SAT Prep Black Book: The Most Effective SAT Strategies Ever Published

BOOK: SAT Prep Black Book: The Most Effective SAT Strategies Ever Published
8.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

 

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark. In the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all, do not let the hero in your soul perish and leave only frustration for the life you deserved, but never have been able to reach. The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours.”
- Ayn Rand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2013 Mike Barrett.

All rights reserved.

Neither the author nor the publisher of this book has any affiliation with the College Board nor the SAT, nor with any other person mentioned in this book, nor with any test preparation company mentioned in this book apart from Testing Is Easy LLC. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this book is correct, but any use of this book or reliance on the ideas contained herein is strictly at your own risk.

 
 

The SAT Prep Black Book

 


The Most Effective SAT Strategies Ever Published”

 

By Mike Barrett

Dedication

The
SAT Prep Black Book
would never have been possible without the help, support, and patience of my family, to whom, and for whom, I am eternally grateful. I would also like to thank the many partners, advisors, and friends without whom my career in test prep would not be possible, especially Mimi, Michele, Xiggi, Gerry, Bruce, Melody, and Chris.

O
f course, I would also like to express my gratitude to the tens of thousands of high-school students all around the world who have trusted me with a part of their futures over the years. You have taught me more than I ever would have thought possible back when I was tutoring my brothers’ friends in my parents’ dining room after work.

Finally, I would like to thank the people at Amazon for allowing me and everyone else to share our work
with the world through the most sophisticated publishing platform ever built.

This book is dedicated to all of you.

Free Video Demonstrations

If you’d like to see videos of some sample SAT solutions like the ones in this book, please visit
http://www.SATprepVideos.com
. A selection of free videos
is available for readers of this book.

Table Of Contents

Dedication

Free Video Demonstrations

Table Of Contents

Read This First!

Frequently Asked Questions

Setting (The Right) Goals

How To Train For The SAT—Mastering The Ideas In This Book

Be Careful With Diagnostics, Even From The College Board

Only Work With Questions From The College Board!

A Word On Guessing: Don’t.

The Importance Of Details: Avoiding “Careless Errors”

Certainty And The SAT

Where To Find “Missing Points”

Time Management

The “Big Secret” Of The SAT

SAT Passage-Based Reading

The Big Secret Of SAT Passage-Based Reading

How To Read Passages On The SAT

The General Process For Answering Passage-Based Reading Questions

The Passage-Based Reading Process In Action Against Real Questions

A Selection of Challenging Questions

SAT Passage-Based Reading Quick Summary

SAT Sentence Completion

Overview and Important Reminders for SAT Sentence Completion

5 Reasons Why Memorizing Vocabulary Is Not The Best Way To Go

The Big Secret Of Sentence Completion Questions

The General Process For Answering Sentence-Completion Questions

What Do We Do When We Don’t Know Enough Of The Words?

The Sentence Completion Process in Action Against Real Questions

A Selection of Challenging Questions

Conclusion

SAT Sentence Completion Quick Summary

SAT Math

The Big Secret Of SAT Math

The Two Critical Components of SAT Math Success

SAT Math Toolbox

Unwritten Rules of SAT Math

Hidden Test Design Patterns of SAT Math Questions

Special Math Technique: Learning From Diagrams

The Recommended Math Path

The Math Path In Action

A Selection of Challenging Questions

SAT Math Quick Summary

The SAT Essay

Unwritten Test Design Rules of the SAT Essay

Recommended Step-By-Step Approach to the SAT Essay

SAT Essay Quick Summary

SAT Writing Multiple Choice

How To Improve Your Score On The Writing Section

Overview and Important Reminders for Identifying Sentence Errors On The SAT

Unwritten Test Design Rules of Identifying Sentence Errors on the SAT

Hidden Test Design Patterns of Identifying Sentence Errors on the SAT

The Recommended Step-By-Step Approach For SAT Identifying Sentence Errors

The Step-By-Step Approach To Identifying SAT Sentence Errors In Action

A Selection of Challenging Questions

Identifying Sentence Errors Quick Summary

Overview and Important Reminders for Improving Sentences on the SAT Writing Section

Unwritten Test Design Rules For Improving Sentences on the SAT

Hidden Test Design Patterns of Improving Sentences On The SAT

The Step-By-Step Approach To Improving SAT Sentences

The Step-By-Step Approach To Improving SAT Sentences In Action

A Selection of Challenging Questions

Improving Sentences Quick Summary

Overview and Important Reminders for Improving Paragraphs on the SAT Writing Section

The Unwritten Test Design Rule For Improving Paragraphs on the SAT

Recommended Step-By-Step Approach To Improving Paragraphs On The SAT

The Recommended Step-By-Step Approach To Improving SAT Paragraphs In Action

Selection of Challenging Questions

Improving Paragraphs Quick Summary

Being An SAT Machine

What Are The College Board’s Resources Good For?

8 Things You Thought You Knew About The SAT Are Wrong

The Nature of Elite Scores

Advice For Non-Native Speakers Of American English

One Final Piece Of Advice

Thanks For Reading!

Appendix: Writing Toolbox

Higher-Level Concepts: Ideal Sentences And Paragraphs On The SAT

Read This First!


Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.”
- Abraham Lincoln

The approach you’re about to learn from the SAT Prep Black Book has helped many, many people score much higher on the SAT than they thought they could. I’m confident it can help you, too, if you make a sincere effort to implement
what I’m going to teach you.

If you have any previous experience with SAT prep, you’ll probably find that this book is different from the ‘traditional’ a
dvice you’ll get from most other sources. That traditional advice is mostly based on memorizing things like vocabulary lists, math formulas, and essay examples. And if you’ve tried that stuff, or if you know somebody who has, then you know it doesn’t work very well for most people.

My approach is different because it’s based on understanding the design of the test, which allows you to take the vocabulary and math you already know and turn them into a great score—even a perfect 2400, if you’re diligent enough in your preparation.

I’ve designed this approach to be as easy to learn as possible. You’ll need to read this book carefully and be thorough in applying what I teach you, but I think you’ll find it much less time-consuming and much more productive than the traditional approach.

But that doesn’t mean you’ll get the full benefit of this book just from flipping through it!

If you want me to be on your team for the SAT, then you have to give us both a fighting chance. That means reading this book with an open mind, looking carefully at the many example solutions to get an idea of how the principles apply to real College Board questions, going to
www.SATprepVideos.com
t
o watch the free video demonstrations, and—above all—sticking with it when you run into difficulties. I’ve done my part to help you beat the test by laying bare exactly how the SAT works and exactly where it’s vulnerable. Now it’s up to you to read the battle plan and mount your attack.

Stick With It

I can guarantee you that you will encounter real test questions that
seem
to violate the rules and patterns I talk about in this book. This is a normal part of the process—everyone, including myself, occasionally runs into a question that seems to break the rules.

When this happens,
it’s always because the test-taker has made a mistake.

So it’s crucial that we remember the design of the SAT can’t change, no matter how much it might seem to have
changed on a particular question. It will be tempting to think, “Oh, I guess this one math question requires me to know trig, even though Mike said that would never happen,” or “Well, I guess this passage question requires me to think about symbolism, even though that’s supposed to be impossible on the SAT.” As soon as you go down that road—as soon as you stop playing by the rules of the test and start treating the SAT like something it’s not—your score will suffer.

So don’t do that :)

How To Read This Book

The Black Book is designed so that a person who didn’t know anything about the SAT could read it straight through and learn everything he needed to know. I’ve organized it this way based on over a decade of experience working with tens of thousands of people through a variety of formats.

So if you don’t know anything about the SAT, or if you’ve had a rough time using other SAT books and you want to clear your mind and start from scratch, the best thing to do is to read this book straight through, just as it’s written.

If you don’t have the time for that, or if you know that you only need help with a particular section or question type, then you’re free to skip just to those sections, of course. But I would still recom
mend that you read the following chapters as well:

o
Setting (The Right) Goals

o
How To Train For The SAT—Mastering The Ideas In This Book

o
Only Work With Questions From The College Board!

o
The Importance Of Details: Avoiding “Careless Errors”

o
Where To Find “Missing Points”

o
Time Management

If you’re reading this the night before the test, or if you only need a few general pointers,  then you might choose just to read the sections on the hidden rules and patterns of each question type, or even just follow along with some of the sample solutions in each section to get the hang of things.

But this book doesn’t just address the mechanics of answering each type of question on the SAT. It also covers issues relating to planning, performance, time management, perseverance, and the other mental aspects surrounding the SAT. I strongly advise you to read those as well.

Using The Blue Book

The “Blue Book” that goes along with this Black Book is the second edition of the College Board publication
The Official SAT Study Guide
. You need a copy of the Blue Book because it’s the only printed source of real SAT questions, and real SAT questions are an essential part of SAT preparation. The SAT Prep Black Book that you’re reading right now will teach you all the rules, patterns, and design principles of real SAT questions, and will show you hundreds of solutions for real SAT questions, but you’ll only be able to practice these ideas if you have the Blue Book.

I strongly, strongly advise you to follow along with the Blue Book solutions in this book, because seeing the proper approach to the SAT in action against real questions is an indispensable part of your preparation, and will make things a lot clearer.

You can probably get a copy of the Blue Book from a library, but I recommend that you get a copy of your own from Amazon, which usually has the lowest prices. That way you can mark up the copy as you would mark up a test booklet, and you won’t have two worry about looking at other people’s notes in a used copy. At the time of this writing, a new copy of the book is selling for around $10 on Amazon. Here’s a link where I keep a page with the best deals on the Blue Book:
http://www.SATprepBlackBook.com/blue-book
.

If you combine this Black Book with the College Board’s Blue Book, you won’t need any other resources to prepare for the SAT.

Using This
Book To Prepare For The PSAT

With the changes that were made to the PSAT and SAT in 2004 and 2005, the two tests became much more similar than they were before
. Every type of multiple-choice question that appears on one test now appears on the other as well. This makes it much easier for you to prepare for the PSAT and the SAT at the same time.

T
he only important difference between the PSAT and the SAT is that the PSAT does NOT include a handwritten essay portion like the SAT does.

The two tests
also have different numbers of sections and different numbers of questions per section.

So, as a practical matter, the best way to prepare for the PSAT is simply to prepare for the SAT as you normally would—the PSAT
might even seem a little easier in comparison, just because it has fewer questions overall. If you don’t have much time before the PSAT and you haven’t started preparing for the SAT yet, then you can leave out the essay portion of your SAT prep and only focus on the parts of the SAT that will appear on the PSAT.

BOOK: SAT Prep Black Book: The Most Effective SAT Strategies Ever Published
8.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Dead Love by Wells, Linda
Dance of the Years by Margery Allingham
The Orkney Scroll by Lyn Hamilton
Darn It! by Christine Murray
Christmas Confidential by Conrad, Marilyn Pappano; Linda
Into the Firestorm by Deborah Hopkinson
13th Apostle by Richard F. Heller, Rachael F. Heller