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What resource has been most helpful in your child's prep for the SAT?

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There are so many websites and books, even courses for this test prep, and I'd like to focus on the most effective one or two that we can afford! Thank you!

I really like www.number2.com. It's free (yay!) and rather good. I've not specifically sat down with that and a book to compare, but having tutored from the official College Board book, the questions have seemed approximately right. (I'm not as convinced about their scoring -- ask me again in a couple months when we have the real thing to compare!)


The College Board book is my standard. It's by the College Board, so it's the same authors as the actual thing, and I've been impressed with the accuracy of the scores on the practice tests.

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What resource has been most helpful in your child's prep for the SAT?



I'd say her entire education and especially a love of reading. The prep materials are simply icing on the cake (and if there is no cake to ice ...). That said, resources that proved helpful to my daughter were:


the SAT problem of the day

Chalkdust SAT Math Review

practice tests




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Chalkdust Math Review was the most effective in raising dd's score.


Kaplan's computerized practice tests were a very accurate indicator. I also liked the way it analyzed her questions and told her what to study. We used the Kaplan online SAT prep which is normally $400, but we paid only $50 through Homeschool Buyer's Co-op.


Eldest dd used Princeton's Books and we prefer Kaplan. I can't remember all the reasons why now, I'd have to ask my dds.

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Start with the College Board's Prep book. There are others, but this prep book is written by the folks who wrote the test. I've poked around a bit. It seems that folks all have their favorite flavor of topping with test prep (Rocket Rev; Gruber's; Princeton Review; Barron's; etc), but most folks agree that you start here first. Then you add the other stuff.


The Official SAT Study Guide, 2nd edition




Agreeing with others, Chalkdust Math SAT review is very good - it comes with a copy of the book listed above. Not sure if it is the second edition though; you could ask.



IEW Essay Intensive is a good place to start if you have NO idea how to tackle the essay.

Prior essay topics listed here (I just ran a search; there are tons of resources that are free online; you just have to dig.)



The two items listed above (Chalkdust & IEW) are pricey. But they have excellent resale value, so your final cost may not actually be that high.



AND the College Board site is your greatest resources for free information and help:



For example, you can have a "question of the day" emailed directed to your student.



LOTS to look at here; tons of reputable free stuff.


And finally, there is the official on-line course by the College Board. It will walk you through interactive lessons to prepare for the kinds of questions your child will see. (This is a LOT like the book. You don't need it if you use the book well. I suspect that most kids will be daunted by that book and won't use it unless you MAKE them. BUT they will surf and click without too much complaining. So you can probably skip this if your student "gets" the cost thing and is willing to USE the BOOK!) The essays for the online course are computer-graded so you can get a "rough" guess on how well you are doing, etc.


If you purchase the guide listed above, you can save $10 on the online course.



That should be enough to get you started. :001_smile:


If you feel overwhelmed, please just know you are in good company. You will live to tell the tale. You can do this! Just start! Even if you feel that you're blundering around in the beginning; it's just best to start poking around with this *test* stuff as soon as possible. :001_smile:


You can do this. Be at peace!



Enjoy your little people

Enjoy your journey


P.S. AND I agree with others. The prep helps your child understand the structure of the test. His education is what will help him answer the questions. :001_smile:


And a bit more info about the essay copied from an article. (Not to scare you, just be aware)


Many people do not realize that colleges and universities also have the ability to download and review each applicant's SAT essay. In other words, colleges are not just receiving a composite writing section score, they can actually download and read the student's essay if they choose to do so. This is valuable because it gives admissions officers the chance to see how a student writes in a timed, proctored setting without input from teachers, parents, etc.

Edited by Janice in NJ
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