Best SAT Study Books

Taking the SATs? Get up to speed with this list of study guides and accessories.

PWN the SAT Math Guide – Mike McClenathan

The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar – Erica Meltzer

Direct Hits Core Vocabulary of the SAT

Direct Hits Toughest Vocabulary of the SAT

McGraw Hill’s SAT

Barron’s SAT

Barron’s SAT Flash Cards

Barron’s Pass Key to the SAT

PWN the SAT Math Guide

The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar

Direct Hits Core Vocabulary of the SAT

Direct Hits Toughest Vocabulary of the SAT

McGraw Hill’s SAT with CD-ROM

Barron’s SAT with CD

Barron’s SAT Flash Cards

Barron’s Pass Key to the SAT


Thinking of Lounging On A Beach Chair This Summer?

Summer is fast approaching. What are you planning to do? Dreams of the beach come to mind? Instead, consider filling your summer with an activity that will make a difference on your college application. How do you go about picking the right activity? First, consider your interests and look for an experience that will highlight them. If you are a “mad” scientist, you might want to look into an internship in a research lab. If you live and breathe dancing, investigate an opportunity to refine these skills and take them to a new level- perhaps a camp or program. You don’t have to go to a “fancy” program at Yale or Dartmouth to have an experience that will resonate with admissions officers. Focus on what you really want to study and look for a program that will improve your skills, pique your interests, and is academically challenging. There are summer programs for high school students at almost every college and school. You might want to get a job this summer – even a menial job is an experience where you will gain skills, keep a schedule, answer to a boss, test your interpersonal skills, and meet obstacles and overcome them. Volunteering is another option. This can include helping an elderly person in your community. Take notes on your experience – it will make a great college application essay!

Do You Need To Take SAT Subject Tests?

Let’s review some important information about the SAT subject tests. Be sure to check out the requirements at colleges you apply to – not all schools, even selective ones, require these tests. There are four categories of SAT Subject Tests:

  • Math: You can take Math Level 1 or 2. For Level 1, students need 2 years of algebra and 1 year of geometry; for Level 2, students also need pre-calculus or trigonometry.
  • Science: The three science tests available – biology, chemistry, and physics. The Ecological Biology Subject Test covers the environment, biological communities, population, and energy. The focus of Molecular Biology Subject Test is biochemistry and cellular processes and structures. Students who are interested in physical science or engineering majors should take chemistry and physics subject tests.
  • Humanities/Social Sciences: The English SAT Subject Test is on the critical reading of literary works from various periods. Students interpret reading passages to demonstrate their ability to understand literary concepts and themes. The U.S. History exam focuses on major developments in the history of the United States, and the World History test covers global history from ancient to modern times.
  • Languages: French, Spanish, and German tests are offered as stand-alone tests and are intended for students with 3-4 years of high school language. Other tests, written for students with 2+ years of language, include: Latin, Modern Hebrew, Italian, and Chinese.

SAT Subject Tests are 1-hour, multiple-choice exams. You are able to take up to three exams per test date. The next SAT Subject Test dates include May 5 and June 2. Register about one month in advance. All exams will be offered on these test dates. If students do not take them in May or June, the next time to do so will be in October.

If needed, take SAT Subject Tests in your junior year or at the beginning of senior year.



Which College Should You Choose?

The acceptance letters will be coming. Now, you are faced with the “big” decision. You are going to spend 4 years at a college or university – you don’t want to make a mistake. How do you choose the right school for you?

  • Think honestly about your options. Did you put a school on your list only because your parents or guidance counselors wanted you to apply? If you have no intention of attending a certain school, eliminate it.
  • Can you picture yourself there? Can you see yourself living there, going to class, and making friends at the school?
  • Be realistic. With economic realities, consider the cost of tuition, traveling expenses, etc.
  • Visit the school again. You might want to visit the school one more time. Perhaps, you can arrange to stay over on campus – which will give you another view of the school.
  • Make a list of the pros and cons. What do you like about the school; what are the negatives?

Don’t wait until the last minute. You have to decide about dorms, etc. At some point, you just have to commit to a certain school.

International Students: What You Need To Know

If you’re an international student, you face several steps to going to college in the United States. There a few things you’ll need to consider when planning to study in a college in the United States.


Most international students take the SAT and the TOEFL, if English is not your first language. You can register for both online and sign up to take the tests in an overseas test center near your home.


Unlike some other countries, a college education in the United States isn’t financed by the government—you’ll have to pay for it on your own. The amount varies, but most U. S. private colleges charge about $15,000 to $40,000 per year for a four-year degree program. Most financial aid in the States is only for citizens, including federal financial aid.

The school you apply to may have a few scholarships available for international students. This is always the best place to start. In addition, you may be able to get funding for school from your local government or other private organizations in your country.

You will also need a student visa and health insurance you can purchase through your school.

Here is an important article for international students – steps to complete in March:


Want A Summer Job that Makes a Difference?

Students: Think seriously about getting a summer job/internships that “does good”. There are many opportunities in your community to roll up your sleeves and tackle environmental problems, help underprivileged children, clean up your city, etc. These types of experiences provide great opportunities on which to base your college application essay. However, it’s important that you start looking for a job right now, since there will be a lot of competition for these jobs. For example, in Canada, “the unemployment rate for full-time students ages 17 to 19 grew from 13.2% in August 2008 to 16.5% in August 2009 before a slight drop to 15.8% in August 2011 ( Here are some job resources – good luck:

Boston, MA:
Ontario, Canada:
San Francisco:

How To Be Competitive for Scholarships

Are you invited by a college or university for an on-campus competition for a scholarship? Are you wondering how you can win a scholarship? Here are some tips to help your chances of winning:
1. Have confidence in yourself: You have the credentials or you wouldn’t be in the competition. Strut your stuff!
2. Do your research: Find out what the school focuses on and match your interests to theirs.
3. Dress in “business” clothes: No inappropriate clothing, such as T-shirts, short skirts, or ragged jeans.
4. Be yourself: Talk about yourself and your values. Know why you want to go to the school and how you can make a difference.
5. Prepare a strong summary statement: Thank them for the opportunity and write a hand-written, thank-you note.

Good luck!