Pre-publication copies of “The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar,” 3rd Ed., are now available through CreateSpace

For those of you who are just so eager to get started studying for the new PSAT Writing section that you can’t wait another few weeks, I am offering pre-publication copies of the new edition of The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar through CreateSpace, for the reduced price of $19.95 (nearly 40% percent off the Amazon list price). To purchase, go to

Update 6/13: release of new SAT books

For those of you who absolutely can’t wait a few more weeks to get started studying for the new exam, I am planning to make (unproofed pre-publication copies of The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar, 3rd Ed. available for purchase through CreateSpace sometime this week for a reduced price of $19.95. If you’d prefer to wait a few weeks for the final, proofed version, I’m hoping to make it available on Amazon in early July. The book provides a comprehensive overview of all of the grammar and...
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Remember to go back to the introduction on ACT Reading

I recently noticed that a couple of my students were kept missing ACT reading comp questions that should have been very straightforward. Their reading was strong enough that they shouldn’t have been getting those questions wrong, and at first I wasn’t sure why they were having trouble. Upon closer inspection, however, I realized that the questions giving them trouble consistently had answers located in the introduction. What I suspect was happening was this: they saw a question without a line reference, and if they didn’t remember...
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Don’t forget to flip back a page on ACT English

I think we can probably all agree here that whatever the strengths of the ACT English section may be, formatting is most definitely not one of them. When there are five or six spaces — or even half a page — between lines, it’s almost impossible not to sometimes lose track of where paragraphs begin and end. Since I started tutoring the ACT in 2008, I’ve spent who knows how much time explaining just where the sentence is supposed to be inserted, or which paragraph a little numbered box is actually...
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Do a few questions before you get to the test

For those of you taking the SAT tomorrow (and scouring the Internet for a few last-minute tips), here’s a small one that could actually have a significant effect on your score. To introduce it, a personal anecdote (notice how many time the word I appears in the following sentences). About five years ago, I was going over a student’s QAS score sheet from her first real SAT. She was a good student and strong test taker, and in fact she’d scored a 2200. It was pretty much in line with...
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Update 6/3: release of books for the new SAT

For those of you who just can’t wait to get a jump on studying for the redesigned (P)SAT, I have both good news and bad news. The bad news is that I am not planning to release beta versions of my grammar and reading books after all. Unfortunately, given the paucity of material released by the College Board, there was no way for me to ensure that any materials released this spring would be accurate — and I certainly don’t want to be responsible for misleading anyone. The good news is that...
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It’ s not you — it’s the test (or: if you don’t understand it, it probably doesn’t make sense)

Much as I’ve tried to cut back on tutoring to work on my seemingly endless SAT book revisions, I somehow haven’t been able to escape entirely. In fact, I somehow ended up with no fewer than five (!) students taking the ACT this Saturday. It’s therefore entirely unsurprising that I’ve had the same set of conversations repeatedly over the last couple of weeks. (It’s also entirely unsurprising that I can no longer remember which conversation I’ve had with whom and am therefore reduced to constantly asking the...
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Release of materials for the new SAT

Over the last few weeks, I’ve started to get inquiries about when I’ll be releasing my new books for the redesigned (P)SAT. Most likely, the final versions will not be ready until sometime this summer; however, I will do my best to make beta versions available in the late spring, probably May. The books that will be revised are as follows: The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar  The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar Workbook, most likely with eight complete Writing tests    The Critical Reader Unfortunately, the College...
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