3 Best SAT / ACT Prep Resources


From The Princess Bride:

Vizzini: I can't compete with you physically, and you're no match for my brains.

Westley: You're that smart?

Vizzini: Let me put it this way. Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?

Westley: Yes.

Vizzini: Morons.


Ok, this might be a slightly awkward analogy, but bear with me if you have a kid who needs to study for the SAT or ACT.

The companies you're going to find on the first page of Google or Amazon are the morons of the test prep world - companies like Kaplan and The Princeton Review. They have brand recognition as well as millions of dollars with which to market and improve their SEO.

Their materials, unfortunately, are crap. Poorly-written, unrealistic practice questions and tests; mediocre advice that doesn't translate to complicated questions on the real SAT and ACT.

Good news: over the past 12 years, I've discovered SAT and ACT prep resources that are much better. Here are my top three:


SAT and ACT Verbal Sections (includes ACT English, SAT Writing and Language, and Reading for both tests):

Erica Meltzer (link to her website)

What can I say about Erica? She's in my opinion the smartest person creating SAT and ACT prep materials. Not only are her materials comprehensive and robust, but they're written in a way students can follow.

She has books that cover the grammar and reading sections for both the SAT and the ACT. These books are the gold standard for these sections, and the highest compliment I think I can give is that we've used them in our tutoring and class sessions for several years.


SAT and ACT Math Sections

Mathchops (link to website)

Mike McGibbon, an NYC tutor, created Mathchops with the help of two former Google software engineers, and it's the best way to learn SAT and ACT math that we've yet found.

Mathchops, for our students, has been more effective than books because it's an easy-to-use app! You (or your tutor) can track your kid's progress and see exactly what they've accomplished, when they did the homework (or if they did...), and what concepts they've mastered vs. what they're struggling with.


ACT Science

The Master Key to ACT Science (link to Amazon listing)


Simply put, this book is the most comprehensive guide to understanding ACT Science. Students will learn how to play the game to get questions right efficiently without wasting time wading through unnecessary wording in the passages. Serious students will love this book. Not for the fainthearted.


Bonus: Links to Official SAT and ACT Tests


I almost forgot: it's VITAL to practice with official SAT and ACT material. It's an essential complement to the above resources.


Link to the 8 official SAT tests on The College Board's Website.

Links to 25 official ACT tests.



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