When Amy and I were engaged we read a number of marriage books in order to get prepared for married life. After a while, they all started sounding the same, except for two which we kept. SAT prep books are in a similar category…most will cover the same things, but this one stands out distinct from the rest. Not necessarily better, but definitely different and for that reason it might be best to use this book with a standard SAT prep book.
The author believes that critical thinking and reading skills are the single most important determinant for the success of the SAT I. As a result, he downplays memorizing Greek and Latin roots and although he recommends taking old SAT tests, he doesn’t provide any in his book. Instead, the main part of his book is 150 lessons/devotionals. Unlike some test preparation books, this one is not designed for use during a “summer cram.”
The lessons are part devotional, part SAT prep. No one lesson goes into any great depth (usually 1-2 pages long), but cumulatively they can go a long way towards preparing a student for the test both intellectually and spiritually.
Instead of cramming for the test the author wishes to gradually introduce critical concepts, critical thinking, and great books throughout a three year process. Homeschooling parents will no doubt find the annotated reading list helpful. Although it would certainly be difficult to read through all the books Stobaugh recommends.
The last major section includes 50 sample essays and some pointers on how to do essay writing.
My oldest will be entering 7th grade soon so the matter of SAT/ACT preparation is a personal one. After looking through Stobaugh’s book I am inclined to think that I’ll use it as it was intended…as part of a three year long process of preparation. But I also think that I’ll pick up a standard SAT prep book as well for the final stretch.
*I received this book from Master Books free of charge with the sole obligation being this review, the content of which is entirely my own.