Pre-publication copies of the “The Critical Reader, 2nd Edition” are now available on CreateSpace

This new edition of The Critical Reader is tailored to the redesigned SAT. Like the previous version, this edition balances critical aspects of comprehension with SAT-specific strategies. While a significant amount of information from the first edition has been left intact, this edition also features extensive discussions of supporting evidence and infographic questions, along with numerous full-length passages that reflect the new test’s heavier focus on science and social science. As in the previous edition, passages are taken from contemporary sources (with the exception of those from historical documents) and are...
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Because, since, and commas

So after months of living under a rock in a desperate attempt to finish my revised SAT books in time for the summer stampede, I’m finally taking a few tentative steps into the sunlight. Several of you have written to me lamenting my lack of acerbic commentary on the June SAT scoring scandal, the new SAT, and other educational embarrassments, and I promise you that I am well aware of that shortcoming. Rest assured that I do in fact have many, many things to say; I’ve merely had to devote...
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“The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar,” 3rd Ed. is now available on Amazon

For those of you planning to take the new SAT, The Ultimate Guide to SAT Grammar, 3rd Edition, is now available on Amazon. The book covers all of the grammar and rhetoric concepts tested on the new exam, and includes an index of Official Guide/Khan Academy questions grouped both by category and by test. Click here  to purchase. The Critical Reader, 2nd Edition, should be available through CreateSpace within the next week and on Amazon by early-mid August.

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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