Most non- College Board test prep material is downright bad, as in, beyond “not helpful,” veering into the “detrimental” zone.
Think of it like this: If you’re training for a tennis match, you don’t train on a squash court!
Not all unofficial material is “bad.” In fact, some of it is excellent. The problem is in deciphering the good from the bad, which is not a job for the layperson who is studying for the SAT crushed by the millions of options.
“Best SAT Test Prep” = 2,980,000 results on Google.
So how do you know? Don’t assume “hard” necessarily equates to “good.”
5 Signs of “good” SAT test prep:
- Refers back to the The Official SAT Study Guide (aka the Blue Book). Helps student interpret the Blue Book.
- Written by an SAT expert. (Don’t assume PhD signals “SAT mastery.” Maybe,but maybe not.)
- Recommends official material for diagnostic SAT, and full official practice tests as part of test preparation.
- Has a goal-setting strategy: For sections that are in “order of difficulty” you should strive for a mastery of questions inside a goal zone before attempting harder questions. Put simply: you should leave hard questions blank if you haven’t mastered the easy ones.
- Addresses issue of fundamental skills and test strategy. Exception: test prep aimed solely at high achievers.