Which book should I study first?

<p>Ive got alot of prep books (specifically big blue, Princeton review, grubers, rocket review, and barrons 2400). I am taking the SAT in May and in October. I will most likely end up reading/studying all of them over the summer, but I don't have enough time to go through all of them in the next 2 months (before May.)</p>

<p>So which book should I start with? </p>

<p>and</p>

<p>How many practice tests should I aim to take before May? I don't want to use them all, because I want to be taking some over the summer. I have 8 in the blue book</p>

<p>Ok, take a deep breath. . . . What I'm about to tell you isn't easy to hear. . . . If you read four prep books cover to cover you will not only have wasted your time, but royally "consummated" yourself out of scoring well.</p>

<p>Prep books primarily teach you strategies that allow you to maximize your knowledge. They have little refreshers on concepts, but these concepts A) are going to be described in relatively the same way regardless of the book, and B) are not enough to allow you to score well. You need to actually increase your reasoning skills in the English and Mathish languages. </p>

<p>Prep books want to be thick. I was able to sum up RR's passage advice in a page and a half of bullet notes, a passage which is ~100 pages long. Reading four of these will not benefit you. Get what you can from them, quickly, and then actually start reading, learning vocab, thinking about the English and Mathish languages.</p>

<p>any suggestions?</p>

<p>i'm gonna need all the help i can get</p>

<p>PR's strategies are good...you might want to start with that.
Do CB at the end for practice.</p>

<p>I would recommend that you do the CB, Quickly skim through Gruber's and Rocket Review... and then at the end do Rocket Review's test.</p>

<p>Grubers for math, its great</p>

<p>I have Grubers, and have looked through it, but does it focus more as much on strategy as it does on concepts?</p>

<p>Stresst, you need to relax. Take a few deep breaths. Go outside for some fresh air.</p>

<p>The very first thing to do is to visualize your goal. Your goal might be a perfect score, and it might not. A 2400 might be everyone's dream, but that's not realistic for everyone. You should start off by developing a reasonable goal for yourself and then take the steps necessary to achieve your goal. It's really not that difficult. </p>

<p>This is why I tell everyone who asks how to plan their study time (They ask, "How many hours a week? How much vocab a day? What books, magazines to read?" Those on CollegeConfidential get these questions quite often) to first take a practice test from The Official SAT Study Guide. Once you see your scores, set a reasonable goal. For May it may be difficult to get to a much higher score, but you have a while for October. For me, a reasonable goal was to get 100 points higher on each section once I started to study. For some it might be higher, for others it might be lower. The point is that you should set a reasonable and achievable goal and then go on to achieve that goal.</p>

<p>The next step is to go over EVERY question on the practice test to know EXACTLY what you did right and what you did wrong. The idea is this: Why make the same mistake over and over? Once you make a mistake, why would you want to do it again? You should look at your mistakes and take actions so that you don't make the same mistakes. That's really how you improve.</p>

<p>So, take a practice test, analyze every question, and then set a goal. The next step is to list out the ways to improve your score.</p>

<p>Blue book-- This is good for general reading and writing advice, but I don't think it's very sufficient. But it's great for practice tests. I hate the fact that they don't give explanations for answers, so you don't know what you might have done wrong and if there were any typos. </p>

<p>Princeton Review-- This is good for general test-taking strategies, but it tries to get you to take a bunch of shortcuts, which I don't like. Whether you like it or not, it's necessary to be able to read a newspaper, write a rough draft of an essay, and do simple math problems in order to get a higher score. I would probably read this first.</p>

<p>Grubers-- (Honestly, what good will all these test prep books do for you?) This is good for math and writing in general, but not for critical reading. But it does have a great vocab list. You should use this vocab list, but unfortunately they don't give examples of sentences using the vocab words, or at least not the edition that I checked out from the library (I never really bought any test prep books; I got them all at the library.).</p>

<p>RocketReview--okay, I don't know about the math section, because by the time I got to RocketReview, which I looked at just a week or two before the actual test, I was solid on math and didn't bother to look at it. The critical reading is good, and the writing section is great, although I disapprove of the idea of basically planning the entire essay in advance and squeezing the examples to fit the prompt--often it doesn't turn out well. Still, it was interesting the way they talked about the SAT essay.</p>

<p>Barrons2400--I don't know; I never looked at this book. </p>

<p>But you shouldn't just read the books from beginning to end; it won't help much. Test prep books are meant to be GUIDES, not books that will guarantee you the score you want. And in fact, I don't think that any amount of test PREP books are enough--they're simply there to give you help, but not guarantee you a certain score.</p>

<p>You should go over the books in the order that suits your goals. If you're very weak on math, go for Gruber's. By the way, you don't have to read the books from beginning to end. You could just read the Gruber's math section and skip the rest.</p>

<p>And, as always, I STRONGLY recommend that you improve reading score by actually reading stuff you're interested about. The purpose is just to make reading magazines and newspapers second-nature, not that reading x number of articles a day will improve your score by y points. I STRONGLY recommend that rather than just learn a bunch of shortcuts/formulas that might work in some cases and not in others, you actually LEARN the math. I STRONGLY recommend that for writing you actually learn the grammar (grammar books are better than test prep books) and you learn how to structure an essay and come up with a solid argument properly (and boy, do I have advice on that! You can probably find all my essay writing advice on the SAT threads around March 1.)</p>

<p>The order you read the books should suit your goals. First find a reasonable goal for yourself, then go about achieving it. It's not a matter of reading a lot of books from beginning to end.</p>

<p>As for how many practice tests to take before May, well, you'll take one as a diagnostic test to see what you know/don't know now, then probably half-way in April sometime you'll take another one to measure progress, and then one soon before the May 1 test, so that's 3.</p>

<p>thats basically the best reply I've even seen, thanks</p>

<p>I think what you do is get PR and Bluebook, first look at PR, memorize all their strategies, take their practice tests, and like others have said, figure out why you missed each type of question. Then go back and re-memorize all of PR strategies, and apply them to bluebook tests. You can substitute barrons for PR i think. I am a fan of doing a lot of practice tests, so the SAT seems natural. Especially if you tend to psych yourself out on SAT day.</p>