From the leading voice in SAT test prep, inside strategies for top-scoring students. If you're a top student aiming to achieve the perfect SAT score, here are the inside tips and powerful strategies you'll need to beat the toughest questions and get into the best college!
For more than thirty years, Dr. Gary Gruber has been the leading authority on testing and test preparation - his Gruber Method has helped thousands of students develop critical thinking skills, dramatically boosting their scores on standardized tests. Gruber's SAT 2400 is focused specifically on the strategies you'll need to breeze through the hardest questions on all three sections of the SAT, get your best score, and set you apart from the competition.
Focusing on strategies for handling the toughest questions, Gruber's SAT 2400 tackles all three sections of the SAT, setting students apart from the competition to get them into great colleges and earn scholarships.
Essential sections include:
- The hardest SAT questions and top strategic solutions to answer questions quickly
- Vocabulary building
- Math prep, shortcuts and strategies
- Identifying writing errors and improving sentences
To achieve a perfect score - a 2400 - on the SAT, you have to understand what skill each question is testing: You have to know how to think about what type of question it is and the easiest, most efficient way to reach the answer. Dr. Gary Gruber's exclusive strategies will teach you how to do exactly that as well as give you unique methods for handling the toughest questions.
Advanced Strategies for the Perfect Score:
- 20 Math Strategies That Will Help You Solve Every Problem Quickly
- The 291 Vocabulary Words You Must Know
- 5 Things You Can Do to Write a Top-Scoring Essay
- The Hardest Actual SAT Questions and the Best Strategies for Answering Them
- Practice Tests with Explanatory Answers That Pinpoint Exactly What You Need to Study to Score a 700 or Higher on All Three Sections
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Excerpt from Gruber's SAT 2400
General Test-Taking Strategies
Before studying the specific strategies for the Math and Verbal questions, you will find it useful to review the following General Strategies for taking the SAT test.
Strategy 1: Know the Directions to the Question Types
Before You Take the Actual Test
All SAT tests are standardized. As an example, all the sentence completion questions have the same directions from test to test. You can take advantage of this fact by memorizing the sets of directions and familiarizing yourself with their types of questions before you take your actual SAT. Never spend time reading directions during the test or doing sample questions that don'tt count.
here's an example of a set of SAT directions, together with an accompanying example for the Sentence Completion type of questions.
For each question in this section, select the best answer from among the choices given and fill in the corresponding oval on the answer sheet.
Each sentence below has one or two blanks, each blank indicating that some thing has been omitted. Beneath the sentence are five words or sets of words labeled A through E. Choose the word or set of words that, when inserted in the sentence, best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.
Medieval kingdoms did not become constitutional republics overnight; on the contrary,
the change was __.
If on your actual test you spend time reading these directions and/or answering the sample question, you will waste valuable time.
Strategy 2: don'tt Rush into Getting an Answer without Thinking
A lot of test-takers panic when they take a test like the SAT. The result is that they rush into choosing answers. it's OK to work quickly, but you have to think carefully, too. If your answer seems to come too easily, beware! When you rush into getting an answer and have not thought the problem out critically, it will probably be the wrong answer.
here's an example of what to watch out for:
Below is a picture of a digital clock. The clock shows that the time is 6:06. Consider all the times on the clock where the hour digit is the same as the minute digit, as in the clock shown below. Another such "double" time would be 8:08 or 9:09. What is the smallest time period between any two such doubles?
(A) 61 minutes
(B) 11 minutes
(C) 60 minutes
(D) 101 minutes
(E) 49 minutes
Did you subtract 8:08 from 7:07 and get 1 hour and 1 minute (61 minutes)? If you did, you probably chose Choice A. Think - do you really believe that the test-maker would give you such an easy question? The fact that you figured it out so easily should make you think twice. The thing you have to realize is that there is another possibility: 12:12 to 1:01 gives 49 minutes and so Choice E is correct.
Strategy 3: Look out for Traps
Especially, beware of the Choice A answer. It's often a "lure" for test-takers who aren't thinking critically and carefully. here's an example of how you may be lured into an incorrect answer.
If x + y = 6 and xy = 5, what is x²+ y²
Did you think that (x + y)² = x² + y² and choose the answer 6x = 36 (Choice A)? What you really have to know is how to obtain the quantity x² + y² from x + y and from xy. The answer is Choice E. I'll show you how to get that answer without having to solve for x and y later. One way to avoid the "Choice A lure" is to look at Choice E first and work backwards. Of course, you should be aware that Choice A answers do occur, especially if there is no "lure" choice. But if you get the answer easily and it's a Choice A answer, think again. You may have fallen for the "Choice A lure."
Strategy 4: If Two Choices Look Equally Good, Guess and Go On
If you have narrowed all the choices down to a choice between two answers but cannot decide between them, just pick one of the two at random. don'tt waste time! Go on to the next question. This way you will not psychologically exhaust yourself trying to pick the correct answer. Research shows that it is actually psychologically better for you to get the previous question wrong than always to wonder whether you should go back and change the answer.
Strategy 5: it's OK to Guess
On the SAT you lose a percentage of points if you guess and get the wrong answer. But the penalty for guessing is much smaller than you may think. here's why: Suppose you're taking a test with five choice questions. If you guess at five of the questions, you would probably get one right and four wrong. That is, from a probability stand point, you have a one-in-five chance of getting each five-choice question right if you randomly guess at the answers. Since 1/4 point is taken off for each wrong five-choice question, you've gotten 1-(1/4 x 4)=0 points, because you've gotten 1 question right and four wrong. Thus you break even. So the moral is, whether you randomly guess at questions you're not sure of at all or whether you leave those question answers blank, it doesn't make a difference in the long run!
Strategy 6: It May Be Wiser Not to Leave an Answer Blank
If you don'tt mark every line on your answer grid, you run the risk of mismarking future answers. And if you do mark every line, you have at least a chance of getting the answer right!
Strategy 7: If You Have to Try All the Choices, Start with Choice E
here's an example:
If x is an integer, which number is sometimes even?
(A) 2x + 1
(B) 2x - 1
(C) 4x - 1
(D) (2x + l)
(E) (x + 1)2
Many students would try different numbers for x and substitute those numbers in each of the choices. That's OK. But the student would start with Choice A first! Take my advice and start with Choice E first, then try Choice D, etc. Let's try a simple number for x like x 5 1. You can see that substituting x 5 1 in Choice E, you get (1+1)² = 2² = 4. The number 4 is even, so Choice E is correct. No need to work on the other choices!
So, for questions where one usually has to test out all the choices and eliminate the incorrect ones, the test-maker usually has an answer Choice E or Choice D. This is because the test-maker wants to test to see if the student is able to eliminate all or most of the incorrect choices before arriving at the correct one. And since most students usually start with Choice A, then try Choice B, etc., the test-maker puts the correct choice at the end of the choices.
A word of warning: This strategy works only in the special circumstances when a question cannot be answered without looking at all the choices. For example, you would not use it to find the answer to a question like this:
If x = 5, what is x2 + 3?
In this question, you do not need to look at the choices at all to get the correct answer. You would first calculate that x² + 3 = 28, and only then go to the choices to find which one is the same as your answer. So the strategy does not apply.
A second warning: The strategy of starting with Choice E is not designed to give you the correct answer by itself. It is designed to help you find the correct answer faster when you start working through the choices.
Table of Contents
Important Note about This Book and Its Author
A Personal Note from the Author
Format of the SAT
Important Facts about the SAT / The Inside Track on How SAT Questions Are Developed and How They Vary
From Test to Test
What Are Critical Thinking Skills?
Multi-Level Approaches to the Solution of Problems
General Test-Taking Strategies
Critical Reading Strategies
Sentence Completion Strategies
Reading Comprehension Strategies
Math Prep, Shortcuts, and Strategies
Explanatory Answers with Shortcuts, Strategies, and General Math Review
Regular Math Strategies
The Grid-Type Math Questions
Math Practice Exercises
Answers to Regular Math Questions
Answers to Grid Questions
The SAT Writing Test
The SAT Writing Section
Content of the Writing Section
The Essay on the SAT Writing Test
The SAT Scoring Guide
Important Tips on How to Write the Best Essay
A Brief Review of English Grammar
Improving Paragraphs: Revision-in-Context and Passage with Questions
Sample Test with Answers
The Hardest Actual SAT Questions and Their Top Strategic Solutions
The Shortest SAT Test - 16 Questions to Approximate Your SAT Score and the Exact Strategies You Need to Improve your Score
Verbal (Critical Reading)
SAT Practice Test
Answer Sheet for Practice Test
SAT Practice Test
Scoring the SAT Practice Test
Explanatory Answers for Practice Test
What You Must Do Now to Raise Your SAT Score