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on November 18, 2017
I recall my own SAT/ACT preparations some 33+ years ago - totally different test, but the rigors of the test and its importance, then and now are the same. Given that my eldest is taking the SAT in a few months, he and his school's efforts weren't particularly exemplary, but not atypical. After spending more than 12 hrs researching SAT test preparation resources , including "free" & paid, online, book, instructor-led, and College Board & Kaplan resources, a LOT of "fluff" exists. Where there's substance, several "gold nuggets" of test taking skills, SAT test day prep, aptitude/skills development, etc. are just that - a few nuggets here and there. Scattered. All of which are useful, but as many a wise yarn used to say "Time is Money, and Money is Time". It will take time to sift thru all those Google searches.

The author's entire compendium of guidance is not exactly new. I dare say that 80% of it can be found elsewhere BUT without a doubt you (and/or your kid) will spend 10 times more time searching for this 80% than it will take to read just the first half of this book. In the end, you will realize that it is pretty much ALL here, in ONE place, and in my opinion rather precisely organized.

I also strongly advise that one completely ignore the 2-Star "Captain Obvious" review. This reviewer hasn't compared his/her time already spent finding & uncovering resources versus actually reading this book. (Try GOOGLING every permutation of SAT test tips, and so on. Lots of repeated & copied web content, junk and even more advertisements.)

$9.99 for a book that saves hours uncovering this "80%". HOW MUCH IS YOUR TIME WORTH? My time is worth quite a bit, and I believe my child's time is also. (FYI - a High School Junior in the Top 2.5% of his graduating class doesn't have a lot of time.) So guess what? The author's time management guidance is truly valuable - but let's be clear…it’s not what many of you are thinking. For instance, the author makes it very clear that planning your {Time For Rest & Sleep} before the test is just as important as your {Time Taking The Test}. He doesn’t just state this in a few paragraphs, but quantifies the # of hours of sleep, for a specific # of days, repeatedly in the book. I've never encountered guidance like that. Staying completely disconnected from online sources, smartphones, tablets, etc. further emphasizes use of time like any other test prep resource, but the author again quantifies what is required. Of course, individual behaviors & genetics differ, but I see no reason to disagree with these requirements.

Another great tidbit that many will find both "Captain Obvious" on the one hand and/or "Duh, why didn't I think of that?" on the other hand, is the emphasis on taking instructions to memory for all of the test sections. Why should you spend valuable time reading the same instructions DURING the actual test? Read it when taking the practice test! Take it to memory! Done! Few SAT test prep resources empahsize this point alone. Other tidbits regards marking the test booklet and answer sheet. Again, few test prep guide make the obvious not only so obvious, but also…so dumbfoundedly clear!

The author's emphasis on the importance - rather, the absolute significance of the Essay portion was spot on. The essay was required in my time 33+ years ago. The only guidance one finds online, on the College Board website, is to check which colleges require it. From the get-go, Mr. Halberstadt makes it clear why 1600 is the goal (and for him 1550). The colleges that demand these high scores will demand the Essay. Again, the author is concise and precise with the Essay test taking guidance.

I will say that if your child does not care for the likes of Stanford, or UC-Berkeley, or similar caliber universities (or an education for that matter), please don’t bother with this book. Your $9.99 is better spent elsewhere, [like on your own retirement b/c your kid certainly won't help with that]. I am with the author – if your child truly wants it, they have to possess a "single-minded doggedly purpose-built attitude" about it. Not only does your child have to want it, but [you and] your child have to fully acknowledge the singular importance of the SAT.

The 20% of this book is worth many times its weight in Gold. The young author manages to summarize in 10 pages or so what other SAT resources consumes dozens of pages. Key critical concepts, to the point. Again, concise and precise..

Mr. Halberstadt stated that he got 1320 on his first real attempt, indicating that this wasn't good enough to attend the same university that his older brother was admitted to - Stanford University (Engineering). His goal was 1550. He got 1560. My child's first real attempt at any SAT was the online Khan Academy Practice Test, in which he scored 1290. After reading this book, the next attempt was the College Board Practice Test #1, in which he scored 1449. (FYI - I'm an engineer. I know a degree of variability exists in practice test results, but admittedly there is no way for me to quantify that.) Seven College Board practice tests to go and the discipline to fully leverage Nathan Halberstadt's book - I am willing to bet my son might not be far behind the author himself. (FYI - Nathan Halberstadt admitted he had only a several weeks to prep for his final SAT. My son has 5 months.)

Lastly, I just want to mention one more fact – the one that “nailed the coffin” as to why I bought Mr. Halberstadt’s book. A prominent SAT Instructor (whom I won’t name), who delivers both online and in-person instructor led training, guarantees a 250 point increase to students who successfully complete his PAID classes, a minimum of xx hours/week, for xx weeks. After some investigation, this costs at least $3,500, about 8-10 weeks, 2-3 times/week. His credentials are very credible in my opinion because this instructor not only continues to take the actual SAT today, but still scores a perfect 1600 (well, so he claims). This instructor’s website also has many great tips (many “golden nuggets” in fact). (But Nathan Halberstadt’s book still has more guidance.) My main takeaway from this prominent instructor was the crucial significance given to taking the actual College Board Practice Tests, ALL 8 OF THEM. Notably Nathan Halberstadt makes the same requirements, and even though Nathan espouses similar strategies in his book, Nathan goes a bit further in the book (which I am sure if I paid $3,500, the prominent instructor would also provided similar guidance). That was it, the nail in the coffin for me.

(FYI – you should also buy the 2018 edition of The Official SAT Study Guide, 2018 Edition (Official Study Guide for the New Sat)published by the College Board when buying Nathan Halberstadt’s book. Sure it’s available for free download from the College Board website…but are you going to actually print out each page? Remember, Mr. Halberstadt said to take the practice test EXACTLY like how the real SAT is administered. On a paper test booklet. With a paper answer sheet. With pencil. Try printing 60-80 pages double-sided for each of the 8 practice tests…NOT WORTH MY TIME (WHAT DID WE SAY ABOUT TIME?) ...NOT when the Official SAT Study Guide is only $20.15 (w/{Prime Membership), or about $0.015625 per page! This is the ONLY OTHER SAT Prep book your child will need.
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on October 28, 2017
Refreshing! I used many of these techniques myself when I took the SAT back in 2013 and am pleased to see them written down in a concise and affordable format--not to mention that they are tailored for the times with the new SAT format.

Oh, and by the way, I am a senior at Stanford University who took the SAT only once. Prepare well with this book and you will most likely not need to double-dip.
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on April 22, 2018
This was the BEST SAT guide I have read! It was CONCISE, yet gave all the important tips on how to increase your SAT score. Unlike many other SAT books and guides, I was able to read this in a day. While I have read many SAT strategies' books, I have never found such useful and simple strategies that work for just about anyone in any other book. Just from reading the book once and going to practice these strategies for the first time, I was not only able to finish the SAT reading section on time but I was able to get a lot more questions right on the SAT reading section. There were also some amazing last minute tips for the writing section. The explanation on how to write an SAT essay was very informational and helpful for someone who either does not know the format or for someone who just needs help improving their essay. Unlike many other SAT books that just explain concepts, this book motivates one to study for the SAT!! If you're someone that wants to increase your SAT score QUICKLY, you should buy this book ASAP!
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on September 7, 2017
this is one of the most precise, accurate sat guide that I have ever read. if students follow this strategies faithfully they will definitely mak a major improvement in their final score.
marshall Erickson bs, ms + 32 hours in music, English and ed administration-jolietillinois twp h.s.
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on December 10, 2017
Helpful intro to taking SAT. Saves me hours of googling, which I appreciate. Will see how we do on the actual test.
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on September 26, 2017
This small volume is packed with excellent test-taking tips and strategies specific to the new SAT--and the suggested schedules give students a concrete path to success. Worth every penny!
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on November 5, 2017
This book gave me multiple tips that I had not heard before and will definitely be useful for the SAT!
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on June 9, 2018
This book is full of very helpful tips for a thorough approach to the new SAT written by someone who has recently been through
the preparation process and taken the SAT himself. He breaks the information down into a manageable system and takes the
intimidation out of it. Highly recommend this book. It should be the first book you read.
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on July 20, 2018
Even though I haven’t taken the sat yet this book was so helpful with how to study and what to study and what you could possibly buy to help you study and what to avoid
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on April 14, 2018
Short , sweet and to the point with actionable guidance based on the author's personal experience. Author also replied to my email requesting additional guidance. Nice personal touch!
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