Monday, January 14, 2013

Study Materials Review: Barrons SAT II Math Level 2

The SAT II Math Level 2 subject test is fairly challenging. You don't want to go into it cold. A good practice book is a must. This particular book is 330 pages. It includes a diagnostic test, a series of review sections broken down by topic with practice problems after each section, 6 practice tests (with two more on CD-ROM), solutions with the answers explained, and a formulas list.

When you are perusing the shelves of your local bookstore, you won't find as many choices for the Math 2 subject test as you will for the SAT I. Barron's is one of the options. The review topics were well-chosen and well-explained. The exercises were useful and there are plenty of practice tests. However, I have two significant criticisms of this book:

1.  There seem to be an unusual number of errors in it. I'm not talking about content errors, necessarily, but there seems to be a number of typographical errors in the answer choices (sometimes one answer is listed twice, but the correct answer isn't listed at all) and in the solutions (sometimes the answer is listed as one letter, but the explanation includes the correct answer which was listed in the choices under another letter.)

2.  While the practice questions are good for, well, practicing, the practice tests were not put together well. In a given test, two concepts might be tested over and over, while other concepts are ignored. Furthermore, the tests contain a higher percentage of the more difficult or more time consuming problems. The tests are much more difficult to finish during the allotted time than practice tests in other books.

I'm not sure I would go so far as to tell you not to buy this book, but I would caution you against using this as your only study book. If you only want to buy one book, consider a different one. I haven't decided on a favorite, yet, but if I do I'll let you know.

Update:  See this post on why I've decided to take the SAT II Math Level 2 exam.
Update 2:  I've decided on a current favorite:  Dr. John Chung's SAT II Math Level 2 which is reviewed here.

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