Monday, February 25, 2013

Study Materials Review: SAT 2400 in Just 7 Steps (Take 2)

Do you think your life will not be complete unless you score a 2400 on the SAT?  Is your score currently 600 points short of that goal? Do you have over 100 hours to spend on this project?  Are you the type of student who likes to index and color-code his class notes?  This is the book for you.

The author, Shaan Patel, spent countless hours working to raise his score from a 1700 to a perfect 2400. In this book he shares the technique he used with the reader.

The book is methodical and I have no doubt that it could get results promised when used as directed. However, I will not be using it with my students because it does not share my general approach to the SAT.  The book describes a very methodical, time-consuming approach that builds competence gradually in small, steady increments.  Over (a LOT) of time, the test-taker’s score improves by a substantial margin.

As I pointed out in a previous post, you can get a lot done in over 100 hours.  Surely you can find a more meaningful project -and one more attractive to college admissions officers- than studying for the SAT. To give you some perspective, consider:  once your first college semester is under your belt, no one will care about your SAT score ever again.  By the time you are 25 or 30 you, yourself, may not remember what you scored. It occurs to me that Mr. Patel may have chosen to write this book so that his accomplishment would continue to mean something.  It would be depressing to spend that much time on a project only to have it be unnoticed and forgotten. A book and a test-prep course would be just the thing to make all that effort worthwhile.

The overall approach to preparing for the SAT is not unique to this book. The advice is to methodically take simulated SAT tests then pore over the questions missed and make notes on what to do better the next time.  To focus these efforts, the book lists a total of 60 strategies.  There are problems available to practice these strategies along with 500 vocabulary words to memorize. Five of the strategies are for memorizing the vocabulary words.  None of the strategies were particularly creative or groundbreaking.

While the strategies and advice may not be original, I will say that this book is unique among the ones I have seen in the 2400 market.  Gruber’s 2400 and Barron’s 2400 both seem to have trouble deciding if they are stand-alone books or supplements to the general SAT books published by those same companies. SAT 2400 in Just 7 Steps is intended to be used with the Official College Board SAT book, but it will take you from knowing nothing about the SAT to acing the test.

If you decide to use this study guide, you can order it from Amazon through this link:

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