Test Preparation

Standardized Test Preparation: SAT, PSAT, ACT

This section of the site contains resources to help students prepare for standardized tests. For the present, I will focus on materials I’ve developed for the SAT and links to other helpful SAT resources. Many of these materials will also help you prepare for the ACT, and they are also relevant to more general goals like improving your understanding of grammar or your essay writing skills. Refer to the drop-down menu at the top for help on specific English-related parts of the SAT. (“SAT Grammar” covers the multiple-choice Writing sections of the SAT.)

SAT Strategies: This handout includes general SAT advice and strategies, as well as tips specific to the multiple-choice parts of the Writing and Critical Reading sections. When I help my students prepare for the SAT, I refer to this handout as we go over specific examples and practice problems so they can see how to apply these strategies. (For essay-related materials, see the SAT Essay page.)
My Low-Cost SAT Classes

I usually work with my students as a private tutor in one-on-one classes. However, I’ve been revising the materials I use to help my students prepare for the SAT and organizing them into a complete curriculum in preparation for larger classes. Some of those materials I’ve already put up on this website (see the Vocabulary and Grammar sections), and some I’m still revising; others are copyrighted College Board materials that I can’t freely distribute but that my students can find or purchase for themselves at little cost. (See the list of books and resources below.) In the near future I plan to begin teaching SAT classes that will be small enough to allow me to provide those students with a lot of individual attention but will also allow me to fit more students into my demanding schedule. This will give me a chance to give direct help to students whose families are less economically privileged, as I plan to seek out such students and charge lower rates than test-prep schools usually charge. Any such students who are interested in taking these SAT classes can reach me by e-mail at brantley[at]camillasenglishpage[dot]org. See this website’s mission statement for more information about the impetus for these classes.

In my opinion, it’s always best to practice with actual SAT test questions as much as possible; no study materials I’ve seen from test prep companies consistently match the quality of the real SAT materials published by the College Board itself. Therefore, I recommend the resources and books below, all of which come from the College Board or from the writers of the ACT.

The Official SAT Study Guide (1st Edition)
The second edition of the Official SAT Study Guide reprints most of the same material from the first edition, but three of the tests are now tests that were officially administered to students in 2006 and 2007, so the quality of the questions has improved.
The Official Study Guide to the SAT Subject Tests is also a flawed but still essential resource if you’re taking the subject tests. It is flawed in that it only contains one practice test for each of the subject tests, so it won’t give you a lot of practice on any particular test. However, these are the only full-length actual tests made public by the College Board that are still in print, so they will give you the best idea of what to expect. Further, by giving you a sample of every subject test, it will help you decide which ones will be most advantageous for you to take.
If you can find a copy of the College Board’s out-of-print book Real SAT IIs: Subject Tests (2nd Edition), it will provide further high-quality practice for the subject tests. However, in some ways this book is out of date, so be sure to compare the tests in it to the tests in the new guide above.
The Real ACT Prep Guide

This section is still under construction—more test-preparation links and materials coming soon.