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How to start preparing for SAT

KannestaKannesta Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
edited July 2009 in SAT Preparation
I’m a freshman, going to be a 10th grader next year. I really want to get into UCLA and I know the first thing to do is prepare for SAT. I think I’m going to the PSAT next year. However I want to start preparing for SAT and I want to ask how I am supposed to start. What book should I start reading and should I start with memorizing vocabulary and things like that? I’m actually reading “The Princeton Review”, a good book to read? Is there any other suggestions?
Post edited by Kannesta on

Replies to: How to start preparing for SAT

  • MikozeeMikozee Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    1.) Books such as Princeton Review and Barrons are great for reviews. They all have their own little tips and tricks that can be useful for the real SAT.

    However, when it comes time to take the practice tests, NEVER EVER TAKE IT FROM THOSE BOOKS!! Always take it from Collegeboard's The Official SAT Study guide, commonly referred to as "BB" here. The reason for this is because The Princeton Review and Barron's tests don't have the same format as the real SAT. If you end up getting used to the questions from their books, you'll be thoroughly screwed over during the real SAT.

    And never, EVER use Kaplan, even for studying.

    2.) I believe self-study is the best way to go. However, since you're only a rising Sophomore, you can experiment with SAT prep classes (just know they're really expensive).

    3.) Don't bother memorizing those 1000 vocab cards. They're mostly recycled garbage from previous vocab cards years ago.
  • KannestaKannesta Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    So start with reviewing those books are good way to start right? However, should I start now? Or should I start reviewing after I take the PSAT?
  • MikozeeMikozee Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    That's honestly up to you. Personally I don't think it's gonna make a world of difference on whether you start now or later. You're still starting and getting ahead of everyone else by studying as a Sophomore.
  • grayfalcon89grayfalcon89 Registered User Posts: 490 Member
    What Mikozee said is mostly right, but not entirely accurate on #3.

    I recommend that you memorize some vocabulary because unlike you are naturally English-oriented person, you will need to learn new words. And, no, they do not just recycle the garbaged words from the old list. Many lists do, but not all.
  • glaudium2glaudium2 Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    i agree with grayfalcon89.. although it does not make much difference memorizing long lists of vocab if you are just a couple months away from taking the SAT, getting words into your head can be beneficial when you are ahead in your studying. I recommend reading lots of books, the best way to prep for CR. They have SAT novels; they underline the SAT vocab that appear throughout the novel and define them for easy memorization. Also if you go to the sparknotes website they have a vocab list that frequently come up on the SAT. I would recommend going through Direct Hits 1 & 2 by Larry Kreiger. Good luck :]
  • KannestaKannesta Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    thankyou so much! Can you suggest some websites that I can find SAT novels? Or like some other sources that I can find those novel’s name to read? Because I’m not really a reading person I mean I hate reading, so I kind of just want to read those SAT novels but not like every single novel. thanks for helping:)
  • 112358112358 Registered User Posts: 1,944 Senior Member
    Starting to work on vocab early definitely helps. Other than that, though, I think you'll benefit yourself much more by learning as much as you can in school and reading a lot of books than by starting to prepare for the SAT this early.
  • Bigb14Bigb14 Registered User Posts: 2,044 Senior Member
    Check out the Xiggi thread... it's really helpful
  • glaudium2glaudium2 Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    hmm if you don't like reading that much... this might not be very effective, but if you start reading little by little each day I think it'll help- at least less painful than going through flashcards and vocab lists :] The sparknotes website i mentioned above has novels designed to help you w/SAT vocab: SparkNotes: SAT Novels
    There are also Kaplan SAT classics like Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, etc: Amazon.com: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: A Kaplan SAT Score-Raising Classic (Kaplan Score Raising Classics): Robert Stevenson: Books
    Also, check out this list of books for CR prep (this is a really long list and you don't need all of it, just read the ones you are interested in) btw, they are all fiction.
    Finding My Voice (By Marie G. Lee)
    The Slave Dancer (Paula Fox)
    The Death in the Family (Agee, James)
    Shizuko"s Daughter (Mori, Kyoko)
    A Rose for Emily (Faulkner)
    A Streetcar Named Desire (Tennessee Williams)
    The Open Boat (Stephen Crane)
    A Taste of Blackberries (?)
    Angela"s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
    Beloved (Tony Morrison)
    Daisy Miller (Henry James)
    Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
    Henrik Ibsen, Enemy to the People (Rosersholm)
    Initiation (Elizabeth Haich)
    Leaves of Grass (Walt Whitman)
    Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
    Looking for Mr. Green (Saul Bellow)
    My Brother Sam Is Dead (J. L. /C. Collier)
    Northanger Abbey (Jane Austen)
    The Other Two (Edith Wharton)
    The Storm (Chopin, Kate)
    The Awakening (Chopin, Kate)
    The Wonderful Travels and Adventures of Baron Munchhausen
    The Best Children"s Books in the World (Preiss)
    Watership Down (Adams, Richard )
    Seagull (Bach, Richard - Jonathan L.)
    Out of Africa (Dinesen, Isak)
    Briar Rose (Yolen, Jane)
    The Joy Luck Club (Amy Tan)
    The Native Speaker(Lee, Chang-rae)
    Silver Stallion (Ahn, Jung-Hyo)
    A Time to Kill (Grisham, John)
    Death Be Not Proud (Gunther, John)
    The Mayor of Casterbridge (Hardy, Thomas)
    The Remains of the Day (Ishiguro, Kazuo )
    Picture Bride (Uchida, Yoshiko.)
    A Grief Observed (Jewis, C.S.)
    The Screwtape Letters (Lewis, C.S. )
    Poland (Michener, James)
    Red Azalia (Min, Anchee)
    No Exit (Satre, Jean Paul)
    Catch-22 (Heller, Joseph)
    Native Son (Wright, Richard)
    Schindler's List (Keneally, Thomas)

    The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

    The Last Mohicans (Cooper, James)
    My American Journey ( Powell, Colin)
    Life on the Mississippi (Twain, Mark)
    The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Twain, Mark)

    Walden (Henry David Thoreau)
    The Stranger (Camus, Albert)
    Crime and Punishment (Dostoyevsky, Fyodor)
    The Graph of Wrath (Steinback, John)
    The Good Earth (Buck, Pearl S. )
    The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway, Ernest)
    The Snows of Kilimanjaro (Hemingway, Ernest)
    Farewell to the Arms (Hemingway, Ernest)
    Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man(Joyce, James)

    Brave New World (Huxley, Aldous)
    The Scarlett Letter (Hawthorne)
    The 1001 Arabian Nights
    The Tempest (William Shakespeare)

    William Tell (F. von Schiller)
    Collected Stories (Faulkner, William )
    Collected Stories (Fitzgerald, F. Scott)
    Dickenson Anthology (Dickenson, Emily)
    Frost Anthology(Frost, Robert)
    The Prophet (Khalil Gibran)
    World Scripture: An Anthology (Andrew Wilson)
    The Hobbit (Tolkien, J.R.R.)
    Once and Future King (White, T.H.)
    20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Vern, Jules)
    2001: A Space Odyssey (Clarke, Arthur)
    Dune (Herbert, Frank)
    Farenheit 451 (Bradbury, Ray)
    Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West (Brown, Dee.)
    Clash of Civilizations (Huntington, Samuel)
    Voices from the Streets: Young Former Gang Members Tell Their Stories (Atkin, S. Beth.
    Joining the Tribe: Growing Up Gay and Lesbian in the "90"s (Due, Linnea)
    Hind Swaraj Indian HomeRule (Gandhi)
    How to Win Friends and Influence People (Carnegie)
    Red, White and Black: Early America (G.B. Nash)
    The Isis Papers: Keys to the Colors (Frances Cress Welsing)
    A Wrinkle in Time (L"Engle, Madeline)
    Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior (Jackson, Phil)
    Art Attack: A Short Cultural History of the Avant-Garde (Aronson, Marc)
    The Joy of Music (Bernstein, Leonard. )
    Surely You¡?re Joking Mr. Feynman ? Advantures of a Curious Character (Feynman, Richard)
    A Brief History of Time (Hawking, Stephen)
    The Elegant Universe (Greene, Brian)
    Fermat"s Enigma: The Epic Quest to Solve the World"s Greatest Mathematical Problem (Singh, Simon)
    The Structure of Science Revolution (Kunn, Thomas)
    The Republic (Plato)
    Socrates Cafe (Phillips)
    Sophie¡?s World (Gaarder, Jostein)
    Gods and Heroes: Myths and Epics of Ancient Greece (G.chwab)
    Favorite Folktales From Around the World (Yolen, Jane)
    The Mahabharata (Columbia Univ. Edition)
    Ramayana (Dharma translation)
    The Bhagavad-Gita As It is (A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada)
    The Art of Breathing (Nancy Zi)
    Tao Te Ching (Lao-Tzu, Richard Wilhelm)
    The Tao of Pooh (Hoff, Benjamin)
    The Teachings of Don Juan (Carlos Castenada)
    Siddhartha (Hesse)
    Shakyamuni Buddha (Nikkyo Niwano)
    The Story of My Life (Keller, Helen)
    I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Angelou, Maya )
    The Autobiography of Malcolm X (Haley)
    Long Walk to Freedom (Nelson Mandela)
    The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    The Autobiog. of Saint Therese of Lisieux (Beevers, John)
    The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass-Autobio
    The Long Hard Road Out of Hell (Manson, Marilyn)
    A Beautiful Mind (Naasar, Sylvia)

    I agree with Bigb14! Check out Xiggi's thread!!
    It's 50~some pages though, so if you want to save time and read just Xiggi's posts, I found this from an asian blog: The Kellonathan :: ìÑßæü»状àÊ - ÍöüÞªê :: ³×À̹ö ºí·Î±×
    Xiggi's posts have helped out everyone here on CC I think :]
  • pokemon3pokemon3 Registered User Posts: 88 Junior Member
    you're a freshman
    you should not be checking out xiggi or reading review books
    and you should most definitely NOT take a BB practice test
    if you start now, you will hit your high and burn out way too fast.
    start preparing next summer
  • CC'erCC'er - Posts: 234 Junior Member
    pokemon3 what the hell are you talking about.
    To thread starter: best not to take advice from Mr. Pikachu
    I started preping for SAT since 6th grade and i've over time improved from a 1100/1600 to a 2200/2400 as of current. I will retake my Senior year in sept.

    Prep early and you will not be disapointed.
  • grayfalcon89grayfalcon89 Registered User Posts: 490 Member
    I do think that starting at 6th grade is a bit overkill. I would recommend (to anyone) that the best way to prepare for standardized tests is to just read, read, read...
  • aluminum_boataluminum_boat Registered User Posts: 1,539 Senior Member
    I agree with pokemon3.
    Relax have a fun summer and do something you love.
    You need 3 months max to prepare for the SAT. More time should be spent doing hobbies than prepping sophomore year.
    If you want to tie it in college aps, spending a summer helping out at the zoo (if you like animals) or helping out at the hospital (if you want to go into medicine) or whatever will not only be more fun but also will make a better college application as well as essay. BUT you're doing these because you love to do them. NOT because you want to impress college entrance people.
    If you have to prepare for the SAT then read some stuff. Maybe get used to some of the tricks to the math problems.

    CC'er- You wasted 7 years of your life. 2200 isn't really that impressie, especially if you've studied for so long
  • KannestaKannesta Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    thank you so much people!
    i find those book list really helpful LOL
    imma start reading bit by bit, i have 3 year to read them all anyways :)
    im going to read more, i'll try my best at least LOL
    im gonna take your advice just have fun and do volunteer jobs this summer
    i think im going to get some volunteer job in the hospital, the zoo smells kinda funny to me
    3 months doesnt seem enough for me though
    i think im gonna start next year (:
    for now im just gonna read read and read
    and collect info. about college bit by bit
    thank you so much :D
  • pokemon3pokemon3 Registered User Posts: 88 Junior Member
    the only problem with prepping that early, in my opinion (of course i respect yours)
    is that you don't know whether your prep is improving your grade or that you improved naturally through living and school
    i'm sure that you know a lot more now than in 6th grade, so i don't think you should attribute your gains to prep
    for example, i got a 1790 in 8th grade and i've recently taken a practice test with no previous prep and got a range of 2070-2360
    of course, you might have a different experience, just saying.
This discussion has been closed.