fnatic NateDestiel
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Hi all from Sept to December, I will be taking the following US tests.

SAT reasoning test, ACT, SAT 2: Math Level 1, Math Level 2, Physics, Chemistry and English.

I wanted to ask if anyone has any opinions on the best prep books to get for all these tests.

So far I have got the PR guide for the Math tests, and the Barrons book for Math Level 2, Phy and Chem.

These look pretty good, but does anyone else have any recommendations on what books to get for the other tests.

Also for the books I mentioned, are they enough to get 800 on the tests. They look good, but any experiences of anyone would be appreciated.

I will set a lot of time to studying for these tests, since I am quite free at the moment.

Thanks

Nate.
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ForlornUnicorn
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For the SAT, you'll need the official College Board book (informally called the 'blue book'), and in addition to that you might look at the Princeton Review SAT book, or Barron's 'Aiming for the Perfect Score'. You can also buy the Online SAT course, which gives you 9 practice tests.
For the ACT, you'll need the Real ACT Prep Guide (red book), and I recommend the Barron's ACT 36 book, and PR's 1296 ACT questions.
Why do you want to take so many SAT Subject Tests? Three is enough. For Math, PR and Barron's. Don't take two Math tests, they'll only look at Level 2 and it's a waste of money. There is no SAT II in English.
Also, if you submit the ACT + Writing, in most cases you won't need the SAT IIs.
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pbunny
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(Original post by fnatic NateDestiel)
Hi all from Sept to December, I will be taking the following US tests.

SAT reasoning test, ACT, SAT 2: Math Level 1, Math Level 2, Physics, Chemistry and English.

I wanted to ask if anyone has any opinions on the best prep books to get for all these tests.

So far I have got the PR guide for the Math tests, and the Barrons book for Math Level 2, Phy and Chem.

These look pretty good, but does anyone else have any recommendations on what books to get for the other tests.

Also for the books I mentioned, are they enough to get 800 on the tests. They look good, but any experiences of anyone would be appreciated.

I will set a lot of time to studying for these tests, since I am quite free at the moment.

Thanks

Nate.
Hey,

The barrons books will definitely get you a 800 if you prepare well enough since the material/practice questions are known to be harder than the actual tests.

SAT 1: Get the official SAT study guide as it is the only book that has official practice tests. Those are essential to getting a feel for your strengths/weaknesses and for improving your score. I also recommend you get ''the ultimate guide to SAT grammar'' for the writing section of the SAT. I'm using it to study now and it seems great. For vocab get ''direct hits'' or ''the essential 500 words''. Through research it seems like those are the best vocab books available. And of course, to do as best as you can practice, practice, practice!

ACT: Get '' the real ACT prep guide'' - probably the only book you'll need as it is the only book that has got official practice tests. The ACT is more of a time test so you'll essentially need to spend most of your time taking timed practice tests so you don't run out of time during the real thing as many people do. You may also look into buying ''Barron's ACT 36''.

Btw why are you taking both the SAT and ACT? To save yourself time, energy and money, I'd go on their respective websites and I'd take the online practice questions. After doing so you'll get an idea of which test you would potentially do better on. Get the books for that one and focus all your energy in preparing as best as possible for that one test. That way you'll maximise your score as you'll be able to dedicate all your revision time to preparing for that one test rather than preparing for two tests.

P.S: Read reviews of the books you intend to purchase on Amazon, they really do help!

P.P.S: Don't take so many SAT II's. Most universities only require 2 (with the exception of Georgetown and John Hopkins). Plus, there really is no point in taking BOTH Maths Level 1 and 2. Maths level 1 is essentially equivalent to the maths tested in the maths section of SAT I. Do Maths Level 2, it's much more respected by universities and is in some cases required if you want to go into engineering or something of the sort.

Hope I helped!

(Original post by ForlornUnicorn)
There is no SAT II in English.
There is, it's literature based!
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fnatic NateDestiel
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(Original post by ForlornUnicorn)
For the SAT, you'll need the official College Board book (informally called the 'blue book'), and in addition to that you might look at the Princeton Review SAT book, or Barron's 'Aiming for the Perfect Score'. You can also buy the Online SAT course, which gives you 9 practice tests.
For the ACT, you'll need the Real ACT Prep Guide (red book), and I recommend the Barron's ACT 36 book, and PR's 1296 ACT questions.
Why do you want to take so many SAT Subject Tests? Three is enough. For Math, PR and Barron's. Don't take two Math tests, they'll only look at Level 2 and it's a waste of money. There is no SAT II in English.
Also, if you submit the ACT + Writing, in most cases you won't need the SAT IIs.
Thank you, I will look at getting the CB book and one of the others. I have access to past SAT tests however useful that may be.

Yep I will get the red book, do you think its necessary to get both of the others, it just that it seems a little pricey.

There are more opportunities to take the tests, and I feel I have the time and effort to do them. For the Math 1 I think its more of a self-esteem kind of thing - I know the competitive schools don't really care about it since the main priority is on the Math 2 but yeah.

There is the Eng Lit test IIRC.

I have got the barrons chemistry and physics, do you know if they are any good?

Oh right I didn't know that, but I will look at doing the sat subject tests too, thanks for your help
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ForlornUnicorn
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Whoops, if you meant Literature, then Barron's - it's much more difficult than the real thing, with lots of literary terms - and Kaplan - many practice tests! I used those and got a 750 last month, which is pretty good considering how tough the curve is.
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ForlornUnicorn
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The red book has very few practice tests, that's the only reason I suggested the others.
Sorry, I don't know about Physics & Chemistry.
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fnatic NateDestiel
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(Original post by ForlornUnicorn)
The red book has very few practice tests, that's the only reason I suggested the others.
Sorry, I don't know about Physics & Chemistry.
No problem, sorry for so many questions, but do you think only using barrons for eng lit is enough to get 800?
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fnatic NateDestiel
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(Original post by pbunny)
Hey,

The barrons books will definitely get you a 800 if you prepare well enough since the material/practice questions are known to be harder than the actual tests.

SAT 1: Get the official SAT study guide as it is the only book that has official practice tests. Those are essential to getting a feel for your strengths/weaknesses and for improving your score. I also recommend you get ''the ultimate guide to SAT grammar'' for the writing section of the SAT. I'm using it to study now and it seems great. For vocab get ''direct hits'' or ''the essential 500 words''. Through research it seems like those are the best vocab books available. And of course, to do as best as you can practice, practice, practice!

ACT: Get '' the real ACT prep guide'' - probably the only book you'll need as it is the only book that has got official practice tests. The ACT is more of a time test so you'll essentially need to spend most of your time taking timed practice tests so you don't run out of time during the real thing as many people do. You may also look into buying ''Barron's ACT 36''.

Btw why are you taking both the SAT and ACT? To save yourself time, energy and money, I'd go on their respective websites and I'd take the online practice questions. After doing so you'll get an idea of which test you would potentially do better on. Get the books for that one and focus all your energy in preparing as best as possible for that one test. That way you'll maximise your score as you'll be able to dedicate all your revision time to preparing for that one test rather than preparing for two tests.

P.S: Read reviews of the books you intend to purchase on Amazon, they really do help!

P.P.S: Don't take so many SAT II's. Most universities only require 2 (with the exception of Georgetown and John Hopkins). Plus, there really is no point in taking BOTH Maths Level 1 and 2. Maths level 1 is essentially equivalent to the maths tested in the maths section of SAT I. Do Maths Level 2, it's much more respected by universities and is in some cases required if you want to go into engineering or something of the sort.

Hope I helped!



There is, it's literature based!

Thank you very much, those recommendations are very good. In your first line, are barrons the best in your opinion for the aforementioned sat 2 subject tests.

There is a month difference between the test dates I am looking at, I feel that I have the time now since I am free, and want to do something to stand out per se. I'm not going to jeopardise one over the other or vice versa.

And thanks for all the advice, I intend to take the math level 2 before the level 1 and want to do the level 1 since it is more of a self esteem thing - and the curve is lower etc.

And one other thing I will be self teaching/learning all the content and then doing the past papers, is this okay- since I know lots of kids get tutors,go prep courses etc.

Are you a senior?

Thanks for your help.

Nate.
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ForlornUnicorn
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The curve for the Literature test is very tough, like I said, and only 2% of all test takers get an 800. That said, if Literature is your thing, you might get a good score. In that case, the Barron's book is enough, since it's got an overabundance of literary terms and is way more difficult than the real thing. There are also seven (I think) practice tests. However, Barron's is known to focus more on the technical side, so in the real test they'll ask you less about the terms and the structure, and more about contents.
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pbunny
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(Original post by fnatic NateDestiel)
Thank you very much, those recommendations are very good. In your first line, are barrons the best in your opinion for the aforementioned sat 2 subject tests.

There is a month difference between the test dates I am looking at, I feel that I have the time now since I am free, and want to do something to stand out per se. I'm not going to jeopardise one over the other or vice versa.

And thanks for all the advice, I intend to take the math level 2 before the level 1 and want to do the level 1 since it is more of a self esteem thing - and the curve is lower etc.

And one other thing I will be self teaching/learning all the content and then doing the past papers, is this okay- since I know lots of kids get tutors,go prep courses etc.

Are you a senior?

Thanks for your help.

Nate.
Yep, Barrons books are the best when it comes to preparing for SAT II subject tests since the material is more difficult than the actual thing - you'll be well prepared.

Actually, the curve for Maths Level 1 is much tougher than that of Maths Level 2!

Most people self teach (I will be too) the chances of finding prep courses etc are not high if you don't live in the US. Plus, I've heard they're useless anyway and if you are disciplined/smart enough you really don't need a tutor (only get one if you are REALLY struggling).

Nope, I'm going into sixth form next year.
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