda's 10 Practice Tests are very accurate to the real test. Good explanations in there and of course you get plenty of problems to work with.

See you later!

u/internationaltester · 5 pointsr/Sat


According to the College Board the Analysis portion of the Essay should "demonstrate an understanding of how the author builds an argument by examining the author’s use of reasoning and persuasive techniques and supporting claims with well-chosen evidence from the passage."

There are 2 parts to this. 

a) Show that you understand how authors create persuasive arguments

b) Identify and present evidence of those persuasive techniques

So, you need to be able to identify the most prominent persuasive elements and then write about how the author uses those elements to build his or her argument.

STEP 1--Identify the Rhetorical devices used

What follows is not an exhaustive list of rhetorical devices you might encounter on the new SAT Essay, but this is a good starting point. I have split them into the larger categories of Logos, Ethos and Pathos, but some of these devices fall into more than one category, so don't get too hung up on that.



Perhaps the easiest to identify. Statistics are numbers used to suggest factual information. But beware statistics are open to interpretation.

Factual Evidence (examples)

Factual evidence occurs when the author offers examples of something or provides proof.


Reasoning is the use of a logical progression of ideas to come to a conclusion.


Analogy is used when the author makes an extended comparison between 2 things which are alike in many respects to suggest that they may be alike in other respects.


Comparison is when the author compares limited aspects of 2 or more things.

Challenging Assumptions

Challenging Assumptions occurs when the author wants to present a radical argument, but in order to do so, old ideas must be removed first.


Hypotheticals are the weakest form of logical argument because they rely on imaginary situations. However, in limited circumstances, they can form the base of a larger argument.


Credibility of the Author

Authors establish their credibility through experience, education, past actions and even just charisma.

Credibility of Contributor (person or group)

This is the same as credibility of the author except that the author is using someone else’s credibility to build the argument. When this is referred to a appeal to authority it can become a logical fallacy because we are merely trusting someone in authority.



Diction is also referred to a word choice. English has a vast vocabulary and many words have specific connotations in addition to their denotations. Those connotations carry emotional weight. For Example, thin versus emaciated. Thin has a positive connotation (when speaking about people), but emaciated has a negative connotation.


Syntax is the structure of sentences. Certain sentences due to their constructions are inherently more persuasive than others.


Concession happens when the author concedes to the oppositions points and agrees they are valid.

Refutation is the anticipation of an attack and an explanation why the opposition’s point of view is invalid. These strategies are persuasive because they create the sense that the author has considered all sides of the issue and thus is giving an less biased point of view.


Anecdotes are short descriptions of events that are designed to set up a point or evoke a feeling in the reader.

Rhetorical Questions

Rhetorical Questions are questions posed to the reader that have an obvious or intended answer.

Appeal to Identity (we)

Appeal to Identity can involve more than one rhetorical strategy, but at its heart it creates a sense of belonging with the reader through appeal to experience, the use of collective pronouns (we, us), the use of 2nd person (you), and flattery. 

STEP 2--Explain them correctly in your essay

Too frequently, students write something like to following as their analysis.

In paragraph 3, Miller uses statistics such as "15%" and "30,000,000" to prove his point. Statistics are very convincing to the audience.

ARGH! Nope. First, eliminate the word "prove" from your essays. Authors don't prove anything in an essay, they support arguments, present persuasive evidence, or demonstrate logic, but they don't prove anything. Next, don't assume that the reader or audience is convinced. You can't know this. Also your job isn't to analyze a reaction, but to analyze what did the author do.

Try this

In paragraph 3, Miller bolsters his argument that the self-published e-book market is growing and a viable opportunity for many authors. He uses statistics such as "15% of uploaded books" and "30,000,000 sales" to support his position. These statistics provide support for his argument because they present tangible data that is more persuasive than mere opinion.

The focus remains on what the author did, not on how the reader will respond, and evidence from the given essay is integrated. 

Some students have used templates to help them improve their analysis score. College Panda's SAT Essay book has a serviceable template you can follow, and you can download his e-book from Amazon for less than $10.

My SAT Reading Books are available for Free from the following links

Guide to SAT Reading: Literature Passages

Guide to SAT Reading: Global Conversation Passages


u/Rundst · 3 pointsr/teenagers

I'm gonna direct you to this response I just made and also recommend picking up this practice book. My SAT score put me in the approximate 30 range already so I knew I was not in most cases the target audience for the average practice book. The book in my opinion is loaded with valuable information (advanced information that the average book or equivalent might not include or go into such detail, hence the specific 36 publishment) to help familiarize you with the types of questions the test will ask and the things you will have to know to answer them and the questions included are subjectively harder than the real ACT questions so that was a relief when it came to taking the actual test and it also made me feel more confident in myself, and confidence is key (in all aspects of life!!)

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/exmuslim

Only a sophomore? Okay, okay, good. Keep your GPA high and make sure to do well on the SAT (buy the Big Blue Book for practice, use Khan Academy, a free online program, for help in math- they go through every math problem in the blue book). I'm talking 3.5+ unweighted GPA and 2100+ SAT, so you could get a full ride somewhere. Are you involved in any extra curriculars? What state are you in?

Also, I'll probably be out of home in a few years and by the off chance we're in the same city, maybe I'll be able to help you out (if you need a place to crash, or anything). ^(i'm not a pedophile i promise)

u/theschizophreniac · 3 pointsr/Sat

My advice would be the sidebar + the blue book. Try taking one of the practice tests in the sidebar. If you score above a 1300 , you should be fine studying with whatever you can find on the internet. Otherwise, I'd recommend taking extra practice tests.

Also as someone from Turkey, I know that not all colleges require a 1200. I believe Kocaeli University only requires a 1000 with a 550 in math. Ankara only asks for a 1100 with 650 in math. The best state university in Turkey (boğaziçi) requires a 1250 with 680 in math. If you need help finding the requirements of specific colleges, feel free to PM me.

u/IamChurchill · 3 pointsr/Sat

Hey you can use any or all of the below mentioned resources:


  1. Khan Academy; Official partner of the College Board. It consists of videos & questions related to each & every section of the SAT Test with detailed explanations & performance tracking. And it's totally free!
  2. UWorld; This websites boasts of having a collection of more than 1800+ questions. with detailed explanation, detailed rationales for incorrect answers, performance tracking, vivid illustrations, track time to improve your speed, compare your results to peers and a lot more. PAID.
  3.; Offers multidimensional online instruction for the SAT. In addition to it also offers course-by-course basis preparation. It covers about 3,000 real SAT questions in 200 hours of video instruction. Although I don't have an experience with this site but it's highly appreciated by other test takers. PAID.


  • Mathematics: Personally I don't fine this section on SAT abstruse so I think following books are more than enough to ace the SAT-Maths section;

  1. The College Panda's SAT Math: Advanced Guide and Workbook for the New SAT; The best thing about this book is that it focuses on every particular section of SAT making it easy to comprehend & more helpful than the books that randomly talks about all the topics at once. Practice questions are incredible and are backed-up with Nielson's very simple & easy to understand answers & explanations. Also, there is a Website and any errors made in printing are mentioned on it.
  2. The College Panda's 10 Practice Test For The SAT Math; Running out of Practice test? Want something more? Well this book has some relatively realistic versions of the SAT's mathematics sections (both calculator and no-calculator).
  3. PWN The SAT: Math Guide; Still not satisfied with your SAT preparation? Longing for something more? When you're done with this book you'll be able to approach the SAT with confidence - very few questions will surprise you, and even fewer will be able to withstand your withering attacks.

  • Writing:

  1. The Ultimate Guide To SAT Grammar, 4th Ed; It isn't about drilling as most of them (books) are. It's about the philosophy of the SAT. Author backs up her advice with relevant questions from Khan Academy in each chapter & provides comprehensive coverage of all the grammar & rhetoric tested on the redesigned SAT Writing & Language Test. Two things that you'd miss - lack of enough practice questions & its overpricing (Especially for International Students). She had a Website where you can look-up for Errata & other college related information. You'll also get a practice question each day prepared by Erica herself!
  2. The Ultimate Guide To SAT Grammar WB, 4th Ed; Fall short on practice questions? Need something to execute what you've learned so far? This accompanying workbook to The Ultimate Guide to SAT® Grammar contains six full-length tests in redesigned SAT format, each accompanied by thorough explanations designed to reinforce the concepts and strategies covered in the main grammar book.
  3. The College Panda's SAT Writing: Advanced Guide & WB, 2nd Ed; This one is truly geared towards the student aiming for the perfect score. It leaves no stones unturned. It has clear explanations of all the tested SAT grammar rules, from the simplest to the most obscure, tons of examples to illustrate each question type and the different ways it can show up, hundreds of drills and practice questions to help you master the concepts and a lot more. AND, THREE PRACTICE TESTS.

  • Reading: Probably the "hardest-to-score" section on the SAT test.

  1. The Critical Reader, 3rd Edition; Intended to clearly and systematically demystify what is often considered the most challenging section of the SAT, this book provides a comprehensive review of the reading skills tested on the redesigned exam for students who are serious about raising their scores. Meltzer's explanations and tricks are very descriptive and include hints to easily discern the correct answer through process of elimination. Major drawback? Well, it lacks enough practice questions & is highly overpriced!

  • ESSAY: For this section I'd say Khan Academy + these 2 books are more than enough. If you work with these modestly I guarantee you can easily achieve a perfect score on SAT Essay;

  1. The College Panda's SAT Essay; The writer covers all of the main facets of the new SAT Essay, including the scoring, structure and key elements of a rhetorical analysis, combined with more strategic advice regarding such topics as paragraph structure, transitions, vocabulary usage, length, writing speed, quotations, examples, and the elements of persuasion. Author's high-scoring essay from the May 2016 exam is included where he shares everything from what he did right as well as the subtle things he initially missed.
  2. SAT Vocabulary: A New Approach; Covers key vocabulary for the Reading Test, Writing and Language Test, and Essay. This book offers an approach that is aligned with the new SAT’s focus on vocabulary in context. The concluding chapter on the Essay is short but outstanding. The chapter features a particularly helpful presentation on 6 persuasive devices, a list of 25 top Essay vocabulary words, and best of all a real Level 24 essay written by a real student on the November 2016 SAT.

    Hope this helps. If liked, please don't forget to up-vote. And all the best for your preparation and test.
u/William123450 · 3 pointsr/ACT

I would recommend this book for ACT science:

It helped me out a lot and it only took me a few hours to complete...

u/IowaTransplant21 · 3 pointsr/ACT

There isn’t really a good quick fix to math. Study and do practice problems. You shouldn’t focus on memorizing a hundred different math formulas.

For science check out this book: For the Love of ACT Science: An...

You don’t really need to know anything specific about science. It’s about picking up context clues from the questions, analyzing trends/axis titles, and comparing theories (in the conflicting viewpoints section). If you have any questions, you can find us at I’m publishing a few articles about the test on my site. Prep Scholar is a pretty good resource too.

u/DFReroll · 3 pointsr/ACT

Get yourself this book

And go over it. Then use the strategies it teaches you on a couple practice tests...

ACT Science is a 35 minute sprint at the end of a 4 hour marathon.

u/abbeycrombie · 3 pointsr/ACT

The Complete Guide to ACT English, 3rd Edition

The English is the easiest to improve. If you complete this book, I bet you could easily get your English score into the 20s.

u/xkcdpussy · 3 pointsr/Sat

I was in the same situation a few weeks ago. I worked through Erica Meltzer's book and got my first 800 in English last week :)

u/BioticAsariBabe · 3 pointsr/ApplyingToCollege

Erica Meltzer's Reading is an absolute godsend and her grammar book is also amazing.

u/Meritosis · 2 pointsr/ACT

English - Erica Meltzer

Math - College Panda

Reading - Erica Meltzer

Science - For The Love of ACT Science (FTLOAS) By Michael Cerro

Essay - College Panda

I also recommend buying the ACT red book for practice tests

Another option is the ACT black book, has very good strategies


I bought all these and I started with math, going well so far! These have really good reviews and is recommended by this subreddit!

u/gadgetman6 · 2 pointsr/ACT

lol its ok u will improve. here are some of my resources:


if u haven't already, i suggest this book for practice tests:

once i was done with that, i looked up tests online (there are plenty of them!)

if u struggle with science, i suggest this book:

it's a bit pricey, so i suggest getting a used one

if u wanna learn some great tips on how to improve ur score in every section, this book has some amazing info:


i found these books to be sufficient, but also look for tutors in your area for help


good luck, i hope to see ur thicc 36 post soon! send me a message when it happens :D

u/TheMumbaiMarauder · 2 pointsr/ACT

You can probably find this book on this sub if you look around.

u/JeffplayzMC · 2 pointsr/ACT
u/MeowTooMovement4Cats · 2 pointsr/GRE

Just got this book

Official GRE Super Power Pack, Second Edition

Do you recommend it?

u/Magoosh_Student_Help · 2 pointsr/GRE

You need to know the basics. That's what Khan Academy is good for, and the math review. If you don't know how to factor or convert distances and speeds, you're not going to do well. But if you just read the concepts, you likely won't internalize them. That's what practice is for!

The Manhattan series is nice for quant because you can target specific areas. Also, definitely buy the official guide and do every single problem in there. If you don't take advantage of that resource, you're shooting yourself in the foot.

Don't just do the problems, though, study them, especially those official ones. You'll likely be getting a lot of them wrong. Why did you get it wrong? What concept were you missing? What trap did you fall for? How can you avoid this mistake in the future?

Now here's the crazy part - tomorrow, or two days from now, you have to go back to those same problems you've already done and do them again. And analyze them again. You've got to internalize the process. Learning is largely by analogy: so you see a problem and think "this is similar to that other problem I did where I had to use the difference of squares." So in order to tackle new problems, you have to have a bank of old problems that you are very familiar with. The more problems you add to your knowledge bank, the greater the chance that a new problem is similar to one of them.

There's no magic formula or trick for math, progress will come slowly but steadily. You'll have about three weeks before you take the exam again, and that should be sufficient time. But make sure that every day you're learning something new and refreshing something old. As you go, you'll learn more and more about how to answer a GRE problem.

Feel free to be in touch with me if you have any more specific questions or concerns as you go!

-Magoosh Student Help

u/burning_dark · 2 pointsr/GRE

If you don't already have it, get the Official GRE Super Power Pack. This will give you the general book, verbal specific book and quant specific book. Work through each of them and do the 4 provided official tests when you see fit (2 are physical and 2 are online).

I feel there's nothing better for quant than Magoosh. They've got ~700 practice problems that will really drill the concepts into you, each with written and video explanations. It's helpful to see the problem difficulty and average times, as well as getting experience working with the on-screen GRE calculator (this is a factor that not many people address). I'm not a math person so their program was very helpful.

I'd avoid the Manhattan prep and other third party stuff since the difficulty and question formatting is too far off from the real deal to be a good use of study time. Just the two resources above should be enough. I started with the 5 lb book like you're planning but soon ditched it after reviewing official practice material. I got a 321 this month so I think there's resources will serve you well.

u/katieblue · 2 pointsr/Sat

PWN the SAT Math You might be able to find it cheaper used, but it's worth every penny. I taking AP Calc and was in a similar situation. I got this book and the math section was a breeze.

u/HarzooNumber1457 · 2 pointsr/Sat

Get yourself some books, if you haven't already. The two easiest scores to improve are writing and math, because those are the ones that have concrete techniques for you to study, unlike critical reading which is more conceptual. (But you could probably boost it by studying vocab.)

I recommend PWN the SAT (I know what the name sounds like but it's really helpful) particularly for the math guide.

For writing, Erica Meltzer's ultimate guide to SAT grammar is a good choice, although it's a bit more involved than the math guide.

You should note that something as small as 10 points honestly comes down to luck. You could try again without any prep and have a decent chance at getting those points- and sadly, there is no preparation technique on earth that will allow you to score exactly 10 points higher. But hey- instead of taking the chance, you might as well prep a lot while you have the time and get your score higher by even more than 10 points. It can't hurt.

u/TimeL0ck · 2 pointsr/Sat

I would actually recommend PWN the SAT:Math guide, it is definitely very good and it has a good reputation. here is the link

u/roastedredpepper · 2 pointsr/Sat
  • Erika Meltzer grammar and reading books

  • Khan Academy

  • Official SAT Study Guide
u/jibas · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Definitely take practice tests!! Also don't be afraid to take the ACT multiple times, I took it 3 times before I got the score I wanted and I am glad I did! There are also a lot of practice books out there, I recommend Barrons.

  • For the reading section it helps to underline and annotate. If you have time, read the questions before you read the story so you know what you are looking for.

  • Science seems to be hard for a lot of people, don't overthink it! The answers are always right in front of you, you just have to find them!

  • Math can be rough sometimes, if you don't know a question skip it and come back to it later, you want to get as many questions right as possible, don't get stuck on a problem and run out of time!

  • English was always hardest for me but all my friends thought it was the easiest, just make sure you brush up on your grammar before the test, the practice books will help you with that.

  • The day of the test eat breakfast and bring a sweatshirt to the testing room, one of the times I took it I was freezing cold and it was hard to even focus! And make sure you get a good night of sleep, somebody in my room actually fell asleep during one section!!

    Good Luck and if you have any more questions be sure to ask!!
u/AnalogKid2112 · 2 pointsr/college

This is the #1 seller on Amazon with predominantly 5 star reviews

There's also an SAT prep section on Khan Academy if you want video lectures

u/failing_forwards · 2 pointsr/CasualConversation

Pick up the SAT study book from your local book store or amazon.

This lays out the exact format of the SAT test, and it lets you really get a good feeling for it. It helps you plan out time in the test, and everything like that. This book helped me so much, you have no idea. It is entirely possible to do really well on the SAT even with mediocre grades!

Remember, the answer is always on the page with the SAT!

u/Mikethechimp · 2 pointsr/unca

Great advice with everything besides the part concerning the SAT. I wouldn't take a prep course. If you are not motivated, it will not help. If you are motivated, then you wouldn't need it and it would be a wasted expense. Instead, most commonly recommended are this book for introductory material as well as practice tests and this one for vocabulary. They are very cheap! (You could probably even borrow them for free from the library)

I'm not a good example since I was somewhat obsessed, but through many (many!) practice and vocabulary books like those I improved my score by over 600 points relative to my PSAT results without spending more than $50 out of pocket.

u/TissueReligion · 2 pointsr/GetMotivated

I'm not good at life-advice, but one thing I am good at is school-advice.

  1. Getting better grades: Improve your study skills. Many people have very, very poor study habits, and as such your grades at the high school level are affected much more (IMO) by study and focus skills than innate intelligence.

    I recommend you look at Cal Newport's blog, and buy one of his books. They're well worth it.

    Pertinent links:

    I recommend you make a list of all the classes you are taking, and then come up with an explicit strategy for each class as far as what you're going to do in each one to do well. Don't get carried away; going from a 2.5 to a 4.0 in one semester is difficult. Pick a realistic, reasonable goal, and work hard at it.

  2. Doing better on PSAT/SAT/ACT:

    Buy these two books, as well as an SAT prep book of your choice (the two books here are just full of tests), the prep book actually has stuff you can learn.

    The princeton review book I linked is a book of tests, but it has explanations for all the answers. The official SAT book does not. So my advice would be to go take a full Princeton Review SAT and grade it. See what you got wrong and identify your weak spots. Then I would cross-check your weak spots with relevant sections from the prep book, think about what went wrong, how you can avoid that mistake in the future, what general rule you were missing/got wrong, etc.


    Once you feel like you are lord of princeton review, start taking your practice tests out of the official SAT book. Check your answers after every section, and THINK HARD ABOUT WHAT YOU GOT WRONG AND WHY YOU GOT IT WRONG.


    Furthermore, recognize that this is not "gaming the test" or anything dumb like that, you really are IMPROVING YOUR KNOWLEDGE. So approach it from that viewpoint, not from the viewpoint of trying to game the SAT or something. That would be stupid.
u/hesperus_is_hesperus · 2 pointsr/chanceme

I bought this Panda math book, read all of it, and worked 75% of it.

For the English, I just did a little online Khan Academy practice because my English score was already pretty high. I definitely concentrated a lot more on math.

I also used the normal SAT book, which is pretty helpful too.

If your practice or PSAT scores are really low (like below 1200), I'd suggest you get tutoring instead.

But I don't think the SAT is very difficult. It's very repetitive, so the more practice tests you take and questions you study, the more you'll be prepared for the actual test because it's just regurgitating concepts.

u/Garbingerby · 2 pointsr/Sat

By one sitting do you mean one test or one practice test? because my goal is to get a 1300 overall on the actual SAT when I take it, not on my next practice test.

Thanks for the resources! This is what I gathered from your response.

-College Panda Math Books for a higher math score. Complete parts I'm weak on for 650+ and whole book for 700+

-Uworld for more Math prep.

-QAS' for more practice and study mainly tests 5-8 in the Blue Book. for Reading.

Would you recommend any reading strategies? I've used RUNNERS in the past when attempting to dissect passages but I'm starting to feel like it takes too long.

I've also heard that the practice tests are easier than the actual tests. Is this true or is it just a myth used to ease test anxiety?

EDIT: By The College Panda do you mean books like this?, If so is there a certain website where I can find the latest editions?

u/JS0D · 2 pointsr/Sat

Unfortunately right now it’s $28 but this is a really good review book that covers every math topic that could be on the test. If you are going to buy review books this is a good one to get but it’s also possible to improve at math for free using khan academy so don’t feel like you have to spend that money

u/FHM_IV · 2 pointsr/ACT

For the 26 I didn’t study more than a week out for any of them, but for this last one I signed up for a prep class and started studying about a month and a half before the test. Every Saturday I’d take a practice test from the ACT prep book then go over what I’d missed the following Monday and Tuesday and try to figure out what I did wrong and I’d rework all the math problems. I also used the 5 lb. ACT practice book to get extra practice on the types of problems I was struggling with.

u/YuzuFan · 2 pointsr/ACT

I used this prep book, I thought it was phenomenal myself. I caught one error in the whole book, and all the questions were exactly like the ACT


Did the whole book in 2 weeks at the end of one summer break just before school and then aced the September ACT, never looked back. Very thankful for this book

u/rain_on_sun · 1 pointr/ACT

I like the way you think. I've been noticing myself that spending hours studying and testing on a screen often leaves me with a headache. On top of that, you're just clicks away from any distractions being online.


I definitely admire the old-fashioned by the books approach. After taking another redditor's recommendation, I ordered this:


I should be getting it soon (hopefully today or tomorrow). Let me know what you think of it.


I have like 12 days before the test. Wish me luck.

u/SubstantialDirector4 · 1 pointr/Sat

No Bull Review:


No Bull makes this APUSH/SAT USH book, and gov, geography and world history books. idk how the other No Bull books are, and if the gov is for AP or not, but I really liked the USH one. You can consider accompanying it with your class notes or maybe another prep book (i.e. the PR one if you are taking APUSH). Even though it is a bit shorter than most, it covers most of the small things you need, without putting essentially a whole textbook as your prep book like Barron's SAT USH. It is way more digestible than most prep books, using acronyms, charts etc. Do take my review with a grain of salt, especially if I seem overly endorsing of it, as I am just someone random on the internet, who hasn't even gotten their score back yet. I did take APUSH in school this year and do pretty well in it, so that's why No Bull, a shorter review book than most, was better for me by not being so long and exhausting, but still refreshing my memory.


I found the No Bull questions at the end fairly easy, probably because they only ask from stuff in the contents of the book, but they also seemed easier than the real one today. Still good questions to go over though.


Official College Board SAT US History (only has practice tests+explanations, no review section):


This one is pretty much the only source to get official practice tests. There isn't even a review section. I really dislike that these tests aren't available for free online but what are you going to do its CB :(. Anyways, this is the only book with accurate practice tests AFAIK. Save these tests for once you are done studying. I regret wasting one before I was ready, since all the other tests were so off.


I also had PR for APUSH which was good but probably not necessary for sat USH if you have a textbook or something else. I also had Barron's SAT USH which had an ok-ish review section but the practice tests were really bad (waaaaaay too hard). Also, practice tests in Barron's and most on crackSAT, I wouldn't use to actually gauge your score, just as a review.

u/davidcf67 · 1 pointr/Sat
u/keedorin · 1 pointr/ACT

For science, read this book I scored 20-23 constantly on the science portion before I read this book. Now, after taking the October test, I scored a 31 in science. This book really opens your eyes to how easy the science test is. It's a short book, so you should have enough time to finish it. A chapter a day ;).

For math, I can't really help you since I have a 25 in it, but I would just say take advantage of the easy questions (first 30). Trust me, you would probably finish the first 30 in like 10-20 minutes and have a lot more time to finish the more difficult questions(last 30).

Reading sucks.

I'm also a senior, and I know we only have 1 more shot to take the test, but you just have to work hard and do a lot of practice tests. You're making an investment in your future by studying. Regret is probably the worst feeling you could have.

u/rgrabbit · 1 pointr/ACT

I moved from a 28 to a 33 on the science section solely I believe from changing the way I approached the section. Don't read the passages before moving to the questions, it's a waste of time and frankly there's a lot of extra info you don't need. Most of the questions are just looking at some charts and finding the answers. For the questions that ask about info from the passage just read the few lines you need. Trust me, it'll help tremendously. Also, I used this book to study for the science section. It's a little pricey (28 ish dollars) but its totally worth it. Anyways, hope this helps. Also for the English and Math sections check out the "College Panda" books they also helped my score immensely. With these books and doing practice tests I ended up at a composite of a 35! You've got this.

u/sickcint · 1 pointr/ACT

There are a ton of strategies online you could use to improve your reading speed (just google them) and using effective reading strategies also helps. Some people deep read while others skim and refer back, but when it comes to reading those strategies are really subjective so find out which one works best for you. The MOST IMPORTANT strategy for reading is to NEVER answer the questions in the order ACT gives you. For example, you should answer questions about general summation last and questions referring to specific lines first. This saves A TON of time. As always, practice makes perfect. The most useful practice book for reading I've found is this one
For science, organize the passages into difficulty levels and come back to the more complicated passages (or passages that require reading) after you've finished the easier ones for the science section. This will save you a significant amount of time.
Hope this was helpful! :)

u/tutorjim · 1 pointr/ACT

Get this book:

Read the intros and drill the questions that are giving you trouble.

There's no way to get a score that high without learning all the punctuation rules, so I would start there.

u/cinoadam · 1 pointr/uchicago

I was admitted to the program a few years ago. My major was in Econ/Finance never took a CS course in college.

I had a 166 Quant score on the GRE, and I believe a 158 Verbal. I think they really only care about the Quant score. I think you need to get your Quant score up.


I suggest you buy the official GRE prep book from the makers of the exam (ETS).


​ also had a lot of helpful material.



I also took some intro level CS courses through Coursera. And I wrote about this in my SOP. I think taking an intro course on Coursera/Edx could help.



u/ManWithQuestions9 · 1 pointr/GRE

>ETS material

Thank you for this. Is this an example of the ETS book(s) you are referring to?

u/Inherentdestroyer · 1 pointr/Sat

The concepts tested on the ACT math are not the same on the SAT. ACT math is more straightforward and tests harder concepts.

I highly recommend buying this book. 5 stars on Amazon.

The author has a public Q&A forum where he answers questions, the guy's a genius.
Check it out at

Graduated from Brown, and his full time job is writing these books and helping others with SAT math. It's the only book you'll need, and he actually gives useful tips.

u/Pink_pez · 1 pointr/Sat

I just realized Meltzer also has a book dedicated to the reading section. I personally haven't read it yet but I will do so after finishing the book dedicated to writing section.

u/yoshi0202 · 1 pointr/ACT

You should try Dr. John Chung's SAT II Math book.


I know it's not for ACT, but I used this book and scored really well on both the ACT and SAT II Math test. The concepts are pretty much the same.

u/6coshx · 1 pointr/Sat

This book is a lot harder than the real test; if you can get good at the problems in this book, you'll be set.

u/amazingpeak25 · 1 pointr/Sat

Just in case there's anyone still interested in this thread, I asked this question on Quora and got these answers.

Of those answers, the one from Zoë Martin ended up helping me the most, and I did end up buying the Ivy Global New SAT Guide, alongside PWNtheSAT's Math Guide (the latter of which really is the answer to my prayers).

Thanks, everyone, and good luck!

u/brainslugged · 1 pointr/gatech

Like a lot of people are saying SAT is low.

But the good news is that you can raise it easily (relative to raising GPA) and cheaply.

This guy has some pretty good tutorials. Especially, pay attention to the writing and reading videos.

Buy an SAT Blue Book and do EVERY SINGLE practice test and problem. The book isn't too expensive, I even got mine from Goodwill for 3 or 4 dollars. You can print off sheets to bubble (set it to just print page 5-8 in the print menu) so that you can reuse the book and/or resell it.

If you have done all the problems in the Blue Book, You can do problems online, but I would stick to official SAT tests given after the last reform (anything in or after the 2nd Edition Blue Book I think is fine, the newer the better).

If you really are so passionate about math and could do it all day, do the SAT math all day, or at least for a few hours every day. There is a finite amount of types of questions they can ask since the test is standardized. If you master the questions they ask, you will have mastered everything they will throw at you, even the problems that seem weird. They cannot make surprise questions because of the nature of the test.

My first SAT score was 1850, and my 2nd was 2070 with only doing 2 of the practice tests in the blue book and watching a lot of the videos. It helps A LOT. In fact, I would say that the reading and writing are almost entirely just based on basic ability to read and knowing what kind of mode to get in.

Get your SAT score up high enough, and the GPA won't be as much of a problem (although you should still try to raise it, and certainly don't let it fall any more).

u/well_uh_yeah · 1 pointr/education

I agree that authentic materials are essential. The blue book is the way to go for that.

In the interest of using everything available...there are some really good "guides" on collegeconfidential. It's obvious that a lot of the kids (adults? whatevers?) on that site have put a LOT of time and thought into their preparation and are altruistically choosing to share it with others. No reason others shouldn't benefit from it.

Students who are scoring below 700 can greatly benefit from these sorts of courses. After suffering a lot of anxiety about how to organize such a course myself a few years ago, I ended up finding, using, and really liking this book: The New Math SAT Game Plan

I'd love to hear what sort of thoughts you have on running the prep course. Do you have a good location? Administration is the main thing that has prevented me from getting something like this up and running on a consistent basis...

u/microslayer · 1 pointr/Sat

The blue book, the blue book, the blue book. You could see your scores seriously jump just by completing all the SAT tests in it.

u/askingquestionz · 1 pointr/Sat

The description of the book you listed is the same description as the pre-changed sat book, so I don't know if this is real or just a bug.

u/tloll · 1 pointr/GetStudying

All very awesome advice. I'm an SAT tutor in VA and all the tips are on point. I have one suggestion to add on, however. You're using the Princeton Review book, which may be decent proprietary material. BUT, you are taking a collegeboard test written by collegeboard people. Therefore, you might want to look into trashing the Princeton and getting a hold of the Official SAT Study Guide.

Don't waste your time with stuff other people were paid to write. The format, structure, and feel of the Princeton tests are completely different from what the actual SAT is like.

u/blndatheart · 1 pointr/Teachers

Is your class for the SAT subject tests? You can use the CollegeBoard book (, but there are only two practice tests in it and not very many extra questions. If you have a lot of your own notes and/or practice problems, this could be a great book because it's actually written by the CollegeBoard and uses previous tests.

If it's for the general SAT math sections, I'd definitely recommend the CollegeBoard book ( I'm an SAT tutor and love using this - I can teach my own strategies and assign practice problems from previous SAT tests. There's 10 full-length previously administered practice tests, so there's plenty of material. I have a syllabus with 8 general lessons and homework, and there are still enough sections to have up to a month's worth of practice before the test.

I've been tutoring for six years now (and I used to teach classes for a large test prep company) so if you need any help I'd be glad to give you some pointers. Good luck on your class!

u/rerers · 1 pointr/teenagers

I never tried the SAT course from collegeboard, but I was talking about this book:

The first few hundred pages are just tips and in the end there are 10 practice tests (3 of which were actual SAT tests from previous years). If you don't understand a concept or question, or just need advice, use that forum I linked you. Brilliant ivy leage 2400ers on that forum.

u/applefrittersqq · 1 pointr/teenagers

For the SAT you'll want the classic Blue Book and for the ACT you'll want the Real ACT. These books both contain real tests previously administered by the College Board and ACT. They're the best source for practice material. Just take a shit ton of practice tests and make sure you go over every answer to understand why you got it wrong or right. That should prepare you.

u/godlessatheist · 1 pointr/Sat

What score are you aiming for?

The SAT blue book helped me the most. To improve your critical reading score study the vocab terms and read books more often than you usually do. The only way I found to improve my math score was to continuously practice the math in the SAT blue book.

You seem to understand the grammar portion fairly well and I'm going to assume that most of the questions you missed were the "no error" questions. Once I got towards the 700's in the grammar portion I had a hard time getting it any higher simply because I would look for an error that wasn't there.

Anyways you have plenty of time to study and I would also recommend that you take the PSAT your Junior year. National Merit Semi finalists can get a lot of Scholarships for the PSAT.

u/anoxicator · 1 pointr/Sat

Here is the updated one (I think). Also, I highly recommend using uWorld for the math. Brought me from ~670 to ~780/800 on practice tests. Best of luck!

u/Shadowsych · 1 pointr/Sat

Get this book:

Study that book extensively for a month.
Then use the SAT Blue Book and do all the 8 practice exams for the math section.

Using the strategy can get you an 800 if you study well.

u/klevyy · 1 pointr/Sat

The College Panda's 10 Practice Tests for the SAT Math

u/heymanwazza · 1 pointr/6thForm

From 1230 to 1480 in 9 days (18 hours per day with no breaks at all and literally running to fill my stomach) hope that's enough motivation for you. Go crush it! You're applying from the UK you have 20x high chances than I do because of that. MIT wants you.

Here are links with past official SAT papers and Erica Meltzer books(need to login with Facebook) :

Again, use for books

Here are 17 official SAT Subject Tests for Biology:

Best SAT book for the Essay (wrote my first essay in the exam itself, simply memrozied the template in that book and applied it as is in the exam even tho it was tricky to apply it but I trusted the template nevertheless seriously no practoce and got 20/24 ) :

God Bless

u/773333 · 1 pointr/Sat

Also there are 5 more perfect scoring essays in p 61-68 of the CollegePanda Essay book that you can see in the preview here

u/qogofud · 0 pointsr/ApplyingToCollege

I'd buy both real practice tests (which are offered in both official guides:,, sit down, and take the tests as if they're the real thing. That way, you'll know what you can expect on the SAT and the ACT with your current practice.

It sounds like the ACT is a better option for you, though you should check the standardized test requirements for the colleges you're applying to.

u/cmbsfm · 0 pointsr/Sat

I just came here to see why this has downvotes. I'm confused as to why.
I don't have any tips, I hate the critical reading section too, but the new SAT makes it difficult to find anything good for free. The ACT has a whole bunch of free resources, but the SAT doesn't.

The best I can give you is this:

If you've got 30 bucks to spare, then this wouldn't be a bad investment.

u/VA_Network_Nerd · -1 pointsr/college

> I am actually currently using that for the SAT prep

Thank you so much for sharing that bit of information.