Monday, December 10, 2012

Hack the SAT

Study Materials Review:

Hack the SAT:  A Private SAT Tutor Spills the Secret Strategies and Sneaky Shortcuts That Can Raise Your Score Hundreds of Points
by Eliot Schrefer      

After graduating from Harvard, the author worked as a private SAT coach in Manhattan. This book is a collection of the tips and strategies he passed on to his students. It is a quick read: entertaining and easy to understand. Information is presented with a touch of irreverent humor that makes it easy to remember. Mr. Schrefer intersperses the book with stories about his coaching experiences. There are one or two pieces of advice in this book that I have not seen other places and that I have found useful and passed on to my students. Furthermore, compared to other thicker study guides, completing this one feels very do-able.

The brevity of the guide is both a strength and a weakness. There aren’t many practice problems, so this book works best as a companion to a guide with multiple practice tests. My only other reservation is that the practice math problems are not necessarily representative of the math on the SAT.* They work well as a means of practicing the author’s techniques, but not particularly well for practicing for the test.

* The practice problems in this book involve too much tedious algebra. On the actual SAT if you find yourself doing a lot of tedious algebra you probably missed something.

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