Children as old as 18 these days, surprisingly, still look for gifts and you adults and parents know this.
You dislike having to give these pseudo grown-ups their annual packages because you either have to be creative, or just hand them a wad of cash. Simply handing them Legos or Barbie dolls year after year won't do anymore, but think again.
You could actually give them something they could really use, something they would even thank you eternally for despite costing just 1/3rd the price of some basic sneakers.
Give them an SAT book, better yet a bunch of them, and you'll appear thoughtful and practical, all for a mere $20.
What's not to like? So without anymore dallying around here's our review of some popular SAT review books available.
1. The Princeton Review - 11 Practice Tests for the SAT
Generally, the tests give a somehow accurate prediction of what your SAT scores will be using the practice tests, although this doesn't mean that the questions reflect those of the actual SAT's.
The Math section is generally seen as the best among the three, while Critical Reading and Writing could both be frustrating at times due to debatable answers. Compounding this is the continued presence of errors in the answer key (which they haven't really changed from previous editions) which can get annoying at times.
And there's the freebie PSAT test at the end. Couldn't hurt to use it really.
Score Accuracy: B+
Question Accuracy: B
Accuracy is some way off, and most students add 200 to their composite scores after to get an idea of where they are. The sections are more difficult across the board and almost do not mimic the real tests, but they still test the same concepts, albeit in a more challenging manner. Expect long lost grammar rules and vocabulary words to come up.
The claim that it over-prepares students has some grounding though. The book is much more comprehensive than the Princeton Review's 11 Practice Tests for the SAT and has a very useful high-frequency vocabulary list and more in-depth discussion of the topics in the SAT's coverage. Useful if you want to aim high.
Before we end, some other drawbacks first:
The CD that comes with the book isn't very helpful, and I daresay that the programming was a bit clumsy. I personally skipped it because it got annoying. Also, the fact that it only has 6 practice tests makes it drop some points for our overall rating, which would otherwise be a B+.
Score Accuracy: C+
Question Accuracy: B-
We'd like to be more diplomatic and say that while there are inaccuracies in the book that seriously undermine its usefulness as an SAT practice book, it doesn't mean that it can't provide good practice. In the end, math is still math, grammar is still grammar, and reading is still reading, whichever way you put it, and some extra hours on these concepts will still prove useful on test day.
Score Accuracy: B-
Question Accuracy: C+
4. CollegeBoard SAT
While there is no doubt about the accuracy of the tests, the book has very sparse material on the actual content of the SAT, with no vocabulary lists, must know formulas and the like on the book. Nevertheless, for students who already know what to expect and can supplement their practice with materials online, the book is very useful and could get anyone to his or her desired score if used properly.
Score Accuracy: A+
Question Accuracy: A+
Merry Christmas all you kids out there.